We recognise that some people are considering switching to log burners as an alternative to gas when heating their homes. Although energy prices are increasing, we cannot recommend this as a healthy or environmentally-friendly solution, nor a cheaper way to heat your home. Instead, we invite you to contact us for advice on managing your utility bills and accessing funding for safer and more efficient heating solutions.
Health problems caused by wood smoke has been the topic of extensive research in recent years but sadly, few people understand the extent of the issue.
Wood smoke has been directly linked to illnesses including asthma, dementia, stroke and some cancers.
Professor Stephen Holgate has carried out extensive research in the subject and says: “Particulate air pollution is the most harmful type of air pollution to humans. If you have alternative heating systems, you and your family will be breathing cleaner air.”
Watch our short animation; ‘The Hidden Harms of Wood Smoke‘ and share the video on your social media platforms.
Wood smoke causes big problems for the planet as well as ourselves. Every time we light a fire, we’re releasing harmful gases including carbon monoxide, benzene and formaldehyde into the environment, as well as soot and dirt (particulate matter).
Burning wood also produces carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Burning wood actually releases more carbon dioxide than oil or gas for the same amount of heat or energy.
Clean Air Day 2023 resource sheet, June 2023
An interview with Professor Stephen Holgate, filmed March 2023:
My burning shame, by George Monbiot, The Guardian, Dec 2022
Wood burners emit more particle pollution than traffic, The Guardian, Feb 2022
Now that you’re aware of the harms caused by burning wood, we invite you to join our campaign to improve air quality.
The most helpful thing that you, your friends, family and neighbours can do, is simply avoid burning wood – both indoors using wood stoves and log burners, and outdoors with bonfires.
It can sometimes be tricky to start a conversation with someone who loves their log burner! Here are some tips for starting a healthy discussion.
- Remember that some people bought their log burner with genuine intentions. Some log burners are marketed as eco-friendly and some people have no other way to keep their homes warm.
- Understand that behaviour change takes time, so short and regular conversations will potentially be more effective than a one-off chat.
- Give them our contact details! We’re here to help Southampton, Hampshire and Portsmouth residents find efficient, affordable and environmentally-friendly home heating solutions.