For today’s discourse, I will be referencing the image shown above. It is a label I ripped off a bundle of firewood I was forced to purchase on a trip to upstate NY. Forced, because the campground has rules against ‘importing’ firewood from anywhere other than the immediate area around camp (to prevent the spread of harmful insects and disease).
I have Photoshopped out the company name and website to sidestep any legalities. I will be focusing on the statements made, the symbols printed, the strange looking dude and lastly, the cat.
This is something I really have a to give the big ‘thumbs down’ to. And that is only because I am avoiding using harsher language in mixed company.
Is denuding the Estonian forest for firewood really necessary? Seems to me, we did the same thing here in the States and look where that has gotten us.
If you compile a list of the fossil fuel consuming devices needed to bring ‘premium mixed hardwood’ all the way from Estonia, on the European continent, to your local supermarket, then you would agree that ‘ecological’ is the last thing that could be applied to this product. Keep in mind that most of these machines are powered by a diesel engine. Diesel fuel is one of the dirtiest commonly used fossil fuels used today.
- The powerful machines used to cut and strip the tree of its branches, slice it into manageable logs and load onto a truck are straight out of a Dr. Seuss cartoon.
- The truck then moves the logs to a processing plant where they are ‘kiln dried and heat treated at 160 degrees F for 75 minutes’. Heat for the kiln? Most likely natural gas.
- The treated logs, now ‘virtually pest and mildew free (but not 100%) are cut into smaller lengths, split, wrapped in plastic, palletized, wrapped in plastic again and loaded into a shipping container. Plastic is derived from crude oil.
- The shipping container is trucked to a seaport and loaded onto a ship, which then makes it’s way across the ocean to the US, (fueled by Bunker C, which is even worse than diesel), where it is unloaded, put onto another truck, moved to a distribution center, loaded onto yet another truck and taken to your local market where it sits available for the consumer at about $6 a bundle.
And I may have missed a couple of loads/unloads there. The plastic wrapping goes into the landfill.
To be sure, I give a lot of credit to my local supermarket. The owner is a generous member of the community and having firewood for sale is one more service he does for his customers. No foul there.
But me thinks that, if he purchased the wood locally, from one of the many woodlots, or, if you, the consumer were to patronize the stacks that sit roadside in your neighborhood, it would go a long way towards reducing the worldwide carbon footprint. That, and you would be contributing your hard earned dollars to the local economy, including, at times, mine.
The Estonian forest would be better off for it, allowing the Estonian woodland creatures to hang around and get stoned, or whatever it is that they do in Estonia.
And why would you trust that shifty eyed guy on the label, smoking who-knows-what in that pipe, with a dead flower in his ancient hat, cradling a cat that is giving you the stink-eye, anyway?