Did you know that eco-friendly bamboo is a wonder resource? This fast-growing grass may just hold the key to an impressive amount of the world’s sustainability issues.
Eco-friendly bamboo is a fast-growing renewable resource with countless uses. From toothbrushes to home construction, it’s a versatile alternative for many products!
However, one of the simplest but most impactful ways bamboo contributes to sustainability is when it is used as an alternative to timber for making paper and other wood products.
With deforestation still running rife across the world, it’s becoming more of a priority to find a solution to this seemingly endless problem.
Around 12 million hectares of forest are lost each year to deforestation. Humanity needs to find alternatives to cutting down lovely green trees and tropical forests for everyday use.
Trees are an asset to the Earth, they provide oxygen, absorb harmful carbon, and harbor life for millions of animals.
So, how can bamboo be used to help save trees and improve sustainability across the world?
Switch to Bamboo for Your Essentials
Bamboo Toilet Paper is one of the easiest switches you can make in your home. It is also one of the most impactful changes, because it is something you use just once – multiple times a day – every single day!
It takes a lot of trees to make regular toilet tissue. This, in turn, is causing mass deforestation and climate change acceleration.
Some 12 million hectares of forest are cleared per year, and that’s way too many. Think of all the animal homes destroyed and all the forest ecosystems reduced to nothing. Sad, right?
One of the simplest switches you can make is using eco-friendly bamboo toilet paper. Look for options that are certified as sustainable and give detailed information as to where the bamboo they use is sourced, as well as their manufacturing methods.
At a rate of around 3 feet (90cm) a day, bamboo grows 30 times faster than trees. Not only that, but bamboo also produces 30% more oxygen than trees do.
So, the more bamboo we plant, the more oxygen we get. Meaning we can all breathe easy.
When we use eco-friendly bamboo, we reduce the number of trees we destroy to make paper products. The number of great bamboo essentials, including biodegradable nappies and compostable wet wipes, that are easily available makes it simple to switch and make a huge difference.
Bamboo can be harvested much faster – some timber is only harvested when trees are around 30-50 years old! Meaning more needs to be cut down before it can be replenished – which equals unsustainability, friends.
So, using bamboo to make toilet paper has much less of an effect on the planet. Plus, bamboo doesn’t mind being made into loo roll. Trees do though, they’re sick of it!
Not only is bamboo tissue better for the planet, but it’s also better for you, too.
Bamboo products are:
- Naturally hypoallergenic
- Super soft on sensitive skin
- Contains less tissue dust than regular tissue
A simple switch like swapping out your toilet paper, wet wipes and nappies can do a world of good. It may seem like a tiny change, but it can make a massive difference.
Use Bamboo and Cut Your Carbon
Planting more bamboo could lead to less carbon dioxide on Earth. Carbon dioxide is the stuff that’s making the world hotter, and we don’t want too much of it.
Trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere and when we chop them down to make timber and paper products, we’re releasing thousands of years’ worth of carbon from beneath them.
Check out this very short video by Going Green for a snapshot of what is possible with bamboo:
It’s hidden away in the soil and has been for years. But when we unleash it into the atmosphere, it’s contributing to the increase in temperature of our poor little planet.
More eco-friendly bamboo could help us balance things out a little bit by absorbing more of it. Bamboo absorbs 35% more carbon from the atmosphere than trees do – around 12 tonnes per hectare, per year!
Trees try their best, and we love them for it, but they can’t stand up to mighty bamboo, which absorbs more carbon and releases way more oxygen.
Bamboo and Innovative Solutions
Humans have used bamboo since ancient times for a multitude of purposes. Only now have we decided to revisit it as a mainstream material to use for everyday solutions.
From toilet paper to straws, toothbrushes, and even furniture – there are plenty of ways to utilize bamboo.
Bamboo can also be used to build. Larger stems can be used for houses, rafts, and flooring. Some countries such as Africa and South-East Asia (where bamboo can be sourced directly) use it for scaffolding!
That’s because the tensile strength of steel is 23,000 PSI. Whereas the tensile strength of bamboo is an incredible 28,000 PSI. Which seems a little crazy, but it’s true! Bamboo is super strong and sturdy.
But that doesn’t mean it’s heavy, either. In fact, bamboo is incredibly light, despite how strong it is. As it’s a grass, there are technically no weak points along its length – making it even more durable compared to other materials.
