One of the types of air pollution that bothers me the most is caused by the needless burning of wood. The first issue is burning wood in a fireplace. Ironically, fireplaces often do little to heat a home. Although the radiant heat immediately next to the fireplace may make the immediate area warmer, the area more than a few feet away from the fireplace may be cooler than it otherwise would be due to air infiltration that the fire needs to feed the fire oxygen. Not only do they pollute the outdoors, but pollution inside the home is also made worse. Ironically, it is often difficult to find a home that does not have a wood-burning fireplace. Most homes, especially in urban areas, no longer require wood fuel to heat the home. It is time to eliminate wood fireplaces from new homes. The second issue is campfires. Campfires are typically built in an area where there are many other people who are also building campfires. The result is a severely polluted area that makes the area unhealthy and uncomfortable. I feel especially bad for the non-human animals that are forced to breathe the polluted air on a regular basis. These animals cannot escape the pollution when they return home. They already are home! Isn't it ironic that people "escape" from polluted cities only to experience even more polluted campgrounds? Campgrounds should encourage those desiring a warm evening fire to satisfy this need by other fuel sources such as stoves or firepits that run on natural gas. They could do this by providing a firepit that uses natural gas rather than one that uses wood. In this way, campers would only need to bring their own natural gas or rent one from the campground.
First published: September 8, 2020