What are Firelighters made of?

What are firelighters made of?

Firelighters Decoded: From Traditional to Eco-Friendly Solutions

In the realm of fire-making, firelighters play a pivotal role, offering a bridge between the match and the kindling. With a variety of options available on the market, understanding the composition and impact of these small yet significant tools is crucial for both the casual fireplace enthusiast and the environmentally conscious consumer. This article delves into the makeup of firelighters, distinguishing between traditional petroleum-based options and their eco-friendly counterparts, and even explores how you can create your own sustainable alternatives.

What are Petroleum-Based Firelighters made of?

Petroleum-based firelighters, the traditional choice for many, are designed for convenience and efficiency. These firelighters are typically made from materials like kerosene or paraffin wax, substances known for their high flammability. The core advantage of these firelighters lies in their ability to ignite quickly and sustain a strong flame, reducing the time it takes to start a fire. However, this convenience comes with environmental considerations, as the production and use of petroleum-based firelighters involve the consumption of fossil fuels, contributing to carbon emissions​​.

What are Eco-Friendly Firelighters made of?

As environmental awareness grows, so does the interest in eco-friendly firelighters. These alternatives seek to minimise environmental impact without compromising on functionality. Materials such as wood shavings, beeswax, and cotton are common in eco-friendly firelighters, offering a natural and sustainable option for fire enthusiasts. These materials not only burn cleanly but also significantly reduce the chemical odours associated with their petroleum-based counterparts, making them a preferred choice for indoor use​​.

Companies like FirewoodFund.co.uk offer products made from responsibly sourced wood and recycled materials. These products not only provide an effective fire-starting solution but also contribute positively to the environment by promoting the use of sustainable resources and supporting reforestation efforts with each purchase​​.

DIY Firelighters: Tailoring Sustainability to Your Needs

For those inclined towards a more personalised and sustainable approach, crafting your own firelighters is an effective way to repurpose natural materials or household waste. This DIY method not only reduces waste but also allows for customisation based on personal preferences and available resources. From pinecones and dried leaves to cardboard and untreated paper, the options for creating your own firelighters are vast and varied. This approach aligns with the principles of sustainability and waste reduction, providing a rewarding and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fire-starting methods​​.


The choice between traditional petroleum-based firelighters and their eco-friendly counterparts is more than just a matter of personal preference; it’s a decision that impacts our environment and our health. As we continue to seek out sustainable practices in all aspects of our lives, the shift towards eco-friendly firelighters represents a small but significant step towards a more sustainable future. Whether opting for commercially available options or embracing the DIY spirit, the move towards eco-friendly firelighters is a testament to the growing commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible consumption.