Living off the grid means that you will likely heat your home with firewood during the winter. Although firewood is not that expensive to buy, but there are several ways of getting firewood for free. The main reason why you should consider getting firewood for free is to reduce your overall costs of living, in the long run, the cost of the firewood can add up extremely fast, especially if you are constantly cooking and heating your home.
There are a lot of ways on how you can get free firewood, all you need to do is to think outside the box. Businesses that tend to use a lot of wood are an excellent place to start looking for free firewood. In addition to this local groups on social media are also a good place to find free firewood. On the other hand, if you want to make some extra money and also get free firewood then you should think of offering a tree trimming service.
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There are some areas in the country where getting firewood is not that simple, although this mostly depends on your geographical location. There are plenty of people and businesses which simply throw away wood after they are done with their project, and for the most part, they will be more than happy to give you the firewood as long as you get it off their property. As a general rule when looking for free stuff, you should always ask the owners before you do anything.
In areas where recycling guidelines are strict, most businesses will have to pay another company to remove the excess wood which they have at the site. By politely asking them if they need the excess wood and if they will allow you to take the firewood you will save a lot of money. After all, living off the grid or in a homestead has to be done as cheaply as possible, most people who live off the grid tend to count every penny, which is how it should be.
There are plenty of options for getting firewood for free, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that every type of wood is good for burning. For the most part, wood that has been treated with some kind of chemicals is not good for burning, no matter if you want to cook or heat your home, for more information about what types of firewood are toxic check out my recent article What wood is toxic to burn ( Top 13 ).
Acquiring free firewood can be a cost-effective and sustainable way to keep your home warm and cozy during the colder months. Whether you’re looking to reduce expenses or embrace a more environmentally friendly approach, there are various sources for obtaining free firewood. From fallen trees and storm debris to local tree trimming services and community initiatives, opportunities for accessing free firewood abound. Additionally, connecting with neighbors, friends, or online platforms dedicated to firewood exchange or giveaways can lead to valuable resources. However, it’s important to ensure the obtained firewood is properly seasoned and safe for burning.
1. Social Media Groups
You heard it right, one of the best places to get free firewood is from social media. The best part about using social media to get free firewood is that you will not have to travel a long distance to get it, thus reducing the costs of transportation. Even if you are not a fan of social media you should still use them, as you can easily find groups in your location. Oftentimes members of these groups will post offers of free firewood as long as you get it off their property.
In addition to this, you can also use websites like Craigslist, usually, people who renovated will have a lot of extra wood which has to be removed from the property. You have to keep an eye out on these social media groups and websites as offers like free firewood do not last that long, everybody wants free stuff. If you also want some good smelling firewood then check out my recent article Best smelling firewood ( Top 13 ).
2. Cutting Down Dead Trees
There are a lot of reasons why some trees simply die off, and if they are not cut down in time they could be fairly dangerous. If you find a dead tree which is in the public space then you have to ask permission from the local authorities to cut it down. On the other hand, if the dead tree is on private property then you have to ask the owner for permission to cut it down. Usually, homeowners who have a dead tree on their property will be more than glad to let you cut down one of the dead trees as long as you take the wood with you.
In addition to this, if you live in a remote area then you will have a lot easier time finding a couple of dead trees, although you should still ask the local authorities for permission. As a general rule, do not cut down dying trees, as they might be just injured and they’re slowly recovering. On the other hand, if there are clear signs that the tree will not be able to make it then go for it. If you want to check out a good off grid state then take a look at my recent article Off grid living in Texas ( The Lone Star State ).
3. Landscape Companies
Most landscape companies will have a lot of excess wood which is excellent for firewood. For the most part, these companies do not have a problem getting rid of their excess wood, although in the case of larger projects, they will definitely need some help. You can easily find a list of landscaping companies in your area on Google, just give them a call and see if they have any excess wood which you can use as firewood.
Do note that oftentimes these companies will have wood that contains pests or harmful chemicals, as a general rule you have to sort out what wood is good for use as firewood and the ones that have to be simply thrown away.
4. Trimming Trees
If you offer a service for trimming trees you not only will get firewood for free but you will also be paid for the work which you are doing. This is a win-win situation, so head out in the neighborhood and ask around if somebody needs their trees trimmed. In areas where there are a lot of older trees, you can make a lot of money and have as much firewood as you need.
