Tag: CO2

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.

Chimney Sweep FAQs

How often should I have my chimney cleaned and maintained?

This week’s blog topic is the importance of keeping chimneys well maintained and clean after continual use. A good rule of thumb is to have your chimney cleaned by a certified professional at least once a year. If it is more often than not the prime source of heating in your house, you might want to consider having it swept more. Ask your chimney sweep for their advice on how often it should be serviced. Do not ever attempt to clean the chimney yourself – you could end up doing causing damage to your chimney. It’s important to call a certified chimney sweep as they know the typical signs of creosote build-up and nesting wildlife.

 

Why is it important to have my chimney cleaned and maintained?

The continual maintenance of your chimney is central to its efficiency and heat output. The chimney sweep aims to remove all the creosote build-up on the inside of the chimney to prevent chimney fires. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that results from the regular burning of certain types of wood (especially pine). Using Firemizer with your solid fuel is proven to reduce creosote by 57% and helps your fuel burn 38% longer. By having your chimney properly maintained, it ensures that you’re getting the most out of your fireplace or stove. There’s no fear of chimney fires, a release of harmful gasses or any unexpected wildlife nesting inside. Animals like birds, squirrels or small insects can also cause long-term damage to the structural stability of the chimney.

 

When should I start thinking about servicing my chimney?

A year between each service is recommended, and the best time to get it serviced is before the burning season. Anytime during the summer or early autumn is ideal to make sure your chimney is in perfect shape once the weather turns colder. Seek out your local chimney sweeps and book in early to ensure you’re getting the most out of your chimney.

World Environment Day

The United Nations’ World Environment Day (held on June 5th) is a worldwide call to arms for environmental protection. Started in 1974, it has since gained global recognition and now involves the participation of over 100 countries. Instead of attempting legislative change in defence of the environment, World Environment Day is the ‘people’s day’ and encourages everyone to do something.

2018’s theme is concerned plastic pollution.

The recent ban on microbeads in toiletries and the plastic-bag charge are just some of the ways that the UK is contributing, whilst the US has announced a nationwide plan to reduce plastic straws. Microbeads (found in cosmetics and toothpastes) could slip through treatment plants and cause damage to the UKs rivers and lakes. The UK and US use around 550 million plastic straws a day (and they take 200 years to break down). Alternatives like paper, bamboo and reusable metal straws are available instead.

Collectively, we waste enough plastic every year to circle the earth four times. This means that recyclable and biodegradable products are more important than ever in the battle against plastics. Firemizer and Firebuilder are both completely plastic-free and entirely recycled products in cardboard packaging. Also, Firebuilder is even biodegradable too whilst Firemizer will reduce harmful air pollutants caused by burning fuel by up to 72%.

World Environment Day also has a different host country every year.

2018’s host is India. The country will engage in activities like local community plastic clean-up drives to national forest and beach cleaning. India sets a precedent for the world to follow. It takes the same time for Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya to bowl just one over for four rubbish trucks of plastic to be dumped into the ocean.

Organise a clean-up drive with your local community or simply pledge to cut out plastic straws for good. With everyone pitching in, we can make a significant difference in the fight for our planet’s health.

Earth Day 2018

Earth Day 2018

April 22nd is Earth Day, a day to celebrate the world’s largest environmental movement. Started in 1970, the Earth Day movement has mobilised over 200 million people worldwide since going global 20 years later. Over 1 billion people and 50,000 partners across nearly 195 countries all contribute to the yearly observation of this day. Moreover, it has influenced substantial change in approaches towards climate change and influenced that passing of acts such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

History:

Founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, he sought to bring about change after witnessing a devastating oil spill in 1969. Done alongside the counter-culture movements and student-led anti-war protest in America, Nelson used this momentum to educated about climate change. Furthermore, after years of mounting success in educating and inspiring the world to confront and change our attitudes towards how we treat the planet, Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995.

A Billion Acts of Green:

In 2010, in the face of opposition from climate change deniers and oil-lobbyists, the Earth Day Network launched its most ambitious scheme yet – to get people across the world to commit 1 billion acts of environmental service. These acts ranged from small, personal commitments like Meat-Free Mondays, into global tree-planting initiatives like The Canopy Project. As it stands, we’ve reached over 2 and a half billion Green Acts, with a new goal of 3 billion. Find out how you can help reach this goal here. Equally, using a Firemizer reduces air pollutants by 72%, and Firebuilder is kerosene-free firebuilder that’s made of entirely recycled cardboard. Using these two products can drastically reduce your carbon footprint and inch us towards those 3 billion Acts of Green.

