Forget Kindling: Start Fires With Orange Peels

With the first day of Fall just around the corner, there are some parts of the country that have seen rather low nighttime temperatures. We're always ready to bid Summer farewell and welcome Fall (and all that goes with it) with open arms. Time to light the first fire in the fireplace? If so, turn to citrus peels instead of kindling!

Although you'll probably need a little supplemental help from another source, orange peels are perfect fire starters! The oil in the skin fuels the fires and in the process they release less creosote than traditional paper. It will keep your chimneys cleaner in the process and leave your home smelling like roasted oranges — take that Febreze!

Simply dry the peels on a sheet pan or cookie cooling rack, uncovered on your counter. Toss them in a brown paper bag with a stray silica packet to keep them fresh. You can add them to a mix of fire starters and give them as a gift to friends or just keep your own stash!

What do you do with your orange peels? Straight to the compost bin or do you give them a whirl around the house first? Let us know below!

Related: Etsy Find: Recycled Steel Fire Pits

(Image: Flickr member izak licensed for use by Creative Commons. Originally published 2010-09-24)