From the Montreal Gazette's green living column, Green Life, we read the recent piece, Falling out of Love with Fireplaces, by Michelle Lalonde. It's all about the environmental pollution caused by the wood burning appliances in our homes and the movement in Montreal to ban them...
Michelle expressed what she once thought, which was always our understanding, too: "I'd always known wood burning was a source of pollution, but I assumed industrial and transportation emissions were the real concerns in the city... But about 10 years ago, Montreal's public-health department started publishing some shocking studies revealing just how significant a pollution source wood burning is here on the island. One study showed that suburban neighbourhoods like Rivière des Prairies, where wood burning was a prevalent home-heating source, had poorer air quality than downtown Montreal, with all its traffic."
While the city of Montreal has proposed a by-law that would ban new installations of wood-burning appliances, local environmental groups want to do more to stop the pollution that is already occuring: These groups propose allowing seven years for residents with wood-burning stoves and fireplaces to replace, remove, or disable them.
This was eye-opening for us and made us begin to reconsider the appeal of the wood burning fireplace. Read the full story here. Photo: Peter Battistoni, Canwest News Service