For those of you who are interested in reducing your heating bills or want to help reduce your carbon footprint you'll probably want to look at buying a wood burning stove. There are many different types of wood that you can burn and one method that people are using is to turn sawdust in briquettes.
Wood of course, is a natural product and is renewable. There's also quite a lot of wastage once the wood has been processed into different products. When you take sawdust and compact it really tightly into the shape of a brick, you will find that it's a great source of heat and on par with coal. Due to the density of the sawdust brick, you will find that this increases the calorific value and it actually ends up being more than regular firewood. So if you are using wood or coal in a solid-fuel stove you can also have the choice of using sawdust briquettes.
For making these briquettes yourself you can very cheaply and easily make your own. There are special presses that you can buy from a number of outlets including on eBay for surprisingly little money (approx $20). Not only can you use these presses for sawdust, you can also use paper, cardboard, wrapping paper and wood chips.
Of course, your press will come with instructions but basically you soak the wood or paper in water for several hours, fill the press with the material and the close the handles. Remove the brick from the press and allow to dry. Each brick should then burn for about 2 hours and the added bonus is that no fire lighters are required.
It's a fantastic way of recycling and heating your home at the same time. Although recycled paper is considered to be environmentally friendly, the process of doing this actually uses a lot of chemicals so it's quite debatable as to whether it's really good for the environment. Whereas with turning waste sawdust, wood chippings and paper into briquettes you're not using any chemicals at all. So it truly is environmentally friendly.
Obtaining the materials for this is very easy and will probably cost you nothing at all. Have a word with your local timber merchant or municipal dump and you might be able to get your materials for nothing at all.