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National Tree Week

National Tree Week

We’ve already had International Day of Forests, Earth Hour and Recycle Awareness Week – now it’s time for National Tree Week! Between 24th November and 2nd December, the Tree Council hold this week to for communities to improve their local treescape. With the help of various environmental organisations, local authorities, schools and community groups, National Tree Week gets everyone helping.

What’s so great about trees?

Trees provide so much to our everyday lives that mostly goes unnoticed, despite providing valuable habits, materials and especially oxygen. We get food from trees, fuel, building materials, clean polluted air, prevent flooding and conserve energy. Therefore, what’s not to love about trees?

The aim is for everybody to get their hands dirty planting a million trees, but there’s plenty more to do. Each community will offer something different, from historic tree walks, talks hosted by conservationists, or tree charter and dressing events. Pauline Buchanan Black, Director-General of The Tree Council, says “Whichever way people choose to mark the occasion, National Tree Week is a great time for individuals, communities and families across the UK to recognise and celebrate the value of trees.”

How do I find out what’s happening around me?

Futhermore, the Tree Council has a national newsletter, and local events are found at the Near You Map on their website. There are also lots of helpful posters, tips and ideas of ways you can get involved this year. Find out more at their website, here.

Recycle Awareness Week

Get Recycling Awareness Week:

From Monday 12th until Sunday 18th November, it’s Recycle Awareness Week! Started by Planet Ark in 1996, Recycle Awareness Week takes place to put a focus on the environmental benefits of recycling. It promotes kerbside, industrial and community-recycling initiatives meaning everyone can get in on the action. By giving people the tools to help manage their materials responsibly, we can dramatically reduce the levels of waste.

Schools and Workplaces

First of all, teaching children the important benefits of recycling is the best way of continuing this tradition and protecting our environment. For example, recycling games and ‘junk to funk’ projects get young minds engaged and find purpose for waste products. Introducing new recycling initiatives at work or even just refining the current ones allow workplaces to reduce their waste levels. Furthermore, joining cartridge-recycling programs and buying recycled office products are the best places to start.

What are the statistics?

Statistics show that recycling in the UK is actually down for the first time since monitoring began. Recycling has been on a steep incline since 2000/2001 where it was at 11.2%. As of 2017, it sits at 43.7%, a massive improvement reflecting the shift in social attitudes towards recycling. We know that if we want to protect our planet, recycling waste and cutting down on harmful plastics is crucial.

Firemizer and Firebuilder are both recyclable products. Firemizer helps reduce your solid fuel usage as well as reducing air pollutants caused by burning by 72%. Made from corrugated cardboard, Firebuilder helps you start the perfect fire every time without the need for any nasty chemicals like kerosene.

Guy Fawkes Night

Guy Fawkes Night

With the distant sky lighting up and the smell of smoke in the air, we know it’s finally bonfire night! Remember remember the 5th of November – gunpowder, treason and plot. Some think that the fireworks and bonfires on Guy Fawkes Night are to celebrate his attempt to attack British parliament. However, the tradition actually comes from bonfires the people of London started to celebrate King James I surviving the plot. Whilst it’s great to witness some fireworks and enjoy a hot chocolate, fire safety is more important than ever. The Firemizer team is here to give you some simple safety tips to make sure everyone enjoys the night safely.

 

Did you know?

Did you know that three sparklers held together produce the same heat as a blowtorch? Or that fireworks can travel speeds of up to the 150mph? Or, until 1959, it was actually illegal not to celebrate bonfire night? If you’re starting a bonfire, one box of Firebuilder can start you up to 10 perfect fires!

Firework safety:

Fireworks might be very beautiful to watch, but if not handled properly, they can be incredibly dangerous. Always make sure the firework is properly stood with no flammable materials or plants around it. Maintain a safe distance after lighting it, and make sure everyone else is a suitable distance away – especially children. In recent years, just under 1000 injuries throughout October and November were caused by fireworks. Half of those were children, injured by fireworks or not handling sparklers correctly.

Sparkler safety:

Sparklers might seem less dangerous than fireworks, but misuse of them can lead to some nasty injuries. Before lighting them, always make sure it’s not too windy and anyone holding them is wearing gloves. Keep each individual sparkler away from any others, holding it at the base away from yourself. Always ensure there’s a bucket of water to dispose of sparklers when finished, as they can stay incredible hot for a long time after the spark has gone out.

