We don't have access to piped natural gas, we have delivered bottles of gas but it's too expensive for us to use for heating so we rely solely on forest timber. Unlike natural gas, or electrical heating, timber is actually renewable. If a forest is managed properly and allowed to regenerate with new trees then the cycle just continues as it has done for thousands of years. The problem is that there are just too many of us in the Western world to make this a viable source of heating for everyone. Thankfully there are some great alternatives, as is the case with most things. I once read about thermal heating in apartments in eastern Europe where waste matter was used to generate heat. In China there was methane collection units at pig farms that heated houses for free! There is always a better option out there.
For us, as renters, we have to use firewood. And it's now the right time of the year to pack up the kids, head bush to the allocated coup and cut the felled tiber. It's hard work, thats for sure. A cuppa break is well deserved. Even by those not really working very hard.
For us, it's renewable forest timber. And one day, when I build our cabin house, the walls will be lined with insulation as will the roof. The house will be heated with a fireplace, which will also heat hot water service and thermal pipes will run through the house heating all the rooms making the most of the timber burnt.
It's hard work, this log cutting, but it's making the best use of my body whilst it's still working and I'm fit enough to work. After working a day on the saw I'm usually in bed early. I sleep well, I don't wake at 3am like I used to. I'm convinced that's what our bodies are designed for. Doing activities that give us a direct benefit. They (our bodies) seem to react well to physical activity rather than sitting at a desk under dim florescent lighting for 8 hours a day starring at a computer screen. That seems rather unnatural to me and I refuse to go back to it. Ever.