Creative solutions can provide alternatives to harmful pollutants that affect the environment. One such sustainable and economical solution is to make leaves into fire logs. Leaves are very easy to burn, but it takes only a few seconds for them to completely burn out. Compact the leaves into a tight log-shaped form to give them a burn rate comparable to firewood. Design a compacting mould for your leaves to make your own homemade fire logs.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Dried leaves
- Garbage can
- 3 cups flour
- 3 cups cornstarch
- 12 cups water
- 1/4 cup salt
- Large bowl
- 6-inch-wide PVC pipe, 12 inches long
- Potato masher
Prepare your leaves for compaction. Mulch them with a blower/mulcher until they are chopped into small pieces.
Dump the leaf bag into a clean garbage can. Cover it. Continue mulching the leaves and collecting them in the container until all of your leaves are prepared.
Make the glue to hold the log together from the inside. Mix together equal amounts cornstarch and flour and then add double that amount in water. Stabilise and preserve the glue with a pinch of salt. For a garbage bag full of leaves, use 3 cups of cornstarch, 3 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of salt and 12 cups of water. Mix well, and set the glue aside.
Pour the mulched leaves in a large bowl. Toss them with the glue mixture, adding just enough to moisten the concoction.
Use as many 6-inch PVC pipe pieces cut to 12 inches long as you want at one time. If you want to make a batch of 10 logs, use 10 PVC moulds. Stand them upright on a work surface or tray, and line them with three layers of newspaper. Overlap the opened bottom of the mould with newspaper, as well.
Pack the leaves in the moulds. Keep the newspaper lining in place as you fill the PVC moulds with the leaf mixture. Use a potato masher, and your body weight, to force the leaves down into the mould. Continue to fill the mould and compact the leaves until the mould is full.
Place a layer of newspaper over the top of the fire log moulds and lay a weight on top, such as a 5-pound hand weight or a small can of paint. Allow the logs 24 hours to set in the mould.
Push the fire logs out of their moulds the next day, and carefully wrap and tie them with twine as they continue to dry and set. Once dry, light them in your fire place and enjoy them throughout the winter months.
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