Design devotee blogs about cities, innovation, architecture and green building.
A happier, healthier hearth: Handmade and DIY fire starter alternatives
Avoiding chemical starter logs and gels but not in the mood to go out and gather pine needles? As fireplace season approaches, consider these fume-free fire starters as well as a few DIY options for craft-minded pyros.
Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 4:16 PM
Happy time-to-throw-a-bunch-of-wood-and-wadded-up-balls-of-newspaper-into-that-sooty-box-under-the-mantlepiece season! Whether using a wood-burning fireplace for heating purposes or strictly for the cozy ambiance, everyone has their own special technique when it comes to nurturing that tiny spark into a roaring blaze. Pinecones, palmetto leaves, and dried moss are always a highly flammable — and also free — way to go, but why hunt and gather for tinder when you're at home? Save it for camping!
Below are a few effective, chemical-free tinder and kindling options of the non-survival nature (so yes, you'll need fireplace matches). All are made in the U.S., most from recycled and non-toxic materials, and are appropriate for indoor wood-burning fireplaces. All are far easier to manage and less dangerous than using last week's Wall Street Journal. And if you happen to have a stockpile of sawdust and candle wax at home (because who doesn't?), check out the DIY fire starters tutorials at the bottom of the page
F-Bomb Firestarter by Shift Studios @ Etsy
Qwicklite @ KIOSK
($12/5 oz bag)
Fortune Fire Starters by FireStylers @ Etsy
($7/set of 3)
Light My Fire Mayan TinderSticks @ Amazon.com
($7.19 - 1 oz)
Here's a few recycling-minded do-it-yourself fire starter ideas that don't involve last week's USA Today. And if possible, swap out paraffin for soy whenever wax is called for.
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.