Since Paris imposed a ban on the use of gas heaters, more and more countries are planning to outlaw the harmful devices.
Coffee culture has been an indispensable part of many nationalities across the world and has been long associated with socializing, relaxing and enjoying a small getaway from the daily routine. How many times have we dreamed during the weekday of sitting in a cafe, gazing at the bustling streets and the urban everyday life, while enjoying our favorite beverage? But for Paris, one of the most beautiful and adored cities in the world, this scenario might not be feasible in the near future.
France introduced a smoking ban in indoor cafes and restaurants in 2007, which lead to a boost to the already popular outdoor seating option. The gas patio heater became a necessity for the thousands of Parisian cafes with a terrace, so that the patrons would enjoy their time in the open air despite of the weather conditions. However, the use of these heaters is not welcomed by everyone, specifically from the French government, who is deeply concerned about their bad impact on the environment.
As the world is growing even more concerned on the human-caused environmental damage, a gas-powered outdoor heater could be deemed a substantial threat. Apart from the high cost of running a couple of heaters all day, their efficiency is questionable when it comes to warming up and distributing the heat in a large outdoor area. There have also been concerns on the noise they make, let alone the fire hazard they pose, since they produce open flame, fumes and very high temperatures around them. All these points are seriously worrying not only the
French government but countries around the globe, from Germany to Australia, who are passing bills to ban the “necessary evil” gas heaters. Banning these, however, will result in the slow death of the terraces, at least for the colder months of the year. This could not be an option for touristic places, who rely on the outside seating areas, as well as for nations that have historically craved for relaxation in the open air — not to mention the plethora of smokers that are banned from indoor seating in most countries. The only viable solution to this problem could be an electric heater, but only an efficient one, since the French government (and more to follow) also plan to impose taxation according to their electrical consumption.
But what can be done, if we want to preserve the loved tradition of outdoor dining? Instead of stubbornly insisting on the use of an environmentally-threatening and costly device, we could consider a change of perspective. The use of heating tables can be a great alternative, since they are much more efficient, cost-effective and energy-saving than the gas-heaters. So, let’s follow France’s lead and try to put gas heaters to the past, in order to move to a greener, safer future.