As a New Year beckons, the 1st January is often a time to make some positive changes. 
Exercise, diet and improving your wellbeing are popular choices. 
There is another New Year’s Resolution that you can make with the help of Flixton Sawmill. 
If you have a log burner or wood-burner, using a more sustainable timber supplier can help you to make the right choice for keeping warm and considering the environmental impact you have on the planet. 
A Difficult Balance 
Keeping warm in a cold British winter while making a considered choice for the climate is a tricky one to get right. 
While fossil fuels such as gas and oil are an option, burning timber to keep cosy is another. 
There is no hiding from the fact that most if not all fuels have CO2 emissions. 
Yet burning dry wood can be seen as a more efficient option. 
Open fires tend not to be as efficient as lots of warm air is lost up the chimney; a closed wood-burner can keep you warm in a more efficient way. 
A closed, modern wood stove can produce up to 4 times as much heat, and reduce the amount of smoke produced. 
Less heat loss up the chimney, you can also reuse wood ash in the garden as compost. 
CO2 Forests and Woodland 
Burning timber produces CO2 and there is no doubt about this. 
However, it is worth taking into account all sides of the ecological argument when considering your wood burning requirements. 
Fossil fuels, such as coal, gas, and oil include carbon that has been stored for millions of years beneath the ground. 
Burning these releases carbon back into the atmosphere as additional CO2. 
It can be argued that burning dry, seasoned logs, while still releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, CO2 has also been absorbed by the wood in more recent years. 
A new or existing tree grows and soaks up some CO2 from the atmosphere. 
In a nutshell, forests have accumulated more carbon than younger ones; yet younger woodlands grow more rapidly, and remove more CO2 each year from the atmosphere than an older forest covering the same area. 
Forest management can include avoiding large emissions from the loss of older trees while rapidly removing CO2 from the atmosphere through young forest growth. 
This can provide both carbon storage and sequestering benefits. 
Correct management of woodland could mean, in theory we are not adding as much CO2. 
This can include forest thinning, and timber growing for firewood purposes. 
In many cases, fuel supply from managed woodland replaces the trees and encourages maximum growth to re-absorb the CO2 released during burning. 
Some timber producers also feel that wood burning could become part of a carbon neutral process. 
Carbon released from burning wood is balanced out by the carbon absorbed by the tree during its lifetime. 
Also, trees and timber are more sustainable, unlike oil and gas, as more trees can be planted, replacing old ones. 
The arguments are complex, and opinions about wood burning and its effects on the environment vary hugely. 
Let’s turn our attention to some facts, then to help you keep to your New Year’s Resolution! 
Ready to Burn 
As we probably all know, dry wood burns best. 
Cut wood should be stacked and covered completely, preferably in a purpose-built log store. 
Stored logs should also be stored off the ground. 
Another good tip is to bring any logs you wish to burn at least 24 hours before you want to use them, ensuring you store them safely. 
This allows the timber to ‘warm up’ and get to the ambient temperature of your room or home. 
Also, all wood is now required to have less than 20% moisture and those who achieve this have the Ready to Burn logo, showing how dry their lumber is. 
Minimal moisture content means a consistent burn, and we are very proud of our Ready to Burn status.  
If you follow the steps above, this will help make for efficient combustion. 
Smouldering fires are not as efficient, and those logs supplied with the Ready to Burn symbol are easier to light. 
Did you know that a wood burning stove can keep a room or house warm with between 60% to 80% efficiency. 
There is also a choice of softwoods and hardwoods to burn, and we process our kiln dried logs in a controlled environment onsite. 
Woodstoves … How Old is Yours? 
Look at your wood stove … since 1970, designs have improved. 
If your woodstove predates the 1970s then there are more efficient log burners on the market. 
There were recent rumours that the Government was going to ban wood burners completely! 
As we know this is now not the case. 
The punishing heating tariffs of 2022, 2023 and, by the looks of it, in 2024 make it difficult to completely justify an all-out ban, given the difficulties many of us have juggling bills at the moment. 
While of course we are all aiming to cut our emissions to help combat climate change, there is also the need to keep our homes – and our family – warm and healthy. 
Wet Wood and Coals 
Households can no longer buy house coal or wet wood as of 2023. 
While this edict has been in place for some time now, you can burn wood to keep warm. 
Wood is a renewable energy source (as opposed to fossil fuels). 
There are some manufacturers of wood burners that would state that woodburning is carbon neutral. 
Yet there is energy usage that takes place when making the wood-burner, in the delivery process and in the growing process. 
So, while that argument is valid, your local wood supplier should be advising and following these steps: 
How to Use Your Wood Burner Efficiently. 
Use only when needed. 
Look after your wood burner. 
Ensure your chimney is swept regularly. 
Use eco-friendly firelighters. 
Use dry wood that is Ready to Burn, 
Wood ash can be used in your garden too. 
Ensure your wood supplier obtains wood from local growers. 
Follows the wood storage steps detailed earlier in this article. 
The Benefits of Sourcing Timber Locally 
In an effort to keep log supplies as low-impact as possible, timber can be sourced from local, established suppliers. 
Our timber comes from Dalby, Hackness, Suffield, Scalby, Driffield and Easingwold, which are all within the local region. 
Many suppliers manage their woodland in a sustainable manner. 
Trucks are used for delivery, yet due to close proximity of wood suppliers, the mileage is kept to a minimum. 
Using local wood growers means additional local businesses are supported, helping with local employment and contributing to the regional economy. 
Independent businesses offer reliable service and delivery, competitively priced. 
And of course, expertise and experience are a huge benefit. 
For those that turn the timber into fuel, then some will do the drying onsite. 
Kindling, Net and Bulk Bags 
With a number of sizes available for both firewood and kindling, whatever the size of your household stove, items can be ordered easily or collected. 
You will also need firelighters and other accoutrements to keep your fire working well. 
Flixton Sawmill 
As a family-run, independent business, we’ve been working in the timber industry for over 45 years. 
We deliver logs, fence panels, sleepers, decking boards, sheds, and more to Bridlington, Scarborough, Filey, Driffield, to local villages and many other locations. 
Our 'Ready to Burn' wood stove logs are kiln dried onsite and are premium quality. We also sell smokeless fuel, kindling and fire-lighters. 
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