5. Construction Sites
Construction sites tend to use a lot of wood, and for the most part, they tend to use hardwood. After a construction company has finished the project they will simply throw away all the excess wood, as they rarely reuse them. No matter how large or small the construction site is they will still have some wood which they want to get rid of. Simply visit a couple of these construction sites and ask them if you can take the free firewood.
6. National Forests
National forests tend to have a good clean-up every year, usually, this means that there is a lot of firewood that can be easily used. For the most part, the local authorities will have no problem selling the firewood, although in most cases you will need to pay a small fee per firewood cord. On the other hand, if the local authorities have way too much wood, and they’re not able to store them due to a lack of space you might get lucky and get as much firewood as you want for free.
7. Collecting Firewood From The Side Of The Road
Generally speaking, it is illegal to pick up firewood from the side of the road, although if you have the permission of the local authorities or from the landowner then you can easily get a lot of firewood. Although firewood which is found on the side of the road is not ideal for burning due to several reasons, but for the most part it is still better than nothing. Just make sure to ask permission from the forest service office.
8. Cleaning Up After A Storm
One of the best ways to get a lot of free firewood is to clean up after a storm, especially if the storm was fairly powerful. A lot of dead trees will fall during the storm and these are excellent as firewood as long as they are fairly dry. Just keep in mind that if you want to pick up and gather firewood after a storm you will have to ask permission from the forest service office if it is in a public space and from the landowners if it is on private land.
9. Forest Roads
If you are lucky enough to live near a forest road then this will be an ideal place to get as much free firewood as you want. While the wood is transported in these areas smaller pieces of wood will simply fall off and the road will be filled with wood which is excellent to burn. Just keep in mind that if the wood is still green then you will have to cure it. In addition to this, you should also ask for permission to collect the dropped wood from the local authorities.
10. Local Stores
If you live near a big city where there are a lot of stores then you can ask them if they have excess firewood. Oftentimes hardware stores or other specialized stores will have a lot of excess wood, mostly becomes a lot of things are transported in wooden boxes for extra security. These stores will simply throw away the wood, and you should call a couple of these stores and ask them if they are willing to give you the excess wood.
11. Wood Pallets
Most large businesses will use wood pallets for different reasons, and the best part about pallets is that they are mostly made out of hardwood which is excellent to burn. The downside of these pallets is that they oftentimes contain a lot of nails, which you should definitely remove before using them. You have to make sure that the pallets are in a relatively good condition, if it has been stored outside then odds are that the wood has already started to rot and is not good for burning.
12. Woodworking Shops
Another excellent place to get free firewood is from local woodworking shops. Oftentimes these woodworking shops will have a lot of excess wood at hand, which they will be more than happy to give away. The downside of getting firewood from the local woodworking shops is that they mostly tend to use softwood and the pieces of wood will be fairly small and not ideal for burning, but it is still better than nothing, and especially for free.
13. From The Electric Company
Yoru local electric company has the job of not only providing electricity but also maintaining the local power grid. This means that they will often cut down trees and shrubs in order to prevent them from reaching the power lines. This means that they oftentimes have a lot of excess firewood laying around. Some electric companies will transport away the excess wood, while others will simply make a large pile of them in a remote area, so give them a call.
If you want free firewood then you have to go where wood is processed, sawmills tend to have a lot of excess wood that can not be sold but they are still good as firewood. Some sawmills will sell this excess firewood in cords although this is not always the case. You can either visit the local sawmill or give them a call and see if they are willing to give away some of their excess wood.
- Keep an eye out for fallen or storm-damaged trees in your area. These trees can provide an excellent source of free firewood. Seek permission from the property owner if necessary, and safely cut and gather the wood for your personal use. Ensure you have the necessary tools and knowledge to safely handle fallen trees and cut firewood.
- Contact local tree removal services or arborists in your area. They often have to dispose of the trees they remove and may be willing to provide you with free firewood. Coordinate with them to collect the wood from their job sites, saving them the effort and cost of disposal while providing you with a valuable resource.
- Check if there are community programs or initiatives that offer free firewood. Some municipalities or organizations may have programs in place to distribute firewood to those in need, particularly during colder months. Look for local community bulletin boards, online forums, or social media groups where people may offer free firewood or know of resources available in your area.