Cover Image
close this bookIdeas for Action : Save, Recycle and Do Not Pollute (IIRR, 1992, 146 p.)
close this folderIntroduction
View the documentWorkshop to produce an information kit on the ideas for action
View the documentParticipants
View the documentSave, recycle and do not polute: basic principles of ideas for action
close this folderConserving resources
View the documentEnvironment-friendly and energy-saving tips in the office
View the documentEnergy-saving actions for the home
View the documentCar care for the environment
View the documentAlternative transportation
View the documentWater power
View the documentCoastal resources conservation
View the documentEnvironment-friendly aquaculture
View the documentSoil and water conservation in upland farms
View the documentWater conservation in lowland farms
View the documentWater conservation in farm households
View the documentWater conservation at home and in the workplace
View the documentSave trees for our survival
View the documentEnvironment-friendly use of firewood
View the documentMaking a haybasket cooker
close this folderWildlife and habitat conservation
View the documentWhat not to do with wildlife
View the documentStop wildlife trade
View the documentMonitoring for the protection of wildlife
View the documentSpecial conservation campaigns for selected wildlife species
View the documentSaving an endangered endemic bird: the case of the black shama (copysychus cebuensis)
View the documentThe making of a sanctuary: the case of the olango wildlife sanctuary (lapu-lapu city, cebu)
View the documentCreation of habitat for birds in urban and rural areas
View the documentBird-watching tips
View the documentWays and reasons for documenting wildlife species and habitats
View the documentDeveloping awareness programs for youth on wildlife conservation
close this folderConsumer guides
View the documentGuide to environment-friendly shopping
View the documentCommonly used household-products which are dangerous and safer alternatives
View the documentEcotourism
View the documentGetting to know chlorofluorocarbons- (CFC) and their alternatives
View the documentHerbal medicines from nature (Department of Health-Approved)
close this folderEnvironmental action
View the documentHow to organize the community for environmental action
View the documentTaking action
View the documentCommunity vigilance for environmental protection
View the documentEnvironmentally-friendly school kids
View the documentCreation of a marine protected area
View the documentKnow the laws: report crimes against the environment!
View the documentEarthquake. preparedness
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close this folderRecycling/waste disposal
View the documentWhere to go to recycle in and around metro manila
View the documentProper solid waste management
close this folderPesticides
View the documentPesticide management in the home (In case you need to use these chemicals)
View the documentAlternatives to pesticides
View the documentKeeping chemicals out of your food
View the documentFood safety practices

Environment-friendly use of firewood

Environment-friendly use of firewood

Wood is the most widely used source of renewable biomass energy, with over half the wood cut each year being burned as home fuel (directly or as charcoal). Utilization of fuelwood or firewood contributes to deforestation, especially of mangroves/swamp and rural areas. Burning wood also adds to the build-up of greenhouse gases.

To be renewable, firewood must be regrown faster than it is harvested. Many developing countries are already experiencing severe wood shortages. To make firewood a sustainable energy source, it must be properly planted, managed and harvested. Firewood must also be properly prepared and dried for use.

Remember: Dry wood makes a difference in:

- lighting the fire;
- the amount of smoke produced;
- the time taken to boil water and cook food; and,
- the amount of wood use.

The drier the wood, the better it burns.
The better it burns, the less wood we need.
The less wood we need, the more trees we save.

Ways to utilize firewood with minimum environmental damage

· Gather fallen branches, twigs or dead trees, when possible, rather than cutting or felling live trees for firewood.

· Carefully harvest firewood from live trees. Cut correctly.

- Lopping is cutting the side branch off the trunk of a tree. Make two cuts, one from the top and one from the bottom of the branch to prevent tearing.

- Coppicing is cutting certain species of trees (e.g., ipil-ipil, acacia) down to a stump of 10-30 cm above ground. Make the cut clean and angled so new shoots can regrow. Coppicing should be done only on trees three to four meters high, with good root systems and only during the wet season.

- Pollarding is cutting the branches at the top of trees (only certain species like acacia). This method stimulates the growth of new, better-formed and more productive crown and reduces shade, allowing intercropping with short plants.

· Prepare firewood properly. Cut the log into equal short pieces (20-25 cm long). Split the logs into smaller, thinner pieces to increase the exposed surface area for faster drying. Dry firewood burns better.

- To prevent back injury: Cut big logs with a saw on an elevated stool. Split logs with an axe on a block.

· Dry cut firewood thoroughly, i.e., allow enough time for drying before using.

Stack them neatly to dry under a shed.

- It helps to have an elevated wood pile with three sections. Wet firewoods go into the first section, are transferred to the next as they get drier and are used up in last section. A layer of wood ash on the ground prevents insects from attacking the firewood.

· Use efficient wood stoves. Practice efficient cooking habits (e.g., cook in large rather than small amounts, several rather than single items).

· Plant firewood species preferably on lands also used for food production or lands not suitable for other uses.

· Try local alternatives to fuelwood: charcoal and DRY coconut husks, rice straws, corn stalks and driftwood.

· Do not clear forests for firewood. Firewood is renewable, but forests are not.

Utilize firewood with minimum environmental damage


Cooking to Conserve: Energy Conservation Lessons for Upper Primary School Home Science Classes. Bellerive Foundation, P.O. Box 42994, Nairobi, Kenya.

Ideas for Action:

A Technology Information Kit, November 23 - 28, 1992