Burning truth about firelogs, foam insulation and Tresemme

January 21, 2014

NMFSC_026_0116 firelogsMaybe it’s the defiant Montrealer in me, but I really don’t mind a -30 day as long as the sun is beaming down from its blue sky perch. Of course, it helps if you’re tucked warmly inside. Okay, maybe that doesn’t count as a true love of the cold, but I’ll take icy blue skies over a week of frigid rains any day. No matter what your take on winter, it’s prime time to tackle some cold-weather questions.

This week in Ecoholic, you’ll find a product guide to fire logs. I got some flack from an astute reader who was appalled that I could recommend compressed firelogs over good old locally cut wood. And you know what, he has a point, I never did address the local factor in this guide, but one thing I do know from government stats: compressed synthetic logs weirdly burn cleaner than plain cordwood. Sorry, it’s just the truth. Doesn’t make compressed logs uber green or local or affordable or even an option if you have a wood-fired furnace, but they do burn cleaner. At the end of the day though, neither compressed logs nor plain wood logs are permitted in areas where wood fires are banned because of winter smog concerns.

Most logs have ditched the petroleum wax and now use recycled content but it was surprisingly tough to find out what wax companies did use. Still waiting to here from Northland on that one.  In the meantime, check out this week’s log guide.

Also this week, I answered a question about spray foam insulation. Is it safe? Is healthy? Is it green if it saves you energy? Are they all created equal? You’ll get the complete lowdown…except, sadly, Walltite Eco never did get back to us about what kind of flame retardants they use in their Mike Holmes-endorsed foam insulation.  Kind of odd.

And finally, you’ll get the dirt on our Greenwasher of the Week: Tresemme Naturals. They’ve reformulated this one to ditch the sodium laureth sulfate but there are still plenty of other dodgy ingredients in here to make us question their ‘natural’ claims. For the red hot truth about all this and more, check out the full column in NOW.