Pet safety:

We know the loud noises around the 5th are fireworks, but pets don’t and can be easily spooked by them. If a pet is scared and hides, don’t try to prise them out as this could distress them further. For dogs, ensure they’ve been properly walked during the day and that smaller pets have everything they could need for the evening. Closing windows and curtains can reduce the noise, and turning on the TV can distract them further.

 

Here’s a great link with more safety tips and ways to enjoy the evening.

Why we love Halloween (and you should too)!

Why we love Halloween (and you should too)!

Can you hear that creepy organ playing in the background? The distant rumble of thunder coming from the distance? The shadow of a black cat from outside the window? Shrieks of terror and squeals of joy as the streets are packed with tiny ghosts and ghouls? It must be Halloween again! While you’re preparing for the scariest evening of the year (whether you’re trick-or-treating, or having a movie-marathon), this week’s blog post is all about why we love the 31st!

Food and Desserts

Of course, when most of us think of Halloween, our first instinct is to think of the massive amount of candy we’ll consume. Halloween and candy go hand-in-hand. It’s really the one time of year that amassing a huge haul and eating it in one night is encouraged! However, it’s not just candy that gets our taste buds going, but all the cool and creepy desserts too. From candy apples, to skeleton cookies, to a big bowl of spooky punch, there’s an endless list of ideas. To get you started, there are 11 ideas for you here.

Costumes

In true holiday spirit, Halloween is certainly one of those holidays that has a tendency to… creep up on you. The days are getting shorter, and we’re all still suffering from the post-summer blues. Before you know it, you’re drowning in invitations to haunted houses and Halloween parties, so it’s no surprise a lot of people struggle to get a costume sorted in time. If you’re among them, here’s 22 cheap and cheerful costume ideas that require little-to-no time at all.

Arts and Crafts

One of everyone’s favourite ways to celebrate Halloween is carving the pumpkin! It’s a way to really unleash you’re inner-creative demon with something spooky, funny, or just totally imaginative. Obviously we’re not all carving-experts, and often the worse the carving the funnier and scary it is! Here’s a fantastic collection of the best and brightest pumpkins from last year.

Traditions

It wouldn’t be Halloween without Halloween traditions! If haunted houses and big parties aren’t quite your speed, there’s nothing better than a spooky movie-marathon. There’s always the black-and-white Hitchcock classics, but they’re definitely a bit too scary for those with kids. If the trick-or-treating is done and the fire is still roaring (up to 38% longer with a Firemizer), then there’s plenty of child-friendly Halloween-themed films the whole family can enjoy. Find a list of them here.

Deforestation and its environmental effects

Deforestation

This week’s topic will be all about an on-going crisis facing our planet – deforestation. Statistically, the earth loses 19 million acres of forestry per year. Also, deforestation contributes massively to climate change – about 15% of all global emissions come from the process of deforestation.

Other effects of Deforestation

There are many far more immediate consequences too. Firstly, deforestation causes the loss of animal habitats, which in turn results in massive extinctions. The water absorbed by the trees and the soil beneath are ruined and can enter into larger water systems. This decreases the quality of the water, and contributes to poor health and the spread of disease. Also, deforestation results in the disturbance of many of the native tribes that reside in rainforests. Furthermore in the Amazon alone, there are over 350 different tribes and deforestation is ruining their homes, food and water supplies.

What can we do?

Recycling, reducing your carbon footprint and choosing greener alternatives are the best places to start. Regarding wood burning in your homes, always ensure your wood comes from a sustainable source. Also, using a Firemizer will not only reduce harmful air pollutants by 72%, but helps your fuel last 38% longer. Placing a Firemizer on the base of your wood-burning stove or fireplace will allow the wood to burn more evenly, meaning that there are no clumps of unused fuel in your ash. Therefore, less wood is wasted in heating your home saving you trips to the wood store, and more trees for the planet.

Help your Wood or Coal-Burning Stove live its best life!

Stove Life!

Now we’re into the final quarter of the year, it’s likely you’ll find yourself starting your wood-burning stove more often. Nothing beats the feeling of evading the outside in your lovely warm front room, listening to the crackling wood. As it’s getting more use, it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re using and maintaining your stoves correctly. That way, you can get the most out of your fuel and stove in terms of heat output and lifespan. Here are some quick and easy tips to make sure your stove stays pristine and performing properly.

Know your wood!

