One of the most effective ways to help save the environment is to use recycled materials for heat as much as possible. If you're looking for a way to heat your home by drawing only on sources that have already been used once before, there are a few methods now available to you.
Biodiesel Heating Oil
Biodiesel refers to using biological oil instead of traditional oil that has to be drawn from the ground. It's possible to use only biodiesel drawn from recycled sources, and another benefit to it is that you can use it in any standard boiler or furnace.
You don't have to go out and buy a new furnace to use biodiesel. This type of heating oil is created from animal fats and vegetable oils, which are often waste byproducts of other processes. This means that they may have been thrown out otherwise.
Additionally, biodiesel releases much less carbon into the atmosphere than something like standard petroleum-based oils. The first difference in using this over traditional oil is that you need to make sure you store it indoors or in an underground tank since it can turn into a gel if it gets too cold.
The only other difference is that biodiesel can sometimes degrade rubber seals, but usually only if you're using a high concentration. New seal materials are on the way though, and doing a periodic check on your seal should keep this from being a problem.
Garbage Heating Sources
Another way to use recycled materials to heat your home is to literally use the trash in your house. This method creates something that's called biogas. The difference between this approach and using biodiesel is that biodiesel generally has to be purchased from a third party, whereas you can make biogas yourself from trash
However, you will need to get something called a biogas digester to make it all work. You can buy them, but there are also guides online for making them with materials like a 55-gallon drum.
In order to figure out just how much you can replace your heating needs with biogas, you have to figure out how much usable waste your house produces per month.
The usable waste will include anything organic like food. In general, you can use one pound of organic waste to create 3 cubic feet of biogas.
Once you have the gas, you can then use it with tools that use gas for heating, like gas stoves or the gas heater in your home.