Use less wood in your fireplace, burn paper instead!

Turn your existing paper into logs

We throw out a lot of paper everyday in the form of newspaper, writing paper, cardboard boxes, shredded documents and more. Taking all this paper to a recycling facility is great for the environment, but there is another way that you can recycle that paper and save money in the process. 

I am talking about turning all of the paper you would have ordinarily taken to the recycle center into paper "logs" that can be used in your fireplace, beach bonfire, or for a barbecue.  This saves you money because you do not have to buy as much wood or charcoal. 

In addition, if you are burning shredded paper (sensitive documents), you ensure that the information is completely destroyed.  Once the paper is burned, there is no way that anyone can tell what was on those papers.  Even if you throw your shredded paper into the trash or take it to a recycle center, there is a small chance that your important information can still be read. 

If this is something that interests you, there are basically two ways that you can do it.  You can either make a "dry" log or a "wet" log.  Each one has its advantages and disadvantages.  I will give you the primary differences as well as show you videos on how to create each.  Here we go...

How to create a wet paper log

In this process, you soak the paper in water before pressing the paper into the log mold. You soak the paper so that it sticks together better when pressed. 

As you will see in the video below, this can be very messy.  Bits of paper and water all over the place.  It may not be the best solution for people who live in an apartment. 

Of course, because the logs are wet, you have to dry the logs before you use them.  This can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending what kind of climate you live in.  If you live in a dry climate, creating usable logs can be a fairly quick process. 

The advantage is that the log burns longer because it is denser.  Some people claim that these logs can burn up to 2 hours. 

Here is the video on how to do it:

Demonstration of how to make a wet paper log

How to create a dry paper log

As you probably have guessed, when you make a dry log, there is no water involved.  This means that it is not as messy and you do not have to dry the logs out after you have created them. 

You use a mold to create the log shape and compact the paper into the mold as much as possible.  This leaves you with a log that is ready to use immediately. 

The only disadvantage is that dry logs don't burn as long.  I wasn't able to get a solid estimate on how long dry logs burn, but I'm pretty sure that it is less than an hour. 

Creating dry logs is great for people who do not have the space to soak the paper and dry the logs in their home.  Dry logs have the same benefits as wet logs, except you may need more of them to keep a fire going. 

Here is how you create a dry log:

Demonstration of how to make a dry paper log