characteristic of humankind is the ability to control fire and utilize it to
prepare food. The oldest cooking fuel is firewood in the form of logs and
branches from trees. Firewood (synonym: fuelwood) is defined by the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as “wood in the rough
(from trunks and branches of trees) to be used as fuel for purposes such as
cooking, heating or power production.” Over the years, fuel cost has risen
dramatically including wood fuel for cooking. A study conducted in the
University of Harvard shows that the rise is quite alarming. This means that
the more fuel is used, the lesser it becomes and the lesser the fuel, the
higher is the competition yet, the more the fuel, the higher the cost.
Wood has been the primary source of fuel in fires, ever since
it was first discovered 3.4 million years ago (Anonymous, 2009). In the present
time, unknowingly, the use of wood in supplementing fires poses a great deal of
threat to the health of individuals constantly exposed to it. According to
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), burning wood produces smoke
that hold fine particles of dust called “particulate matter” when inhaled,
would result to a number of respiratory diseases such as: asthma, emphysema,
lung cancer, bronchitis and even premature death, long-term exposure to smoke
is also linked to infant mortality and low birth-weight among pregnant women
and children. According to IARC, wood smoke is also a major contributor to the
fast-rising air pollution in the planet, the smoke that it produces is made up
of different greenhouse gases which may also be harmful to humans. Another
problem is that the supply and demand of wood are not even, wherein, trees,
which produce wood, cannot grow at the same rate of which it gets harvested,
this, then results to wood getting more and more costly as they grow scarcer.
Unsustainable of Earth’s resources and environmental problems
are major current problems that occurred by overconsumption and inefficient way
of using. Climate change, resource depletion, loss of biodiversity, and air
pollution has a major impact on many citizens and the Earth which require
people change their current behavior. Moreover, climate change and global
warming are part of serious issues these days and are also part of the most
important global environmental challenges, with implications for food
production, water supply, health, energy and so on. Addressing climate change
requires a good scientific understanding as well as coordinated action at the national
and global level from.
Inefficient and unsustainable cooking practices can have
serious implications for the environment, such as land degradation and local
and regional air pollution. There is some localized deforestation, but
depletion of forest cover on a large scale has not been found to be
attributable to demand for fuelwood (Arnold et al., 2003).
A recent study conducted by the Department of Health in
co-operation with the World Health Organization No. 146’s Western Pacific
Regional Office shows that the air people breathe in Metro Manila contains
pollutants in excess of tolerable levels. The worst victims are the children.
According to the study, the Metro Manila’s pollution is caused by two things.
First is the exhaust from motor vehicles. Second, the exhaust from factories
and kitchen smokes which uses rubbers and other chemically composed.
In lieu of this dilemma, the researchers come up with the
study of the feasibility of fire briquettes out of dried banana leaves and
waste papers. The goal of this study is to answer the problem in the high cost
of fuel. Also, it will minimize garbage pollution and clean banana plantations
to prevent viral infections by removing its dried leaves. This can be done
through recycling waste paper into fire briquettes with dried banana leaves.