Don’t let anyone tell you burning wood is bad for the environment. Wood is seeing a comeback as a fuel to keep us warm. This is mainly because of the continually escalating prices of fossil fuels and wood staying pretty much the same cost as it has for years. This difference in cost was highlighted in a report by the European Union Green Paper, “Towards a European Strategy for the Security of Energy Supply”. It said “Wood, as an indigenous energy source, can contribute significantly to reducing our(the EU’s) import dependence and to improving our trade balance.”
As stated in the Solid Fuel Encyclopedia by Jay W. Shelton, “Nature has been growing and decaying trees for hundreds of millions of years. The solar energy locked into chemical form in the plants through photosynthesis always has been released mostly as heat during decay. By taking the wood and burning it in a stove, the heat is released in a home rather than on the forest floor. The stored solar energy ends up in the same form in either case; burning the wood merely reroutes the energy through a house on its way back up into space. The amounts of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere are not significantly affected, whether wood is burned or left to decay. The net effects are the changes in the forests and their watersheds due to harvesting, and the emissions of chemicals and particles from incomplete combustion of wood-problems which need to be taken seriously, but which have solutions.”
So there you have it. No, burning wood is not bad for the environment. Quite the contrary, it is a natural process that we are just rerouting through the home instead of letting decay in nature.