Bamboo products have become really popular recently, and why wouldn’t they? Bamboo is beautiful, and most of the bamboo products being sold are really high quality. You can buy bamboo sheets, bamboo blankets, bamboo cutting boards, bamboo flooring, and even bamboo bicycles. Bamboo is everywhere.
Is Bamboo Green or Not?
There are also articles everywhere telling you whether bamboo is actually green or not. You can easily find content supporting both sides of the issue, and plenty of it. So, what is really true? Is bamboo green?
How Bamboo Isn’t Green
If you’re talking about the process used to manufacture a bamboo product, then bamboo really isn’t all that green. Bamboo is a woody grass, and to turn its fibers into fibers that can be used to make sheets, blankets, and bicycles, the bamboo fibers have to undergo a chemical process. This process isn’t any less green than the process used to manufacture other products. For instance, the processes used to make bamboo sheets and cotton sheets are very similar and so are their effects on the environment. So, while the bamboo manufacturing process isn’t all that green, it also isn’t any less environmentally friendly than other manufacturing processes with which you’re familiar.
Bamboo Grows Fast!
Not only can it grow up to three feet a day, it reaches maturity very quickly, anywhere from one to three years, depending upon the species. For bamboo lumber products such as flooring, this makes it a greener and more quickly renewable crop compared to lumber. Trees grow for a minimum of 20 years before they reach maturity; most don’t mature before they are 40-60 years old.
Choosing Bamboo Means Choosing Water Conservation
Bamboo requires no irrigation when grown in its natural habitat. When you choose bamboo products, you are helping with water conservation. This is in stark contrast to crops like cotton. To produce enough cotton to make a single T-shirt, you need as much water as a single person drinks over a three-year period.
Bamboo Doesn’t Require Harmful Chemicals to Grow
Bamboo doesn’t require pesticides or insecticides. This makes bamboo products safer not only for you and the farm hands who cultivate and harvest it, but for all the wildlife and water sources that are killed or polluted each year because of these chemicals.
Bamboo Makes Soil Healthier
Bamboo keeps the soil healthy thanks to its root system. Bamboo roots are structured like a net. Because of this, they keep the soil together and reduce runoff and soil erosion during heavy rains.
Bamboo Has a Negative Carbon Footprint
A forest of bamboo the same size as a forest of trees will produce 35% more oxygen, giving bamboo a negative carbon footprint.
Bamboo Is and Isn’t Green
So, the next time someone tells you bamboo isn’t green, you can agree with them to an extent. And when someone else tells you bamboo is green, you can agree with them as well. Because now you know the truth about bamboo: its manufacturing processes are no more or less green than other processes, but its growth process makes it one of the greenest and most sustainable resources found on earth.