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What is Sustainable Firewood?

September 26, 2017

Firewood has always been a popular source of heat and fire since time immemorial. Countless meals have been cooked and thousands upon thousands of hearths, families and individuals have been warmed by its comforting glow. In spite of this however, more and more people today are turning to more ‘clean’ sources of fuel and heat, such as electricity.

While the use of electricity to cook and warm homes is an inevitable necessity, firewood in and of itself has an old-fashioned charm and function that naturally appeals to people, and it is still used commonly in Australia. One of the main problems with the popularity of firewood however, is that while trees are a renewable resource, the current rate of population growth is causing more trees to be cut down than are being replaced. That is a major concern.

While there are laws that are in place that regulate the cutting and re-planting of trees lost to logging (both legal and illegal), other avenues of sustainability are likewise being implemented. Where originally ‘sustainable firewood’ only meant fuel wood that was harvested from forests that encouraged sustainable practices (such as, ‘cut one, re-plant two’), it has now likewise extended to the use of recycled wood from a myriad of sources beyond live timber cut for firewood.

Sustainable firewood in this context includes sources beyond felled live timber for fuel wood – instead of relying exclusively on mature timber for use in firewood, newer sustainable materials like recycled and repurposed wood, such as ones obtained from scraps, old furniture, saw-dust, and wood recovered from demolished buildings.

However, a true example of sustainable firewood would be confirmed sources of red gum trees in Victoria that are grown, cut, and replanted for commercial use, in a sustainable way. Red gum firewood is preferred by many for use not only in fireplaces, but also for cooking and smoking meat because it adds a desired flavour.

However, considering that over a million tonnes of firewood is being burned in Victoria each year, where wood is being sourced is now a major environmental concern.

Sustainable Sources of Redgum Firewood

Suppliers of firewood like John Tiras Pty Ltd are doing their part in helping to protect native forests by choosing to support suppliers of farm-grown firewood, or from other sustainable sources. Consumers can also help to protect native forests by choosing to buy only firewood from suppliers that sell sustainable firewood, and, in this way, you too can help protect the delicate forests of Victoria, and all the wildlife that depend on them for survival.

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