- Newspaper or Phone Book Paper (ripped from the spine)
- 5 Gallon Bucket
- Wooden Dowel
- String (optional)
When living in the city or suburban areas of the country, firewood can be hard to come by or shockingly expensive. Why not save some green and use what the city has a surplus of for your emergency heating and cooking – newspaper and phonebooks. Suburban Firewood (my nickname for Rolled Newspaper Logs) is a wonderfully inexpensive alternative as a fuel source. These babies will burn for about 15-20 minutes each, you can make them yourself and the best part is they are practically free.
Step One: Collect
Collect all the newspaper and phone books you can get your hands on. Many stores have newspaper recycling bins close by. Just make sure you talk to the manager before you go dumpster diving (no arrests here!) Become the hoarder you never thought you had inside of you! Just stash those newspapers like your life depended on it.
Step Two: Soak
Fill up a bucket with water and soak your newspaper and phonebook pages in the water for at least an hour.
Some people will tell you that you need to soak the newspaper overnight and I’ve found that to be unnecessary. It ain’t getting any wetter.
Step Three: Drain and Roll
Drain the water from the bucket and pull out the newspaper. Get a wooden rod of some sort (in my photos I’m using the handle of my mobile washer) and lay out sheets of newspaper about 6-8 sheets at a time overlaying each other. Roll them up using the dowel while pushing down firmly. Continue adding newspaper and rolling until your rolls are anywhere from 2-6 inches in diameter.
Step Four: Remove Dowel and Tie
Once you’ve reached your desired thickness, remove the dowel from the newly rolled newspaper log. If you would like you can use some sort of string to keep your rolls tight as they dry over the next several days. If not, just dry them with the seam facing down so they don’t unroll on you.
When you use your Suburban Firewood, use it as you would use a wooden log. Because it is so dense the paper won’t light up quickly on its own. You’ll still need to use a fire starter/kindling of some sort to get the fire going. If you don’t use the dowel to create the hole throughout your Suburban Firewood logs, you’ll find the logs ineffective. They will char easier and give off less heat/energy.
So no more excuses for not storing some sort of fuel based on your location. Now you can with your homemade Suburban Firewood.