2018’s Theme

Additionally, the theme for this year Earth Day is ‘end plastic pollution’ – did you know that the UK and US throw away over 550 million plastic straws every day that eventually find their way to our oceans? These cause serious damage to natural ecosystems and tiny micro-particles find their way from our oceans to our tap water. This year, commit yourself to stop using disposable plastics and instead seek out environmentally friendly alternatives. Purchase a re-usable bag for shopping, acquire your own reusable water bottle instead of buying another, and wash-up metal cutlery instead of throwing away plastic knives and forks. End the needless use of disposable plastic products and make your contribution to Earth Day this April!

 

Relax

With May approaching and Summer just on the horizon, that holiday-feeling is starting to sink in. The days are getting longer, the nights are getting warmer and, for the lucky ones, the holiday countdown has begun. If, however, you aren’t among those lucky few, then there are plenty of ways to relax and unwind at home. Forget sitting in the garden or watching Netflix – make some small changes to create a more soothing atmosphere at home. Not only can it spruce up the place, it can also keep you busy and keep boredom at bay.

Small, Easy Changes;

Give some of the doors a new lick of paint, hang those shelves you’ve been promising for years or pick out some new garden furniture. The changes don’t have to be drastic or expensive, just small and meaningful around the house. They can bring new life to an area you once didn’t like (simply by the addition of some new curtains).

Don’t Overwhelm Yourself;

The key word here is – relax. The process is meant to be stress-free and revitalising, so if you find yourself getting worked-up, take a step back. Don’t start a new project until one is finished, and only tackle one area at a time.

Get Everyone Involved;

Don’t forget that there might be others who have something to say about your interior design style-choices! Get the whole family involved and listen to their input – a fresh pair of eyes can always benefit. Even pets will respond to certain colours and new pieces of furniture so bear that in mind, and while you’re styling up the house, get them a comfy new bed for them to enjoy!

Choose the right products;

There are plenty of products and furniture styles that can enhance the feeling of tranquil in a room. Chairs and tables with smooth shapes and lines, thin curtains letting in lots of light, and a Firemizer can keep your wood or coal burning fire burner for longer with the constant interference of building or stoking. The stainless-steel mesh helps the solid fuel to burn more evenly and efficiently so, while you’re taking care of those little tasks or basking in the changes you’ve made, let Firemizer keep your fire burning for 38% longer.

National Pet Month

National Pet Month

It’s National Pet Month! Between April 1st and May 7th, everyone across the country will be appreciating and showing off their fuzzy companions. The purpose of this month is to promote responsible ownership and celebrate the benefits that pets give our lives. Whether it’s working animals like guide dogs or the lazy family cat (who always steals your seat), they’re all appreciated! We know that our pets love the warmth of the fireplace so, in conjunction with this month, we’ve drawn up a list of fireplace safety tips to keep your their paws warm and toasty (but from a safe distance).

Tips:

Keep it closed off. – The first piece of advice is the most obvious; get yourself a fireguard or a baby-gate. Any kind of barrier will stop your inquisitive pet from getting too up-close-and-personal with the fire. This means no burnt paws (or tongues), wagging tails are protected and any spitting embers won’t catch them by surprise. Keep all fireplace tools behind the barrier as an extra precaution, and especially for cats, make sure there are no draping decorations around the fireplace they might want to play with and pull down.

Be mindful of the unseen threats. – The enticing fire isn’t the only immediate danger to your pets; Carbon Monoxide fumes can be just as fatal. Make sure your CO2 alarm is checked regularly and that your fireplace or stove is correctly ventilated to filter out carcinogens. An added Firemizer will even reduce those harmful pollutants by a further 72%. Also, monitor the time your pet has spent next to the fire – don’t allow them to become dehydrated or overheated. This could result in small, sun-burn-like burns (particularly in thicker-coated pets).

Get the right equipment. – Get your pet fire-retardant items to prevent any disasters; non-flammable toys, beds and clothing are just an extra safeguard. Some pet-stores even sell stickers for your windows that alert fire fighters that there’s a furry loved one in the house.

Act responsibly and set an example. – It goes without saying, but refrain from any kind of playtime when the fire is lit. A wagging tail can catch a flame without warning, and bouncing toys or a tossed treat could send a pet right into the mouth of a fire. It’s best to act calmly and responsibly when the fire is on, as you would with a child. This means never leaving them unsupervised and for super-curious younger pets, consider keeping them at distance (in a box or crate).

Follow these steps to ensure you and your pet(s) can safely enjoy each other’s company by the fireside this month.

