Bamboo is often the go-to material for environmentally friendly products, and with good reason too. But how eco-friendly are bamboo products, and what makes this plant so special?
Since bamboo is a natural and renewable resource, yes, bamboo is generally environmentally friendly to use! It's not considered as such once chemicals are used to modify it. Most bamboo fabrics use chemicals in the fabrication process for example.
Bamboo is a popular resource for eco-friendly products for various reasons:
- Bamboo is naturally pest-resistant, which means no pesticides are needed to grow and protect it.
- It helps rebuild eroded soil thanks to its fast-growing rhizomes, creating a wide underground network of roots that hold the soil in place, preventing erosion and landslides from ravines.
- It's naturally antibacterial and antifungal, which means no chemicals or additives are needed to make it safe for human consumption.
- It requires far less water to grow, unlike cotton.
- Bamboo regrows to its adult size of up to 30m (98ft) or more in only 3 to 5 years. The Moso bamboo species can grow up to 1 to 2 feet every day!
- It absorbs 5 times as much carbon dioxide than similar plants and produces 35% more oxygen too!
These are amazing qualities from a plant we hardly use in our day to day lives.
There are some downsides to this amazing material though. For instance, bamboo is mainly found and produced in south-east Asian countries, China being the main one. This, in turn, increases CO2 with the transportation of raw materials or bamboo products. Due to the gaining popularity of bamboo, hopefully, more countries will start growing it to aid in transportation.
The production of bamboo fabrics is another downside, since it's a naturally hard material, and harsh chemicals are needed to soften it down into a pulp.
Thankfully, the pros of bamboo and bamboo products highly outweigh the cons of it, making it a highly eco-friendly material that we should all try to adopt into our daily lives.