Sustainability reflects how much of a product people can use without significantly harming the chances of rejuvenation of the product. As the world’s fastest growing plant, bamboo is both earth-friendly and extremely useful for making quality products. Here are some reasons bamboo is such a great renewable resource and wood-alternative to prevent deforestation.
Most bamboo grows rapidly in the right conditions and can rejuvenate forests quickly after harvest. Compared to the three to five decades required for hardwood forests re-growth, bamboo forests can grow to maturity in as little as seven years. By replacing forested areas faster, bamboo reduces deforestation.
Though certain climates may not see equally rapid growth as in the plant’s native regions, it can still offer nearly effortless cultivation. Bamboo adapts well to a wide range of habitats. While hot tropical regions may be the stereotypical climate for bamboo, these plants also make their homes in the cold mountaintops of the Himalayas.
Farmers require minimal effort to get bamboo to grow quickly and densely without pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Without the need for these toxins, this naturally prolific plant has a reducing effect on the environment. In addition, growers need less water and soil replenishments to help the crop grow. Bamboo roots are known to hold water in the soil and prevent erosion, another plus for our irrigation system and water retention. Since it is not a needy plant when it comes to water consumption, bamboo can be grown in place where other plants would require supplemental watering to survive.
Since bamboo multiply with ease, the planet can more rapidly reap the benefits of more oxygen from this grass. Compared to trees, the density of bamboo forests, and the plant’s unique design, allows these grasses to produce 35% more oxygen. In return they can absorb larger amounts of carbon dioxide.
Dense bamboo roots aid in reducing water pollution by taking in the nitrogen from the earth's soil. With higher than normal amounts of nitrogen being consumed recently, this grass prevents this medium from reaching water sources after rainfall. These dense roots also act as a barrier along riverbanks to prevent soil erosion.
In the event that a bamboo product is discarded, it's nice to know that items made from bamboo are 100% biodegradable. As long as they haven't been chemically processed, they can easily decompose. It can take as little as a couple years for bamboo to fully breakdown, compared to plastics or other composite products which can take more than 100+ years.
One of the main reasons bamboo is being used more in product manufacturing is because of its durability. Bamboo has a low weight and sturdy structure with a tensile strength 28,000 pounds per square inch. Compare to that of mild steel at 23,000 pounds per square inch.
When bamboo is measured against the materials that we are accustomed to using, it stands up quite well. Some common bamboo eco-swaps are:
- Food: Bamboo shoots appear as ingredients in several Asian foods and preservatives.
- Paper: Like other woods, bamboo can become paper or paper products.
- Utensils: Disposable utensils and plates made from bamboo are better alternatives for the environment, than those made from plastic or Styrofoam.
- Kitchenware: Bamboo cutting boards are more resistant to bacteria growth and are easier on a chef’s knife.
- Furniture: Bamboo furniture has a unique appearance and is known to be 10x stronger than soft wood.
- Charcoal: People in Asia have used bamboo for hundreds of years to create cooking fuel.
- Clothing: Fabric made from bamboo pulls moisture away, has a naturally higher UV protection and regulates temperature, making it ideal for clothing and bedding.
- Flooring: Bamboo flooring options have a longer lifespan, which means it won't need to be torn up and replaced as frequent as vinyl or other low quality flooring. For more information on sustainable home improvements, click here.
Although bamboo is sometimes mistaken for a tree, it’s actually a grass. This may sound like a primitive material to use for things like bowls and cutting boards, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Since our demand for quality products does not seem to be slowing down, why not meet that demand with a resource that can keep up? The fast growth rate of bamboo equals sustainability. At SOL TERRA SHOP, we are working hard to meet that demand and help protect our precious planet. Try out some of the Bamboo Products we have available and be confident in your sustainable choices!