There is no totally eco-friendly patio heater out there.
Whether you burn wood, gas or electricity, there’s a cost involved.
Chances are you either already have a fire pit or maybe you are dead set on getting those flames to heat you up.
Worry not, we have plenty of ways to help turn your backyard campfire into an environmentally friendly zone thanks to the types of eco friendly fire pit fuel you choose.
Here’s our top picks:
1. Buy Eco-Logs Made From Recycled Wood
You cannot get away from the fact that if you burn anything you’ll have smoke, and where there is smoke, there is CO2.
The good news is that eco-logs are manufactured from 100% recycled wood waste, usually compressed shavings into logs.
Why does this make your fire pit eco-friendly? Because they are carbon neutral. This wood would have usually ended up in a landfill, where it would have broken down into methane gas, a gas that is 4x more harmful than Carbon Dioxide.
Less moisture, means fewer logs to burn
But that’s not all. Eco-logs tends to be lower in moisture. Consider that even the most seasoned hardwood will still have 20% moisture within the wood, eco-logs would typically only have 10%.
Less moisture, less smoke, higher heat = fewer logs needed to create a powerful smoke-lite heat.
Just pay attention to that heat, and don’t be afraid to break up those logs, as they do burn brighter and harder than normal logs. So if you have a small fire pit start with half the amount of logs you would normally burn, and then add if you need more heat.
As an added bonus, because these fire logs create less smoke, they create less ash, making it easier to clean your fire pit. Also, did we mention you could use the ash as fertiliser for your garden?
Who said being eco-friendly had to be difficult?
- Carbon Neutral
- Less moisture than normal firewood
- Burns hotter so you need fewer logs
- Burn with less smoke and less ash
- Be careful with the heat and make sure you burn fewer logs than you thing you need with plenty of airflows for your fire pit fire.
2. Coffee Ground Logs
These are a little harder to find, but if you have them available in your neck of the woods, these are this is the eco-friendly fire logs to burn in a fire pit.
These are made of compact recycled coffee grounds. You heard that right. Recycled coffee ground from shops and restaurants that would have usually found their way into landfills, and dried and put together for you to burn.
And yes, when you open the bag you get a faint aroma of coffee, but when they burn they burn clean and with no smell. They burn 20% hotter than kiln-dried wood, so you need less of them and overall it’s been estimated that these Coffee Logs save 80% on greenhouse gas emissions, with a lower carbon footprint.
- Burn 20% hotter than kiln-dried wood
- No coffee aroma
- Low carbon footprint
- Fewer logs needed to burn wood
- These burn HOT – less is more to get a fire started
3. Use Eco-kindling to get your fire started
No point getting eco-friendly fire logs if you then douse them with a ton of lighter fluid and burn a ton of smokey newspaper. It will work, but there are easier and more environmentally friendly ways to get your fire started.
Eco Kindling is made from eco-friendly wood pellets which are then dipped in wax for flammability. The wax will be made from renewal food waste, making this the most eco-friendly way to light up a fire pit.
This natural fire lighter will light up in flames so you only need one to get your logs all burnt up, though we would recommend other smaller pieces of wood or more kindling if you don’t use eco-logs.
On average you can expect one of these wood eco-firelighters to burn for around 10 minutes.
So with an eco-log, whilst it is still worth breaking up the log into smaller pieces, you will only need one of these eco-kindling to get any good outdoor fire pit lit.
- Light up quickly
- Carbon Neutral
- You only need one or two to get a fire started
- Low moisture content
- Very little smoke
- Best used with eco-logs, you will need to use more Eco-Kindling if you are using normal firewood.
4. Try a smokeless fire pit stove
Maybe you already have a fire pit, maybe you don’t, maybe you are looking at new ways to heat your patio and garden.
Well, before you do anything consider getting a smokeless fire pit. No we are not talking about gas lit fire pits, these still allow you to burn wood and give those beautiful natural flames.
The way smokeless fire pits like the Solo Stove work is that they feed air through the bottom which then comes in through the sides. This then mixes with the smoke as it comes out at the highest point of the fire, re-burning the smoke.
But if it was purely a matter of aesthetics, that this wouldn’t make for a very food eco-friendly fire pit. That extra airflow not only helps make it smokeless, but more efficient.
In other words, you need less wood to create a hotter flame. Burning less fuel means conserving your resources.
They do tend to be on the more pricey side of fire pits because they are masterpieces of engineering.
They have double walls, they have those top vents that create a secondary combustion. They are beautiful and effective eco-friendly fire pits that should be seriously considered by anyone who wants to fit a fire pit with their green-living lifestyle.
- Reburns the smoke for an almost smoke free atmosphere
- More efficient way of burning wood – less logs needed
- Created a hotter heat with fewer pieces of fire logs
- Easy to set up and clean out
- On the more expensive side of fire pit prices
Are fire pits environmentally friendly?
There’s a reason why when we get large forest fires, the news is lit up with concerns for the environment – and not just because we are losing acres of forest.
Wood-burning releases carbon dioxide. 71% of a fire’s total emission is Carbon Dioxide. Then you have 21% harmless water vapour, and around 5.5% of carbon monoxide.
But what worries most eco-warriors is the harmful particulate which contributes to air pollution.
However, you can reduce all of these by making smart purchasing choices in your selection of wood burning. At the end of the day, you can find carbon-neutral solutions that can still help you enjoy a beautiful fire without the guilt.
How do I create a smoke-free fire pit?
Even the smokeless fire pits still create a little smoke, even if just minimal. You will always have a little bit of smoke.
If you don’t have the budget to get a smoke-free fire pit, then you need to focus on the wood and not scrimp and scrape in your choices.
To reduce the emission levels of burning wood logs you need two things:
- Temperature: The higher the fire, the more of your toxic materials will be broken down into simpler and safer products.
- Dryness: The drier the wood, the fewer emissions and smoke.
This is why the eco-logs have less than 10% moisture, whilst most kiln-dried wood will have 20% moisture.
What are the best wood logs to burn in a fire pit?
If you are not sold on the eco-logs or the coffee logs, there are wood logs you can choose to help lower your emissions.
You want firewood that gives you a consistent high heat.
The most eco-friendly firewood is kiln-dried hickory. Kiln-drying is the best way to remove all moisture from the wood, but hickory burns hotter than any other type of firewood. This is considered low-emission firewood, though it is difficult to find.
If all else fails, Kiln-dried hardwood that is responsibly sourced is a great alternative. It ensures the same dryness, and you’ll know that for every log you burn, trees are being planted to offset your carbon.
Environmentally friendly fire pit hints and tips at their best
At the end of the day, having an eco-friendly fire pit in your garden is all about the choices you make to reduce smoke, ash and consumption.
Picking the right firewood is 80% of the battle. With a responsibly sourced eco-log will burn hot, reduce waste, and you’ll only need one for every 3 normal wood logs to create the same effect and heat.
If you can afford it, a smokeless fire pit is the best way to go that extra 20% to ensure you create a high heat with almost any wood, and burn away those nasty air pollutants.
You can then lean back and enjoy a beautiful way of fire heating patios and gardens alike.