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RETHINKING GREEN

Better, cleaner burn

November 15, 2007|Nancy Yoshihara

Greenies will argue that it's best not to light the fireplace at all. But for those who can't resist, manufactured logs have evolved. Some use recycled materials, are petroleum-free and, compared with firewood, emit less carbon monoxide and particulates and leave fewer creosote deposits. The three fire logs below base their green credentials on third-party reviews.

Java-Log

Contents: Spent coffee grounds and vegetable wax.

Burn time: 2 to 3 hours.

Price: $3.49 for a 5-pound all-natural log; made in Canada.

Manufacturer's claim: 70% to 80% fewer emissions than burning wood; no chemical smell and little smoke; saves more than 20 million pounds of coffee waste a year from being dumped in landfills.

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Pine Mountain

Contents: The "all-natural" version is made up of recycled wood sawdust; wax from soybean, palm and pine tree oils; ground tree nut shells; and a bit of molasses for coloring.

Burn time: 2 to 3 hours.

Price: $3.29 for a 5-pound log; made in Canada.

Manufacturer's claim: 76% less particulate matter going up the chimney; 85% less carbon monoxide; 66% less creosote accumulation per hour of fire; 80% less ash residue; no chemical smell.

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Duraflame

Contents: The bio-wax log contains a blend of natural waxes and oils derived from organic material with recycled wood sawdust and nut shells.

Burn time: 3 to 4 hours.

Price: $2 to $3 for a 5-pound log; made in the U.S. and Canada.

Manufacturer's claim: Uses 80% fewer resources than burning wood (company says no tree has been cut down to make its fire logs); burns cleaner: 80% less fine particles, 75% less carbon monoxide; 90% less hazardous air pollutants.

-- Nancy Yoshihara

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