A recent fad that has popped up across America is the luxurious nature of bamboo products. Organic bamboo sheets, for example, are luxury’s answer to the environmentally friendly crowd. Bamboo, as bamboo viscose, can be made into the softest sheets in the world in much the same way any other resource is made into textile fabrics. However, bamboo stands alone as it countless eco-friendly benefits catapult this plant far beyond the other fabrics currently used. As the world thinks progressively greener, bamboo takes more of the spotlight for its valuable properties.
Bamboo is Sustainable
Bamboo, as a resource, is highly sustainable. Sustainable relates to the resource’s capacity to endure and relates to the effectiveness of their growth. Bamboo is actually the fastest growing plant in the world. Some species can grow up to a meter per day, and can reach maturity in as little as 3 years. When considering bamboo as a substitute for wood or cotton, these figures tell us that bamboo is indeed, sustainable. Unlike other crops, bamboo requires no pesticides or herbicides when growing. It can grow in many different climates and in many different terrains and requires very normal amounts of water.
Bamboo is Renewable
As a renewable resource, we intend to discuss the replenishment of bamboo over time. Bamboo is technically a grass, and can be cut like one. Instead of ripping it out of the ground, bamboo can be cut in the harvesting process. Then, it can be left “as is” for one to two years until it is ready to be harvested again. Bamboo can be harvested every few years for around 100 years. The fact that its roots can be left in place during harvest protects from potential soil erosion. When compared to traditional trees, which can take up to 40 years to reach maturity, bamboo can be harvested over 20 times before a forest will be able to be harvested once. Talk about renewability. Bamboo’s environmental benefits are numerous. Bamboo can process greenhouse gases at a very high level, producing 33% more oxygen than traditional trees.
Bamboo in the world
Bamboo is growing more and more popular as the masses turn to green answers to real climate and environmental problems. But up to this point, bamboo has not played a major role in our efforts to change the world. Bamboo is mainly grown in East Asia, and the demand for it and its products is growing, but slowly. Bamboo can be made into numerous products: decorations, construction supplies, dishware and carvings, food, and of course, bamboo sheets. Bamboo has taken on large markets in the United States for its textiles. Somewhere along the timeline of bamboo’s usage, we will need to see a large scale planting in a major exporting nation. Bamboo has already been proposed as a rebuilding option for the nation of Haiti, and engenders its growth as a primary crop for the entire country. Bamboo is also being experimented with in construction usage by companies such as Bamboo Living in Hawaii, and Santa Clara University students.