5 Eco-Friendly Fuel Alternatives To Coal

Coal has been a popular choice of fuel for centuries – but as concerns about the environmental impact of coal mining and burning grow, it’s time to consider more eco-friendly fuel sources. Whether you’re looking for fuel for a small wood burning stove, an open fire, or an outdoor chiminea, these eco-friendly alternatives to coal are easy to source, and are much better for the air and the environment.

Dry Wood

When it comes to the environment, using dry wood in your small wood burning stove will always trump burning coal. While coal mining and burning emits significant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, burning wood – provided it has been sufficiently dried – releases only carbon that has already been circulating, meaning no new carbon is being emitted.

Wood is also a renewable resource, provided that trees are replanted in sufficient quantities to replace the wood being used as fuel for your fire. As a result, burning dry wood is a much more eco-friendly fuel for your small wood stove in comparison to coal. Plus, burning dry wood instead of coal provides benefits for your health, your small stove, and for the air around you, too.

Eco Logs

Many fuel brands manufacture logs that burn easily and economically. These eco logs are made from recycled wood fibre, which, like dry wood, means that burning them doesn’t release any new carbon products into the atmosphere. It also means that no new trees have to be cut down to make them, either. Eco logs are made from compressed sawdust, which is left over from manufacturing processes, and this material would have otherwise gone to waste. If possible, it’s even better if you can source UK-made eco logs to minimise the carbon footprint of making and delivering the fuel for your small wood stove.

Eco logs come in many shapes and sizes, so you can choose the best logs for your tiny wood burner. If you use our Hobbit stove, Little Range or any other small wood burning stove, take a look at our reviews of the eco logs on offer. We’ve tried and tested them in our small wood stoves, so you can be sure to get a great burn from your eco-friendly fuels.

DIY Paper Bricks

If you want to go seriously off-grid, try your hand at making your own brick-shaped fuel sources from used newspapers. It’s a great way to make use of old newspapers without using the resources involved in recycling. As well as the newspaper, you’ll need a brick-maker – this one-time investment will mean you can make as many bricks as you need.

This tutorial simplifies the process – simply scrunch up your newspaper, soak it in water, and use your brick-maker to push the water out. Then leave the bricks to dry completely, until you have a compact, eco-friendly briquette that will burn well, with minimum spend and maximum green credentials. It’s more labour-intensive than buying ready-made fuel, so you’ll need to decide if the effort is worth the pay-off.

Sawdust Briquettes

If making your own bricks seems like overkill, you can also purchase briquettes which are similar in
shape, making them ideal for small stoves. Made from sawdust, they make use of previously used wood, meaning no new trees need to be cut down in order to create them. These
sawdust briquettes are made from alder and birch wood, both of which are highly suited to create a swift, high temperature burn.

Like the eco logs, we’ve conducted thorough tests of some sawdust briquettes, so you can see how well they’ll burn in a Hobbit stove.

Coffee Logs

For a highly innovative fuel solution, consider using logs made from recycled coffee grounds. It’s a great way to avoid using wood or fossil fuels, and to use up materials that would otherwise go to waste. While the burn from these logs may not last as long as some of the other options here, their eco credentials more than make up for it. And the best part? They actually smell of coffee while they’re burning

Innovators have also found ways to turn other food waste products into fuel, including banana skins and sugar cane. Some folk also swear by the use of horse manure as a fuel source for their stoves (it doesn’t give off any kind of smell when burned, but it does need to be collected and dried out before use – so it may not be the most attractive or practical solution). Not all of these fuel sources are widely available in the UK yet, but we’re excited to see more and more innovative ideas like these come to the fore.

There are tons of fuel solutions available that are better for the environment, as well as for your small wood burning stove. The carbon footprint of most of these eco-friendly fuels is minimal, while creosote and soot emissions are also much lower than with coal. Take a look at the fuel we stock for optimal use with our Hobbit stoves and Little Range cook stoves.

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Our Hobbit Stove Has Been Fitted!

