Sustainable living is no longer a buzzword; today it’s a way of life. People have openly embraced the concept of reusing and recycling. Natural household cleaners have replaced harsh chemicals. Clothing manufactured from sustainable sources can be found in people’s wardrobes the world over and offices the world over have committed to being 100% paper free.
This emphasis on sustainability is here to stay. An article published by Forbes in February 2020 outlined that retailers will ‘get serious about sustainability’ in 2020. According to Business Insider, quoting findings from leading data provider Nielsen, the US sustainability market is set to reach $150 billion by the year 2021.
Need further evidence of the daily impact of sustainability? Well, you only need to take a trip to your local supermarket to experience the sustainable ethos. Consumers stuff their pockets with reusable plastic bags, tipping them into the trolley as they pick up weekly essentials. Polypropylene or ‘green’ bags are abundant as are canvas bags with funky designs!
So, what does sustainability have to do with wood burning or multifuel fireplaces? You might be surprised to discover that because wood ash is rich in minerals like calcium carbonate and potassium there are all sorts of ways that it can be reused around the house and in the garden.
Interested in learning more? Check out how you can easily recycle fireplace ash.
Clean the Glass on Your Wood Burner
As anyone with a wood burning or multi-fuel stove will tell you, when used over time the stove glass faceplate becomes discoloured, especially with the excessive smoke created when burning unseasoned wood. Soot, tar, and smoke settle inside the flue system and on the glass.
As unsightly as this is, taking a wet rag and soap to the glass and wiping dark marks away won’t clean the faceplate. But, you know what will – ash. Simply moisten a cloth or newspaper, dip in into ash residue and wipe the inside of your wood burner.
The ash acts as a mild abrasive. Watch as soot, tar, and smoke stains peel from the inside of your glass faceplate, leaving clean glass.
Healthy plants need plenty of the trace elements found in ash to bloom. Ash is a natural alkaline and it will naturally increase the PH levels of your soil. This helps gardeners to grow plants like lavender and honeysuckle which may struggle to thrive in more acidic soils.
Lavender and honeysuckle attract bees who will collect the pollen from flowers and carry it to other flowers. This cross-pollination is paramount to create a vibrant garden, allowing flowers to produce more seeds.
Better still, if you have problems with slugs and snails, sprinkling ash at the base of your plants will deter these pests from nibbling away at your garden and is a much better solution than using toxic pesticides.
Melt Driveway Ice
Depending on the firewood you use, wood burning, and multi-fuel stoves produce a fair amount of ash. EPA-certified stoves are cleaner and more efficient than traditional wood-burning fireplaces which use more wood and emit harmful toxins. Whether you use an open fireplace or stove, you can rest-assured that you collect ash to some extent.
Don’t toss ash in the rubbish bin. Ash from any wood burning stove or open fireplace can be strewn across driveways to increase traction on slippery ice. This is great in the winter when plummeting temperatures and moisture can create an abundance of ice, making your driveway safer to walk across or drive into and out of.
Like salt, ash is high in potassium and will melt ice, improving the grip of the sole of your shoes or the rubber of your tyres. Best of all, in high winds, excess ash will be blown into soil, helping your garden ecosystem to flourish in the spring, before eventually disappearing.
In addition to being high in potassium and a strong alkaline, ash is also hygroscopic, in other words it’s good at absorbing moisture from the air. Why is this important? Well, ash will dehumidify any environment with ease.
Rather than spend money on air freshers or that plug-in Glade, you can place a small bowl of ash in a musty smelling utility room or closet. It will suck the excess moisture from the air, removing any unpleasant aromas.
Just a word of advice, it’s a good idea to keep ash in the corner of room or closet – you don’t want to walk in and accidentally tip the bowl over – but it really works! Give it a try, you’ll be surprised by the results!
So, there you have it. Four ways that you can recycle fireplace ash. The next time that you tidy the interior cavity of a wood burning or multi-fuel stove or an open fireplace, don’t tip excess ash into the bin. Keep it safe. It’ll come in handy.
For a great selection of firewood for stoves, take some time to browse our products. If you have any questions, feel free to call us on 0333 300 1299.