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A crackling fire is the hallmark of many an autumn night spent outdoors with friends and family. The fire pit is often the highlight of a camping trip or the leisurely nightcap to a crisp fall day.

But there’s also a dilemma for some: how to enjoy the tradition while keeping things environmentally friendly and keeping the wood smoke to a minimum?

Fortunately, there are a host of alternatives these days. One popular option is to install a natural gas fire pit. Although it needs a gas line and would remain stationary, this one still retains a similar look and feel to the concept we associate with fire pit.

If you already have a wood-burning fire pit or simply can’t imagine giving up the logs, you can also find alternative materials. An article in Forbes suggests logs made from non-petroleum natural wax, recycled sawdust, used coffee beans, soy, and switchgrass. Many of these releases up to 80 percent fewer emissions than regular wood when burned, it says.

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