"We had a Hobbit stove fitted this week by Alex Reay from Flues and Fires, and I just wanted to get in touch to say it is AMAZING and we love it! We have a lovely cast iron tiled fireplace which I was desperate not to lose when we installed a small wood burning stove, but until I found the Hobbit on Google, everyone told me it would be impossible to keep the fire surround. The Hobbit is perfect - not only does it fit very snugly, but it looks fantastic and the blue door complements the tiles very nicely. We are sitting enjoying a fire now and absolutely loving it! Thanks for creating such an amazing product."

Nicola Williams

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

The Best Stove Ever!

"It’s the best stove ever! It’s easy to light, very efficient, burns anthracite and stays in overnight (ours has been in for three weeks now). It even keeps a kettle of water at the ready for a cuppa! What more can I say, we love it! Just the thing to make our Yorkshire home cosy, and the cat loves it too!"

Lynn and Andrew, West Yorkshire

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

First Small Stove Installation

Was looking for a small stove for my first self-install. Found Mark very helpful. Knowledgeable, friendly service. Stove burns well and generates lots more heat than the previous open fire. What is not to like?

Sam

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

A Huge Thank You!

"Dear Mark and Gill, a huge thank you for designing and making the Hobbit stove! We had two different London-based fireplace companies tell us that we simply had to knock out the old cast iron and tile fireplace to fit in a woodburning stove, and that there was no other option! Then we found you online. We are delighted with our little Hobbit, which swallows up logs and kicks out a good amount of heat. Perfect for the winter! I will also be writing to the London-based fireplace companies to put the Hobbit on their radar. Best wishes."

Nat

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Delighted With Our Hobbit Stove!

"Mark, Gill, thank you for your assistance, we are delighted with our Hobbit! I fired it up this evening after taking all afternoon making a register plate to fit the opening."

Alan

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

It's Brilliant!

"Hi Mark, here's a photo of the Hobbit installed in my Yorkist grate. It’s brilliant! It also throws out a lot more heat than the grate did."

Roger T

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Just to Say Thank You!

"I just had a chat with Gill saying how delighted we are with our little Hobbit stove, and to also thank you both for your attention to detail and excellent customer service!"

Derrick

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

The Little Hobbit Has Stepped Up To The Challenge!

"We just wanted to say how impressed and how much of a life saver our little Hobbit has been! It was fitted a few months ago in our holiday home in Rhu, Scotland, which is a large open plan conversion in a Victorian house. This weekend our boiler decided it was not going to play ball. The little Hobbit has stepped up to the challenge, providing heat to a very large area, about twenty eight foot by twenty four foot with a high ceiling of about eighteen foot, keeping the room reasonably warm, warm enough for us not to use cardigans!”

Alan W

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Very Pleased With Our Hobbit!

"We are very pleased with the stove and think it looks great! We restored our fireplace (it was hidden under plaster!) and the whole look is better than we hoped!"

Neil

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Absolutely Delighted!

"Just had our Hobbit SE installed in our Victorian fireplace and we are absolutely delighted with the end result. We felt passionate about preserving our lovely fireplace!"

Andy

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Our Pride And Joy!

"What a fantastic fireplace with the beautiful Hobbit stove. It fits perfectly into the small space and throws out a lot of heat. Here's a photo of our little stove, now our pride and joy and much admired by all who see and feel the warmth."

Chris and C

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Fantastic!

"Just to bid you all a Happy New Year and to say how much we’re enjoying having our Hobbit stove! It was easy to fit with the help of your excellent ‘how to’ videos and we’re just awaiting our inspection by building control for the certification. The Hobbit has fitted neatly into the hearth vacated by the old gas back boiler (with a little cosmetic rendering) and never ceases to surprise us how much heat it can deliver to the point that the new condenser boiler is having an easy life, thereby saving us on gas bills too! Everyone loves having a ‘real fire’ in the living room."

Philip Baird

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

A Brilliant Little Wood Burner!

"The stove we bought from you is really starting to come into its own as the weather cools down. Here is a photo showing how much one of our dogs is enjoying it!"

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Brilliant Product!

"Just wanted to share a picture of our newly installed Hobbit. Absolutely delighted with it, and so pleased we were able to retain our existing fireplace as well. Brilliant product, thank you!"

Marion

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