DIY Eco-Friendly Outdoor Fireplace

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:: DIY Eco-Friendly Outdoor Fireplace ::
diy firepit

I was all warming up to the idea of a nice outdoor wood-burning fireplace on the porch of in our next home, or as it popular here, I was even considering an outdoor pizza oven, nearby the house, in the garden.

DIY eco-friendly firepit

How to make an eco fuel fireplace – Michelle comes to the rescue

Then comes architect Michelle Kaufmann again whispering in my ear….
Pssst! If all you want is a feature for your entertainment area, and to burn some wood for heat and ambiance, I have a low cost, eco-friendly solution for you, that looks stunning and is super easy to create. And she’s right of course.

How to DIY Eco-Friendly Outdoor Fireplace

OK. Not a fireplace but a fire pit. And no wood either, but I get to keep the warmth and the pretty flames, at least….
And that is probably enough for most entertainment occasions and parties.

Michelle did not just whisper the idea in my ear, she actually made a complete tutorial for me, for us.

Please find her tutorial below that shows us how to make a beautiful Eco outdoor fire, to enjoy the beauty and the warmth of an outdoor fire, without the guilt of adding to air pollution.
That green architect just rocks!

Eco-friendly Firepit

For our deck, porch or garden.

eco-friendly DIY firepit

The secret to your outdoor firepit being environmentally friendly, says architect Michelle Kauffman in the video, is to use eco-fuel.

Eco-fuel costs way less than big fire logs and come without the harmful effect on the environment. Most wood-burning devices emit particulates at a rate of 20-60 g / hour.

Materials Needed

  1. What you need is a large container, such as a metal, ceramic or glass box. Eg. this set of 2 Strathwood Zinc-Finished planters seem perfect for the job and together cost less than $60. Fill the other one with a nice plant for contrast, or transform it into a matching serving table.  
  2. A fill of pretty river stones, or recycled tumbled glass or other inflammatory material. Depending on how smart you buy, you can get 12  2lb-bags of pretty mixed colored river rocks for $18 from Modern Vase & Gift. Pretty inexpensive (Tip: read the fine print of the various vendors: some make you pay $10 for a mere 2 lbs bag from other vendors).

    Or how about glass pebbles, like these?

    These will look stunning if you go with a thick glass container…. Pretty funky in fact, to have an all-glass firepot. I like it.  Anyhow, just an idea…

  3. What she recommends is to use eco-fuel cans, which are 100% biodegradable, and which cost a few dollars each.   This DIY project will give you the benefits of an eco-fireplace, but at a fraction of the cost.  

    What is Eco Fuel?

    What is Michelle talking about? This is what she’s talking about: Ecoflame. There are many different types on the market but not all appear to be that great. This particular one is environmentally-clean and is made from natural sugar cane alcohol.

    It’s a jellied cooking and warming fuel may be used indoors for chafing dishes, buffets, or fondues, as well as outdoors, in your yard or when camping. Simply open the can, light the contents, and place the can under a chafing dish. May be re-lit. Smokeless, non-toxic, and burns odor-free.

    Eco fuel typically tends to last a lot longer than chemical logs, however that appears to vary from brand to brand. Each can is 8 ounce/ 225 gram can and provides 4 hours burning time. Cost $5.50.

Step-by-Step Instructions

on how to make an outdoor fireplace like this:

1. Place your firepit in a featured location, with seating around it.

2. Fill your firepit container with pretty, non-combustable material, such as stones or glass beads.

3. Place 2 or 3 bio-fuel cans near the top and hide them with some stones.

4. When your arrangement is done, light the cans with a lighter.

Keep away from anything flammable.

The Video

video:, by Michelle Kaufmann, environmental architect

Other Garden DiY Projects

We have a number of different DIY garden projects to improve your outdoor living space. Such as..

Garden & Outdoor Furniture

Or use our search function to find …
Designing My Future Porch
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  1. Great idea; just as a chemist in a former life though flammable and inflammable mean the same thing. I think you mean “non combustable” for the pebbles or something like that?

  2. Fine Craft Guild says:

    Oh Thank you Heidi. I shall correct this.

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