It is sad but true that the days of curling up in front of a wood fire on a chilly night may be coming to an end. More and more states are banning wood fires on specific days, citing public health concern. In the Los Angeles Basin alone, fireplaces are used in about 1.4 million of the 5 million households, producing on average 6 tons a day of particulate soot in the air basin. About 106 tons of fine particulate soot is emitted every day in the greater Los Angeles area. You can only imagine what the numbers are for the entire planet!
Numerous studies have linked fine particulate matter, which sinks deep into the lungs, to increased lung and respiratory problems. An estimated 5,000 premature deaths in the Los Angeles basin alone are linked to fine particulate exposure.
As a result wood burning fireplaces will be banned for all new homes and remodels in the L.A. basin. Many states in the U.S. already have regulations banning or limiting the use of wood fires.
In this sixth article of my series on the Green Home, I continue my conversation with Diana Zamudio, Owner and Founder of eco-6 design as we discuss eco-friendly fireplaces. Diana is a specialist in Green Design as well as Feng Shui and is the teacher for the Green Design Program at my West Coast Feng Shui Academy.
Q. I asked Diana what kinds of fireplaces she feel are the most eco-friendly?
A. After much research I found a wonderful company called Eco Smart. They have the most eco-friendly fireplaces and fire burners on the market today. Their fireplaces are run on Bio-Ethanol.
Q. What exactly is Bio-Ethanol?
A. Bio-Ethanol, or simply ethanol, is absolute alcohol. It is also called Methylated Spirits. It is a renewable energy source made by fermenting the sugar and starch components of plant by-products – mainly sugarcane and crops like grain, using yeast. It is also made from corn, potatoes, milk, rice, beetroot and recently grapes, banana and dates depending on the countries agricultural strength. Bio-Ethanol used to be controversial because it was made primarily from corn, but it has changed significantly and is now made from a variety of plant products.