Bamboo - The Environmental Superstar Material
The humble bamboo plant a member of the grass family is increasingly gaining traction as an environmentally friendly raw material. Bamboo is starting to become more commonly accepted in the general community as awareness increases of the benefits it can provide from protecting other species by replacing them as a raw material to decreasing the use of fertilizers & the damage done by run off into waterways.
Bamboo is able to grow in a variety of conditions and survive in harsh climate conditions. Like any plant it absorbs carbon dioxide and produces oxygen however, bamboo produces as much as 35% more oxygen than other species of trees and can absorb over 4 times the amount of carbon..
It can take 24 fully grown trees to make just one ton of paper, which equates to only 400 reams of A4 paper, so simply put replacing traditional paper with bamboo paper saves our forests.
Bamboo is fast growing and extremely adaptable. It can grow up to two inches per hour and matures in about five years, hardwoods on the other hand, grow about 15 inches per year and take up to 120 years to mature.
Bamboo does not require prime agricultural land to grow, meaning that land that was previously unproductive can be put to good use.
It is also an extremely versatile raw material and made into an array of products from flooring and paper to clothing and building materials. It makes a soft and durable fabric that is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
Bamboo does not need fertilizers and pesticides which often creates run off that contaminates waterways & can be toxic to freshwater fish.
A popular construction material in many parts of Asia it has a greater tensile strength than steel.
As with anything there are drawbacks, such as bamboo being an invasive species which could potentially take over from native species, however hopefully these risks will be managed ethically by corporations for the good of all humanity.