Burning / Guides

High efficiency fireplaces and how to choose one
Wood stove and biomass heat

Choosing the right wood-burning stove or fireplace for both heat output & the environment

...Burning Stoves - which are best & which burn cleanest? Reading the specifications of a wood stove can be rather complicated, so how do you choose? Let's shake loose the important points from all the technical jargon and make the process a bit more enjoyable so it's easier to tell which wood burning stoves give the mo...

Choosing the right firewood
Wood stove and biomass heat

Burning the right firewood for maximum heat output and minimum environmental impact

...burning stove or fireplace, remember this: First rule for wood burning? Make sure it's dry or seasoned wood, or most of the heat will be lost on evaporation (like in a swimming-pool) and you mostly make harmful smoke instead of heat! Second Rule for Wood-Burning? Choose a high-efficiency wood-burning stove or...

Wood Combustion - How it works and the different stages
Wood stove and biomass heat

Wood Combustion – How Firewood Burns & How to get the best heat while being eco-friendly

...burning in the charcoal which is the basis of traditional steel smelting and production! To summarize the stages of combustion; the woodburning process is complex as different logs are in different stages during a fire burning, the bottom line being that having selected the right wood, you then need to accurately con...

Plastic in landfill
Recycled and Reclaimed Materials

Turning Waste Plastic Into useable Fuel

...burning fossil fuels. The difference in this case, is that these fossil fuels have effectively seen the end of their useful life, and are now clogging up our landfills, waterways and oceans. Even if we had government commitment and action, transforming our energy infrastructure from fossil fuels to renewables will be...

High efficiency wood stoves
Wood stove and biomass heat

Heating with wood and biomass fuel

...Burning firewood and other biomass fuels are a way to gain that independence. Heating efficiently with biomass fuel (wood, grain, seeds and manufactured fire logs) The good news is, improvements in stove and fireplace technology have been so dramatic that burning wood or biomass fuel for heat can be an ecologically...

Wood pellet stoves that don't need electric ideal for off grid operation
Wood stove and biomass heat

These wood pellet stoves for off-grid heating don't need electric to operate

...burning stoves and fireplaces do still add ambiance to any home, making it frankly more "homely", so If you do want a wood burning stove or chimney insert & need to know how to size them or choose the most efficient, see here . If your main motivator is heating a home efficiently and sustainably, especially if it's off...

Shou sugi ban carbonized wood siding
Exterior cladding

Shou sugi ban carbonized wood siding from Japan, what is it & how to make it?

What is Shou sugi ban siding? © Resawn Timber Co. Shou sugi ban is an ancient Japanese carbonized wood finish created by burning the surface of wood to preserve it. The final product is also known as Yakisugi (yaki means to cook/burn and sugi is the Japanese name for cedar), but shou-sugi-ban seems to have won...

Electric Heaters - is heating with electric an eco-friendly option?
Heating with electricity

Heating with electricity

Is Electric Heating Eco-friendly? Determining whether or not electricity is an efficient and ecologically responsible means to heat a home should include the initial electricity production as well. Burning fossil fuels to fire electric power generation is only around 30-60% efficient. There is also significant loss ...

The village of Baie-Saint-Paul in Charlevoix
Choosing where to live

Moving to the country - living a rural lifestyle

...burning it off, build with it. Not only is it local, you can save money. 4. Look into small eco-developments An increasing number of green communities are popping up across the country. If you choose to live in a new development, look into well planned eco-developments. Houses with green components are good, certif...

Natural gas fireplace
Heating with gas and oil

Heating with natural gas

...burning process and price has made heating and cooking with natural gas quite popular in the last couple of decades. However, popularity put a pretty heavy dent in supply, so much so that alternative sources are being explored to meet demand. There are some potentially very green sources of natural gas, but unfortunate...

Living green wall
Healthy indoor air quality

Living walls: what they do and don't do

...burning) and improperly vented combustion appliances (woodstoves, gas water heaters, gas ranges, etc.). Following that would be formaldehyde, VOCs and other chemicals in building materials and furnishings. All these factors lead to indoor air being many times more polluted than outdoor air, which you then filter with y...