Burning junk mail for heat

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Since some of us are in areas which wood is not easily accessible, wood saving junk mail and using that to burn be something to consider. Old newspapers also, for I read somewhere that rolling newspapers up tight can burn for a good length of time.


-- Alan Mostert (alanmos@yahoo.com), September 12, 1998


I have seen newspaper rolling machines at thrift stores and in catalogues, they were popular in the 70's when we went through the "energy" crises. You must receive a significant amount of junk mail to use it as fuel. You could also use magazines by rolling them tightly and tie them with twine. The most important factor though is the efficiency of your fireplace. Wood burning fireplaces are not energy efficient. They suck most of the warm air right out the chimney. I would invest in wool sweaters, sweat pants, quilts, etc. and a kerosene heater. Just make sure you have plenty of ventilation.

-- Bardou (bardou@baloney.com), September 12, 1998.

Well Alan I can't say a whole lot about paper for heat from experience (I bet it'll work), but newspaper for cooking is absolutely feasible (don't laugh!)

Remember a couple of years ago, you saw those ads on TV for the newspaper-burning grills? Well, I've done a right good amount of weeks-long camping, and have bought equipment necessary for such over the years (thank goodness -- fair degree of preparedness before even thinking about Y2K) -- got one of those newspaper grills a couple of years back at the local Wal-Mart, complete with the authentic and genuine "As Seen on TV" sticker, yessirreebuddy.

And I'm here to tell ya, the thing works like a charm, and folds up for storage just like George Jetson's hovercar/briefcase. And since becoming Y2K-aware, you'd best believe I've been saving every single newspaper that hits that doorstep! (Sorry, county recycling.) Seriously, the thing cooks better-tasting hamburgers than any grill I've ever seen, when used with aluminum foil wrapping. And burns nothing but newspaper. No joke. It, and a BIG pile of newspaper, are definitely on my short list of 'things to have around for 1-1-2000.' (Not to mention the long list.)

A thought about burning paper for heat -- of course you've all heard about paper being recycled and compressed into material for fence posts and the like. That goes on at a company right here in this little burg, even. If that's a feasible, proven technology, then certainly paper for heat can be done. I wonder if newspaper/junk mail paper can somehow be run through regular home trash compactors to be made into 'paper logs'....

-- John Howard (pcdir@prodigy.net), September 13, 1998.

In another thread, someone gave this address for the LDS Emergency Preparedness Manual. It actually contains information on how to "roll your own" newspaper logs.


-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), September 13, 1998.

I think that you would find that burning magazines would result in a lot of ash, as magazine paper has a lot of inert filler - I believe that it is fuller's earth, a kind of clay, that makes the paper shiny and stiffer. Try throwing a few pages of magazines in your fireplace and you will see that it leaves a lot of residue compared to newspaper. <<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>..........

-- Dan Hunt (dhunt@hostscorp.com), September 14, 1998.

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