Bamboo. Currently, there are over 1450 species of bamboo. This astonishing plant grows in warm environments without the need of pesticides or herbicides to grow. Technically a grass, after being cut, it quickly grows back with most species maturing in 3-5 years.
Also, it can be processed to make fabric, hardwood flooring, houses and other goods, a very versatile material. Additionally, the process in which it takes to create bamboo products has a minimal environmental impact compared to other materials used to create goods nowadays.
It may surprise you how eco bamboo really is compared to many other materials out there. Here I am going to look at some of the pros of bamboo.
Extremely. I repeat, extremely renewable.
As I said above bamboo grows very fast. Bamboo holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for the world’s fastest growing plant. It can grow up to an incredible height 1.2 meters a day, as such, being a very renewable material.
Not contributing to deforestation
Using it does not contribute to deforestation. By cutting down a hardwood tree, it would take several decades for one to grow back in its place. And a whole forest? That’d take a century. Because bamboo is a grass rather than a tree, it doesn’t have these issues. In fact, Bamboo can be grown in areas in which other plants and crops cannot be grown. Also, harvesting it can be done with no damage to the surrounding environment. Woo hoo!!
Bamboo does not need pesticides or herbicides to thrive
You read right. No pesticides or herbicides are needed to make bamboo thrive, resulting in a huge decrease in soil erosion. If you read my post on the reasons by you should grow your own food, you’d know that soil erosion is a BIG issue. Bamboo keeps water near the surface of the soil, and provides opportunity for surrounding plant species to thrive in what could have been a previously inplantable terrain. On another note, bamboo can tolerate drought very well too!
Bamboo is versatile
You can quite literally make almost anything with bamboo. From pencils to houses, flooring to hairbrushes, paper to bicycles, the possibilities are endless when it comes to bamboo.
Aiding to fight climate change!
Bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide and releases 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere than an equivalent size of hardwood trees. How cool is this?!
Little to no waste
From plant to product, virtually every part of the plant is used to make a wide variety of goods. And if not? Soil-enriching mulch it is. Every part of bamboo can be utilised if handled in the right way.
Job opportunities in developing countries
In less privileged countires, the production and the manufacturing of bamboo products provides job opportunities in areas that desperately need social and economic stability, development and growth.
Bamboo grows in a variety of conditions.
Bamboo can grow in regions where droughts cause other crops to fail and since the roots are left in place after harvesting, bamboo helps to preserve vital moisture in the soil. From low wetlands to higher elevations in the mountains, bamboo thrives in a wide range of climates.
Stronger than steel
Bamboo grows in a hollow structure which is very efficient. Because of this, it is used all over the world for building and scaffolding. Bamboo’s strength-to-weight ratio is better than the strength-to-weight ratio of mild steel. So, in other words, it is stronger than steel. This also means that for things like scaffolding, you do not need as much, which is a lot better for the environment.
Watch below: The stunning bamboo homes built by Elora Hardy and her team in Bali which twist, and surprise with each detail, or watch it here
There’s a lot left to learn, but one thing I know is that with creativity and commitment, you can create beauty and comfort and safety and even luxury out of a material that will grow back – Elora Hardy
In the future, I would hope to see more and more products being made with bamboo. Although, no material or product is 100% ‘sustainable’ or ‘eco-friendly’. But bamboo is definitely a great material, if you are aware of the potential issues involved and you use it in the correct way.
What are you thoughts?
I hope you enjoyed reading about Why Bamboo Is As Sustainable As It Is.