The overuse of timber has caused humanity to look elsewhere. Bamboo seems to be the ideal candidate to fill the shoes of trees.
Speaking of shoes…did you know bamboo can be used for clothes, too?
Bamboo clothing is softer than cotton and feels like silk, but is usually cheaper. This eco-friendly alternative to fast fashion could be a solution to the mass production of clothing across the globe.
Clothing is made in a similar way to bamboo toilet tissue – bamboo is pulped and then passed through a ‘spinneret’ – like what spiders have on their abdomens to spin their silk.
This produces a yarn to make clothes out of. Cool, right? And super sustainable when it is done right!
Waste Not, Want Not – A Truly Economical Crop
Eco-friendly bamboo needs very few resources to grow, and grows in abundance! This makes it a very economical and renewable crop, with thousands of uses and very few downsides.
There are over 1,200 different species of bamboo in existence. Most of which are highly adaptable.
Bamboo can grows in warm, tropical climates and is found extensively through the Asia-pacific regions. They’re also grown in Africa, Australia and even colder climates like the UK!
In places like southeast China, bamboo grows wildly on vast mountains. So much so that there’s often too much of it because it shoots out of the ground so fast. Check out this time lapse video by Robert Saporito to see just how quickly it grows:
A lot of it can go to waste, which is a shame for such an amazing resource. However, some brands are utilizing bamboo to make toilet paper and other home essentials in a super sustainable way.
Trees don’t quite grow that fast, and the effects of chopping them down have a devastating effect on the Earth.
Bamboo doesn’t need fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides to produce a great yield. A hectare of bamboo can yield 30 tonnes in just a year. That’s a lot of panda food!
The miracle plant doesn’t require much water at all and can adapt to soil conditions.
As well as this, bamboo farming isn’t labor-intensive. The plant grows from its root system, so all it takes to harvest is chopping above the soil line.
This means that it doesn’t need replanting every year. Simply just chop the tops off and watch them spur back into life!
Bamboo also doesn’t require as much energy and uses fewer resources compared to wood or steel.
Bamboo root networks also help hold the soil together, preventing soil erosion and landslides.
So, planting bamboo forests on slopes and areas prone to flooding can be an effective way to protect countries from the impacts of such natural disasters. Especially more impoverished nations.
In the majority of places where bamboo is grown, there are monsoon seasons and heavy rain. Particularly in Asia. So improved, undisturbed soil and healthy roots can help minimize landslides, protecting the environment and human settlements.
In Bamboo Conclusion
Our buddy bamboo isn’t just a nutritious panda snack. It’s an amazing resource that needs to be utilized more.
By using eco-friendly bamboo more often, the effects of deforestation could be slowed down as well as the number of carbon emissions we currently unearth.
This amazing alternative to trees could be key in deciding the fate of our planet. It’s not a complete solution, but it could be a significant improvement to current resource usage.
This blog dedicated to bamboo shows that this wonderful plant was essentially born to be cut down and used again and again.
It is a much more sustainable option than our lovely trees and has much less of a negative effect on the environment.
So, the best way to improve sustainability across the world is to leave the trees to grow and utilize bamboo for our essentials instead.
Use bamboo, save trees, feel good. Easy.
Can you think of any other amazing ways in which bamboo has been used to improve sustainability across the world?
References and Useful Resources
Eco & Beyond: Truth or Trend: Is Bamboo Sustainable?
Gardener’s World: How to Grow Bamboo
United Nations Environment Programme: The State of the World’s Forests: Forests, Biodiversity and People (2020)
Frequently Asked Questions
How fast Does Bamboo Grow?
The fastest-growing species of Bamboo has been known to grow up to 91cm (3 feet) in one day! Read the full article for more on how easily and quickly bamboo grows - and why it is such a sustainable resource.
What are 3 unusual uses for Bamboo?
Aside from paper products and as an alternative to plastic, bamboo is used for medicinal purposes; it can be used to make fabric and clothing, as well for building and scaffolding in some countries. Read the full article for more on the many sustainable uses of bamboo.
Is Bamboo Hard to Grow?
If the climate is right, bamboo grows in nearly any type of reasonably fertile, well-drained, soil. Check out the full article for more on where and how bamboo grows.