Recycling Autumn Leaves As Eco-Fuel

Autumn brings a spectacular change in scenery to many of us with a rich variety of colours. Leaves that were once green turn to red, yellow and brown before falling from the trees and creating the unenviable chore of having to gather them up and throw them away.

Of course this is an unnecessary waste of a natural resource that could be recycled as a carbon neutral eco-fuel. For those people with an old-fashioned fireplace, stove, chiminea or firebowl you can take advantage of the seemingly endless amount of fallen leaves to stock up on fuel to last you through the winter.

You can simply throw the loose leaves onto the fire, but this could be messy and the fire will not burn for long or at a very high heat. You must also be careful to makes sure the leaves are dry otherwise you could end up with a lot of smoke - or even no fire at all. The simple answer to getting the most out of the fuel potential of the leaves is to get hold of a logmaker, which is a very simple tool that can turn those leaves into eco-logs.

Logmakers come in two types: dry ones and wet ones. Dry logmakers are used for dry leaves (you can use logmakers for other kinds of household and garden waste too if you wish). Wet logmakers are used for wet leaves or other waste. You simply have to put the material into the logmaker and compact it down to make a log. It will squeeze out any excess water, leaving you with a perfectly shaped log. They should be left to dry out before use. A perfect place to store them is somewhere cool and dry such as a garden shed, or a simple log store.

The eco-logs are essentially carbon neutral as long as you have gathered them up from your garden or somewhere else nearby. The amount of carbon that the leaves will emit when burnt is equal to the amount that they absorbed before they fell from the tree. Simply stated you cannot get a more eco-friendly fuel. There is also the added bonus of the fuel being free, and anything that can help spare a few pennies these days can't hurt.

Of course logmakers can be used to convert other household and garden waste materials into eco-fuel too, so you can make the most of them throughout the year to create your very own stove or chiminea fuel.

About the author

Simon Davies is an outdoor and eco-living enthusiast and write for Chiminea UK.

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