To use or not to use firewood for cooking

The most widespread use of firewood is for cooking as evident from the number of rural households in the developing countries that use it regularly. The primary source of cooking energy comes from firewood, especially in Sub Saharan Africa, where it remains pre-dominant because of its accessibility, availability and affordability.

The popularity of firewood for domestic consumption is also quite high in many European countries like Denmark, and you can read more on Dkbrænde website of the biofuel retailer that caters to that country.

Accessibility

Accessibility of firewood is a crucial factor for rural households that do not have any alternative fuel supply for cooking purpose. In most rural areas, the lack of alternative fuel sources makes firewood more important because, in its absence, people might have to stop cooking altogether. Luckily, firewood is available around the year and households to collect it from some sources close to their homes.

Another good thing is that there is hardly any seasonal impact of the availability of firewood that remains more or less steady round the year. However, the picture is not the same everywhere, and there are places where people have to cover considerable distance and spend more labor and time to collect firewood as it happens in arid areas and even in semi-arid areas.

Affordability

To use or not to use firewood for cooking finally boils down to its affordability. In urban areas that have well-structured marketing networks firewood is still much cheaper than fossil fuels. In rural settings like in the African countries, many households get it free as they can directly collect it from the sources in exchange for labor and time without spending anything.

Even if it requires buying, households can buy it in small lots to match it with their needs and financial flexibility. But whatever might be the setting, firewood is by far the cheapest energy source which is much below the price of any other fuel.

Time tested fuel

Firewood has wide acceptability because of its use since ancient times as people know how effective it can be in producing fire for heating and cooking.  The fuel that has stood the test of times is now at the center of attraction as people are searching for sustainable and renewable energy sources that do not harm the environment.

Health and environmental impact of firewood

Although it is common for people to blame fuel for causing environmental and health hazards which is why firewood is a better option due to its carbon neutral properties, the fact is that any fuel is as bad or good as the technologies used for burning it. Emissions from firewood used on traditional stoves can be very high that can have a negative impact on health, especially causing breathing distress lung cancer, eye irritations and heart disease.

Therefore, it is not just enough to use firewood and expect clean combustion unless you use the right technologies and devices that help you achieve the goal. As far as environmental impact is concerned, use for firewood is no longer the reason for deforestation.

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