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When In Doubt, BURN IT!!!

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Our family has always been a huge believer in the mantra:

"If it is dirty/ugly/useless/taking up too much space, then thou shalt burn the freaking thing."

We've burned couches, mattresses, sections of wall, old window frames, tons and tons of junk mail and ancient paperwork. We've burned old carpets, splintery old outbuildings, moldy clothes, you name it.

(We sort of make our living by cleaning up distressed properties and then reselling them, so our family has had a lot more mess to deal with than most.)

Sometimes it gets out of hand... my Dad burned my mother's entire video collection once while cleaning some drawers out. But mostly fire is cleansing, liberating, and FUN.

Any other pyro cleaners out there?
post #2 of 53
Sounds very therapeutic, but yikes! What about the toxic gasses being released into the atmosphere?:
post #3 of 53
I've never burned anything on purpose besides candles, firewood and marshmellows.

My uncle accidentally burned my pajamas once when I spent the night at my grandparents and my PJs were in a paper bag. The smell was awful. I can't imagine burning a whole couch.
post #4 of 53
It certainly sounds fun, but at least in Europe burning trash of all kinds (including furniture) is strictly prohibited.
post #5 of 53
Yeah, we can't burn stuff here either... except for having a campfire in non fire ban season, or a wood home heating type fire... don't think burning mattresses etc would pass for either of those!
post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathansmum View Post
Sounds very therapeutic, but yikes! What about the toxic gasses being released into the atmosphere?:
That. Exactly.
Theres's someone in my area who burns things that smell like they can't be healthy to breathe (furniture, etc.), and it really burns me up.

It's also illegal, but I'm not much of a police-caller. Yet.


alsoSarah
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathansmum View Post
Sounds very therapeutic, but yikes! What about the toxic gasses being released into the atmosphere?:



no kidding. What kind of hippie are you, LOL? You really should reconsider how you dispose of things in such a toxic way.
post #8 of 53
reading the op actually gave me the beginning of a head ache (but I'm suggestable like that).

OP - please don't burn things like VHS tapes - that is putting poison into the air for all of us and our babies to breathe.
post #9 of 53
Burning garbage is illegal here too and for good reason.
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippie Mama in MI View Post
Our family has always been a huge believer in the mantra:

"If it is dirty/ugly/useless/taking up too much space, then thou shalt burn the freaking thing."

We've burned couches, mattresses, sections of wall, old window frames, tons and tons of junk mail and ancient paperwork. We've burned old carpets, splintery old outbuildings, moldy clothes, you name it.

(We sort of make our living by cleaning up distressed properties and then reselling them, so our family has had a lot more mess to deal with than most.)

Sometimes it gets out of hand... my Dad burned my mother's entire video collection once while cleaning some drawers out. But mostly fire is cleansing, liberating, and FUN.

Any other pyro cleaners out there?

I worry about the paint on the old walls and the carpets - so many of them are synthetic. Doesn't burning that stuff give you a headache at the time?
post #11 of 53
We use a woodburner to heat our water & home, but we only burn wood, paper, and cardboard.

Burning all that other stuff is NOT good for the enviroment. :
post #12 of 53
When I was growing up, we had neighbors who used to burn all their garbage rather than paying for curb-side service. To give an idea of the area we lived in, it was the far back end of a gated community, but one that was mostly built in the 60's/70's. So there were big lots (.3 to .5 acre), some green belt, no HOA, and nothing much besides woods behind our neighborhood, but still plenty of houses in the immediate area. Not really "the country" or anything, but not like the housing developments these days. Just a little spot of suburbia in the middle of the woods.

The whole neighborhood (about 15 houses on our street) would be forced to breath the caustic smoke for a couple hours at least once a week. Even back then (mid 80's) when there really was no green/sustainable living movement, I remember thinking about how much crap was going into the air just from that one lazy family. And I was only 10.

Call me crazy, but even if a landfill isn't the perfect solution, I thought most people still knew better than to burn their trash by now, let alone advocate it on a sustainable living forum. :


Serendipity
post #13 of 53
After my grandmother burned down our kitchen as a child (twice lol)Im scared to burn anything
post #14 of 53
That sounds like *such* a bad idea...
post #15 of 53
OP - I have burnt some things before. Mainly, paper items. I had a little bonfire of my old journals and paperwork and that sort of thing. It was indeed quite liberating! So for paper... and purely wooden (untreated) items I would say go for it! Especially if it's a once-in-a-while thing.

As for the other things... I agree that perhaps there might be a better way of getting rid of those things than burning them! You certainly have the right idea; the element of fire IS cleansing. It seems like you're totally in tune with the destruction/liberation/creation aspect of things. But perhaps you could try to use the element of fire *symbolically* instead of literally? For example, I always light a candle when I'm de-cluttering. I always want the element of fire PRESENT. It clears the energy the same way, I've found, and there's less mess (and smell) to clean up at the end.
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineMama View Post
For example, I always light a candle when I'm de-cluttering. I always want the element of fire PRESENT. It clears the energy the same way, I've found, and there's less mess (and smell) to clean up at the end.
What a great idea!
post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serrendipity View Post

Call me crazy, but even if a landfill isn't the perfect solution, I thought most people still knew better than to burn their trash by now, let alone advocate it on a sustainable living forum. :
Um... :

Really bad idea.
post #18 of 53
We live in town so we cant burn anything at all, but my parents live in the country and they burn their paper stuff and sticks and leaves but NEVER furniture or VHS tapes! Thats just horrible!! They also haul the rest of the trash to a land fill and only burn paper, cardboard. . ETC. . You really should check with your laws in your town about what you can burn and cant.
post #19 of 53
Oooh, please don't do that!

All environmental concerns aside...we have a neighbor who burns trash and it freaking reeks. We have to close all our windows when they burn, and they usually choose really nice days to burn.

But yeah, I think you should find another way to dispose of your trash.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineMama View Post
OP - I have burnt some things before. Mainly, paper items. I had a little bonfire of my old journals and paperwork and that sort of thing. It was indeed quite liberating! So for paper... and purely wooden (untreated) items I would say go for it! Especially if it's a once-in-a-while thing.

As for the other things... I agree that perhaps there might be a better way of getting rid of those things than burning them! You certainly have the right idea; the element of fire IS cleansing. It seems like you're totally in tune with the destruction/liberation/creation aspect of things. But perhaps you could try to use the element of fire *symbolically* instead of literally? For example, I always light a candle when I'm de-cluttering. I always want the element of fire PRESENT. It clears the energy the same way, I've found, and there's less mess (and smell) to clean up at the end.
I'd be so afraid of accidentally starting a fire if I had a candle burning in a room where I was yanking out random papers, blankets, etc to go through them!
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