Energy costs are increasing, making it harder for people to heat their homes affordably. Lowering the thermastat is one way to save money, and supplementing heat with a fireplace is another. You can use that fireplace to save even more money if you make your own fire logs.
Old newspapers and junkmail are always piling up in a corner. Instead of just throwing them away you could convert them into fire logs. There are different ways to this and people report different degrees of success.
Making fire logs is not a new concept but it’s one of those old-fashioned ways to save money that many have forgotten about. Those who have tried it report that these homemade logs are excellent companion logs. They are not good as a primary fire sources, but work well with other logs to help a fire burn longer. Here are a few methods that you could try.
Shredded Paper Log
This method works best if you have log maker. It is a form shaped like a brick and makes it easy to squeeze the water out of the paper.
- Shred the paper.
- Soak the paper.
- Pack the wet paper into the log mold.
- Press and squeeze the water out.
- Remove the paper brick.
- Let dry for several days.
Broomstick Paper Log
There is nothing to buy with this method but it does require a bucket, rubber mallet, and one inch thick dowel.
- Place three to four folded newspapers in a bucket of water for a day or two.
- Remove newspaper from water.
- Place on hard surface.
- Use mallet to hit and mash the paper.
- Flip the paper and mash again.
- Roll the paper around the dowel.
- Squeeze out the water as you roll.
- Press the ends when done so that they do not unravel.
- Remove log from dowel.
- Dry in the sun for about a day.
- If there is no sun it could take a couple weeks to dry.
Other options for this method are to sprinkle coffee grounds on the paper and then roll it. The coffee grounds apparently give off more heat. If you like the crackling sounds of a fire add pine needles to the log.
If you are worried about pollution produced from wood products, there are alternatives. For example, you can buy logs made with sawdust and wax. This type of log expels less harmful emissions than wood. Or you can make your own logs using coffee grounds and natural waxes. These logs emit less creosote and carbon dioxide. Making a coffee ground log is similar to the paper logs. You will need coffee grounds, bread pan, wax and molasses.
- Fill bottom of bread pan with molasses.
- Add two and a half candles.
- Put in oven at 260 degrees for until wax melted (about 25 to 30 minutes).
- Stir in dry coffee grounds (about five heaping tablespoons).
- Press into a solid form with foil or wax paper.
- Dry overnight or place in freezer for one hour.
- Cut around the edges with a knife, turn pan upside, and bang until it releases.
You can save money this winter by making your own fire logs or purchasing eco-friendly and economical choices. Have the kids help make these homemade logs and keep them close to the fireplace to supplement your heating needs.