Enjoy a (Nearly) Guilt-free Fire

More Savvy Tips

The most eco-friendly way to use a fireplace is to turn it into a showcase for candles, flowers or other d├ęcor. If you’re not willing to give up cozy nights by the hearth, do the next best thing by making wood choices that reduce pollutants.

According to Treehugger.com, manufactured logs — Java-Log and the new Duraflame, for example — are a greener alternative to real, cut firewood. That’s because the manufactured logs recycle waste, such as sawdust and coffee grounds, which saves trees. They also use plant-based waxes, which are a renewable source of carbon. And they burn cleaner than cut wood, emitting less particulate matter, carbon monoxide and other pollutants.

If you do burn real wood in your fireplace, make sure it’s dry. “Green,” or damp, logs will release more smoke and carbon. How do you know a log is dry? It’ll make a sharp, hollow sound when you tap it, compared to the dull thump of green wood.