Be eco-friendly with these tips for a smoke-free campfire

New Delhi: Celebrated on January 13 every year, Lohri, also called ‘Magi’, is a popular winter folk festival in which people prepare to light a bonfire, swirl around it singing folk songs and making popping sesame seeds, popcorn and rewaris.

The harvest festival of India, Lohri, holds special significance among farmers as they give thanks to the almighty for a bountiful harvest of crops and forth on occasion. The festival is also believed to mark the passing of the winter solstice.

Before Lohri arrives, markets fill with traditional aromatic winter delicacies like gajak, peanuts and popcorn. The atmosphere becomes completely joyous when everyone dances to the rhythm of the dhol and dives into the delicious feast served.

Although due to the outbreak of COVID-19 the festivities will not be observed on a large scale, people will supplement the rituals by celebrating with private bonfires in their homes.

The bonfire is undoubtedly the main part of the Lohri celebration which comes during the freezing winter month of January, but have you ever had an uncomfortable experience of having smoke blow into your eyes? We’ve all had it! This is not only dangerous for our health but also for the environment. The process of starting a fire involves science, and to understand the many ways to build a smokeless fire, one must break down the elements of a fire.

Don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips for a chemically sustainable, healthy and smokeless bonfire this Lohri.

1. Avoid Carbon Fuels

Fire smoke forms when there is not enough oxygen to burn the fuel. When we use paper or wood as fuel, smoke occurs because these materials also contain water, carbon, ash and other organic compounds. The solution is to use better fuel, which is not wet or contains only carbon. Examples include charcoal or dry wood.

2. Avoid adding too much fuel

Smokeless fires take less time to ignite and they burn longer. Do not continue to add fuel to the fire as this will lengthen the fire ignition process.

3. Do not burn debris or water-intensive items

Avoid throwing too many gajak, popcorns and peanuts into your fire while swirling around. These are some of the water-guzzling items that could set off smoke on the bonfire (only if added too much).

4. Ethanol fireplace

If you are someone looking for more eco-friendly smokeless fire options, then an ethanol fireplace is the best choice you can go for. Ethanol is an environmentally friendly biofuel. It does not produce an irritating smell like some other fire burning chemicals.

5. Allow airflow

Hard coal and coke (about 90% carbon) are also the types of fuels that can be used for smokeless fires. When building a fire pit, be sure to leave the front of the fire open to allow oxygen to enter the circle of fire. Use dry weed as a base and light it up. Add smaller pieces of seasoned wood or smokeless fuel of your choice.

Indeed, nothing like relaxing in front of an outdoor fireplace. Whether you are celebrating Lohri or want to enjoy a peaceful evening in this freezing winter weather, a bonfire is guaranteed to enhance your experience.

So try these helpful tips for a smokeless fire and minimize the amount of smoke that gets in the way of your haunting ambience.

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Posted: Thursday January 13th 2022, 07:49 IST

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