Firstly, it’s important to make sure you’re using the correct fuel in your wood-burning stove. Beech and ash logs burn the best especially when seasoned, so you should be harvesting your wood about a year in advance of when you actually plan to burn it. Both of these types of wood when dried out can produce quite a lot of heat output with a consistent flame. Burning hardwood is likely to give a stronger flame and appear to give out more heat than softer pinewoods. This is because they are likely to burn faster and cooler than hardwood because they have a lower calorific value.

Keep a clean stove!

Your stove door should fit snugly to keep the heat of the fire concentrated inside. If the door itself feels loose, you could be losing a lot of heat output. Keep an eye out on the Firemizer website for Maxseal – a new product that ensures your stove door is sealed and secure. Using a Firemizer will reduce creosote build-up in your chimney by 57%, keeping a clear flue. It will also make sure there are no unused clumps of fuel in your ash bed – Firemizer makes sure your fuel ins burned evenly, helping it last 38% longer.

Use the top-down method!

The way in which your start your fires could also improve stove life. Firstly, make sure your firewood is cut in a variety of sizes to fill all available space. Using the top-down method of starting a fire is a great way to start that perfect fire (especially when paired with a Firebuilder). Read our step-by-step guide on how to use the top-down method, as well as lots of other helpful tips and tricks here.

Money Back Guarantee!

Money Back Guarantee!

Now that the summer is winding down and the wonderful weather is becoming a distant memory, we look towards Christmas. The days are getting colder and the nights are getting longer, so naturally it’s time to plan ahead. The summers can get expensive – holidays, day trips, meals with friends, so it’s not unusual to start thinking about money. Therefore this week, the focus will be all about how Firemizer can help you start saving money right away.

How does it work?

Firstly, Firemizer boasts an exceptionally efficient nature that helps to save you over a third of your solid fuel source. By slowing down the airflow to the body of the fire, Firemizer reduces the burn-rate. Its stainless-steel-alloy mesh evenly distributes the heat across the entire base of your wood or coal-burning stove or fireplace. Simply place beneath your solid fuel and leave inside your stove or fireplace. Firemizer will help your fuel to burn more evenly, ensuring none of it is wasted. It immediately starts helping you save on energy bills from the second it’s placed under your fire until the end of its lifespan (around 500 burn hours, one season). Through the reduction of creosote tars, it also ensures that overall chimney maintenance will be far less extensive.

Are there any other benefits?

Firemizer is a helpful tool in the battle against climate change; non-catalytic, chemical-free has entirely recycled cardboard packaging. It reduces general air pollutants by 72%, meaning there is a significant reduction in gases emitted by solid fuel fires.

What if I’m still unsure?

Of course, Firemizer’s benefits seem too good to be true, which is why we offer a money-back guarantee – we’re that confident! If you haven’t seen any improvements, simply contact us (regional details found on respective websites). We can offer a replacement Firemizer or a full money-back refund, so there’s really nothing to lose.

 

Pick up a Firemizer today and start burning better fires and saving money this winter.

How can you help the honey bees?

The bee’s need you!

“If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” – Albert Einstein

Honey bees exceptionally important part of our natural ecosystem. It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of bees, it’s estimated they pollinate 70 of around 100 crops that feed 90% of the world’s population. As Christopher Robin’s Winnie the Pooh said ‘what could be more important than a little something to eat’

Did no one see the bee movie? Disregard the stranger parts but essentially the plants and flowers stop getting pollinated and they die!

It is vitally important to keep bees going or we’ll end up finding out ourselves if Einstein was correct. His quote was largely in conjunction with warning about colony collapse disorder usually brought on by patristic mite varroa destructor which has led to spread of disease if left unchecked.

Beehives managed by beekeepers fare much better, as they can be treated for the disease. However, research shows there are no truly wild honey bee colonies left in England and Wales due to varroa mite.

Do your bit!

What can you do? There are some simple ways you can contribute to help bees and the planet which in the long run will benefit you too! (we won’t run out of food and die)

  1. You can plant some bee-friendly flowers, you don’t need a big garden, a windowsill planter will do! Some plants, lavender, thyme, sunflower, poppy, buttercups.
  2. Fancied your own beehive? Take up beekeeping as a new hobby! Contact your local association and they will give you all the information and help to get started.
  3. Don’t want to get messy? Adopt a beehive! Go to The British beekeepers association and you can easily adopt a beehive on your choice!

