Showcasing Our Best Resources

By getting good stories into the world ahead of negative messaging, we can show environmentalists that wood is a heating option they can feel great about.
By Maura Adams | March 23, 2020

As well-funded, antiwood voices grow louder in some places—from weekly periodicals in Vermont to an activist film to the New Yorker—it’s more important than ever for the wood heat community to make the case that heating with wood is compatible with environmental stewardship. As an environmental journalist friend told me, “You guys have to start being more proactive!”

It feels like we’re often reacting to negative news stories that mischaracterize and castigate wood heat, yet we have a strong case to make that will resonate with many environment-minded consumers. What will get our message through to people confused by the conflicting claims they hear?
At the Northern Forest Center, we’ve been working on this issue for almost a decade, first by investing more than $1 million in public education and incentives for installing automated wood heat systems, and then, with dozens of partners, coordinating the “Feel Good Heat” initiative, a campaign that’s still in play and may be substantially expanding this year.

This spring, we’re launching a social media campaign to showcase one of our best resources—the real people who’ve chosen whole building wood heat systems for their homes, businesses and organizations. Some are motivated by their environmental concerns, some by finances, and others by a desire to support their local community and forest economy.

A couple dozen pellet boiler users jumped at the chance to be profiled and tell the world why they are stoked about Automated Wood Heat. Here are some of their responses:

• Science museum: “It benefits the local economy.”

• Bike shop owner: “It is super convenient for our business and reduces our carbon footprint.”

• Energy committee member: “It keeps my heating dollars local.”

• Arts center director: “It’s saved us thousands of dollars and is environmentally friendly.”

• Church trustee: “It supports local jobs and small businesses instead of sending money to huge corporations far away.”

These brief testimonials and informal photos will literally speak to people in a way that nonprofits and the industry cannot. Throughout the coming year, we’ll be using their photos and words in a series of social media posts and print ads, and we hope that readers will participate too. Follow Feel Good Heat on social media and share our posts, then create and publicize profiles of your own customers.

By getting good stories into the world ahead of negative messaging, we can show environmentalists that wood is a heating option they can feel great about. 


Author: Maura Adams
Program Director, Northern Forest Center
madams@northernforest.org
www.northernforest.org