LETTER – A ban on woodstoves could be detrimental to my mental health

Dear editor,

Dear editor,

I am hearing an increase in talk about implementing a ban on woodstoves. This is causing huge anxiety for me.

I am a single-dwelling person in a small bungalow, living a very conservative minimalistic lifestyle.

My home has been upgraded to build green standards above and beyond the requirement for insulation, new windows, and all new energy-saving light bulbs and appliances, I hang dry laundry, yet the hydro bill still reaches second-tier every month without using the electric heat pump, which is not energy efficient when temperatures drop to zero or below.

Heating my home with the woodstove is not just much more economical but of even more importance is the huge factor what it means for my mental health during the cold grey season. It is what I look forward to daily and the thought of going without is, without exaggerating, causing me tremendous anxiety. The past summer was already very devastating when fires had been prohibited at the Goose Spit and most any other beaches in the Comox Valley. It is something I’ve resorted to regularly in the past for relaxation and my general mental wellness, a go-to that has its origin in our primal history. It is unfathomable for me to imagine life without being able to resort to this basic natural comfort I so much rely upon.

I appreciate the concern for air quality that some may have. I believe we need to resort back to common sense and if necessary educate people on proper wood-burning and mindfulness in case of barometric pressure inversions. Let us keep what we have left of our traditional West Coast living lifestyle and not succumb to yet more rules and regulations that make it difficult to enjoy and practise connecting with source and nature as humans if we want to stay human.

Petra Bernard,

Comox Valley

Comox Valley Record

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