The firemizer team have sponsored a beehive at Holt Hall Apiary, a small independent bee farm based outside of Tamworth in Staffordshire. “I am very thankful to Firemizer for deciding to sponsor Holt Hall Apiary as British bees are having a really tough time. From the sponsorship, we will be purchasing the necessary equipment and medicine to treat our bee hives for Varroa mite which will give our colonies the best chance they’ve got to make it through what is likely to be another harsh winter.” – Matthew Ingram

Please, do your bit to help the bees, so we can enjoy the planet while we’re all still alive!

Have fun Beekeeping!

How to make the perfect pizza using your Pizza Oven!

This week’s focus is the mighty garden appliance – the pizza oven! If you’re lucky enough to have one of these incredible structures at home, now is the time to use it. Not only does it provide a great opportunity to invite friends over, it produces some excellent, restaurant-quality pizza. And really – who doesn’t love pizza? Make it as meaty as you like, smother it in veggies, give it a spicy kick or keep it simple. There’s a combination of pizza toppings for everyone out there. This week, we’re going to be giving you some simple steps to creating the perfect pizza with your pizza oven.

Get it hot!

Firstly, you need to make sure your pizza oven is at the right temperature to cook the pizza thoroughly, and since you’ll be cooking with wood traditionally, this could take some time. Using a Firebuilder will get your fire started easier and quicker, and doesn’t require the use of chemicals like kerosene. It differs from pizza oven to pizza oven, but generally it should be at about 300°C – 570°F.

Make the best base!

Regardless of if you’re using a pre-made base or have made your own from scratch, don’t smother it in sauce. Leave space at the rim for the crust to raise, and evenly spread the cheese and toppings. Have fun with the toppings too – try out interesting new combinations, you never know what could work!

Give it a spin!

Because of the dome-like structure of the pizza oven, a lot of the heat output is directed towards the back. While the pizza is cooking, make sure to spin the base by 180° every few minutes. This will ensure the pizza is cooked evenly, and you won’t be left with any raw dough or toppings. Make sure you’re using heat-proof gloves, safety first!

Timing is everything!

Unlike a gas oven, at the right temperature cooking in a pizza oven will only take up to five minutes. Check to see if the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned but not burned. The outside crust should be slightly brown and crunchy, but the inside should be soft and with a brown underneath. If you’re cooking multiple pizzas, make sure the oven stays at that perfect temperature. Placing a Firemizer on the base will help the wood to burn more evenly and efficiently, and keep that temperature higher for longer. It will also preserve the life of the wood inside the oven, meaning less trips back to the wood store.

Using your BBQ this Summer with Firemizer and Firebuilder!

Using your BBQ this Summer with Firemizer and Firebuilder!

Continuing our month focused on the furnishings that help enjoy the outside in Summer, this week it’s all about BBQs! Like the fire-pit, the BBQ is often the centrepiece of any outside gathering, as everybody loves party food. From burgers and hot-dogs, to corn and kebabs, and cheese and veggies, there’s nothing a BBQ can’t handle! Therefore, whatever your dietary restrictions, there’s food on offer from everyone – vegetarian, vegan or meat-lover. Here’s a list of some great vegetarian recipes if you’re interested in trying something different this summer – https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/vegetarian-barbecue

Using Firemizer and Firebuilder with your BBQ

Firemizer is a really handy tool to have beneath your coal BBQ. It’ll get your coals hotter much faster, help them to burn more efficiently and last up to a third longer, and reduce any harmful pollutants emitted by 72%. Simply place it on the base of your BBQ, place the coals on top, and start it like normal and see the different. In addition, why not use Firebuilder to start a perfect fire every time? With no kerosene, the food will be free from any harmful chemicals to keep your food tasting great. Just break the cardboard brick, light the edges, place it on top of your solid fuel and let the fire burn downwards.

JustAverageJen’s BBQ with Firemizer

Blogger JustAverageJen wrote about her experiences using Firemizer in her BBQ last summer, as well as other BBQ essential tips. Cooking for both vegetarians and meat-lovers, Jen’s advice is for anyone wanting to host a perfect BBQ this summer. She evens explains that Firemizer allowed her to “cook more items than normal as [the fire] was still hot so we cooked some food for the following day!”

Read the rest of Jen’s advice here at https://www.justaveragejen.com/2017/06/bbq-week-my-bbq-essentials.html, and read her blog for more excellent lifestyle and dietary advice.

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