5 common myths you’ve heard about fireplaces

Fireplaces:

This week’s topic is the alternative solid-fuel heating method for those without space for a log-burner – fireplaces! Fireplace always provide warmth and ambience to any room they’re in whether it’s your lounge, bedroom, or even the garden. They provide a great source of heat, a focal point in any room and with a range of styles both classic and modern to choose from, there’s a hearth out there for everyone. Fireplaces can actually add value to a property as they have become a highly sought feature for first-time buyers. Fireplaces can utilise various different types of solid fuels, ranging from pellets, coal, gas, propane and various types of wood.

The history of the fireplace dates back to prehistoric fire-pits and smoke-canopies in the middle ages. First introduced to Europe in the 11th century, the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Prince Rupert of the Rhine have contributed in shaping the hearth into its current state.

As such a popular home installation, there are many claims and figures out there about fireplace performance. Here are 5 commons myths you might encounter when purchasing or servicing a fireplace.

5 common myths you’ve heard:

  1. Chimneys do not need regular inspections and sweeping. Chimneys must be serviced every year as build-ups of soot and creosote are often the origin of chimney fires. Firemizer reduces the creosote levels by 57%, meaning that chimney inspections will be far less difficult and pricey. However, creosote isn’t the only reason for inspections; debris and nesting animals also affect the structural integrity of your chimney.
  2. Fireplaces are poor sources of heat. Fireplaces can be poor sources if the fire is not maintained properly. Some believe that fireplaces send their heat up the chimney, and wood fires need oxygen to burn. Use a cast-iron fireback to radiate heat back into the room, and opening the flue will dispose of dangerous toxins. Firemizer reduces harmful air pollutants emitted by solid fuels by up to 72%.
  3. Lighter fluid and kerosene will produce a better fire quickly. Though it’s true that it will produce a fire quickly, this will be using harmful and potentially dangerous chemicals. Instead of putting your home at risk, use balls of newspaper or an entirely kerosene-free Firebuilder.
  4. I don’t need to clean my fireplace or chimney more than once a year. How frequently you use your fireplace dictates how often it should be cleaned (ranging from yearly to fortnightly). Always clear ash from the fireplace before starting a new fire (keeping a small bed of ash on the bottom). Firemizer reduces clumps of fuel in your wood, turning your ash into fine powder making clean-up much easier.
  5. It’s ok to leave the fire burning while I’m out or asleep. Absolutely not, fires are unpredictable and there are a number of factors that could contribute to a larger incident. To make sure it’s safely exterminated, throw a cup of water, sand or baking soda on top.

Conclusion:

When properly serviced and maintained, a fireplace makes the perfect addition to any room in the house. Pair your hearth with Firemizer and Firebuilder and get the most out of your solid fuel source saving you time, effort and money.

Earth Hour

Earth Hour

Following on from last week’s commemorative International Day of Forests, this week we celebrate Earth Hour! Hosted by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), the event encourages everyone to show his or her commitment to the planet. It has not fixed date other than it takes place at the end of March – this year it’s March 24th. Between the hours of 8:30 – 9:30pm, from individuals to communities to business, everyone is encouraged to turn off non-essential lights. This is to display a unified message of solidarity, a symbol of commitment in protecting preserving our beautiful planet. It is not an exercise is reducing energy however, but rather a simply gesture that highlights the fight against pollution.

Earth Hour’s History:

The event originated in 2007 when Sydney turned off all the lights of their major landmarks. The following year saw 35 countries join in, and larger companies like Google shut down their websites. Over the succeeding ten years, various TV and Radio stations have joined the cause in going ‘dark’ for the hour. Last year, 187 countries and territories took part, from New York to New Zealand; over 3,100 landmarks turned their lights off, nearly 16,000 Facebook pages donated their feed, and #EarthHour trended in 30 countries.

Do Your Part:

Doing your part is as effortless as turning off lights at home, or as involved as hosting a candlelit dinner! Get your workplace involved and go ‘dark’ for the hour, or turn off your phone, grab a bunch of friends and go enjoy a walk in the park – it’s that easy to take part and spread awareness of the cause.

It is all in the name of showing solidarity and support for the protection of our planet. Firemizer and Firebuilder are both emission-reducing, recyclable products – Firemizer helps reduce your solid fuel consumption and amount of particulates produced by your fire, and Firebuilder is completely kerosene and chemical-free, meaning your fires stay clean and green.

Keep updated over at the Earth Hour blog and post your contributions using the hashtags #EarthHour and #togetherpossible.

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