Bamboo: An Ancient Solution to Modern Problems
From the shortage of paper to the depleting ozone layer, the world has many problems today. While science is trying to discover a new way to fight these problems, there has been a reasonable solution since the dawn of man. This solution is bamboo and bamboo products. Bamboo and bamboo products have very environmentally friendly characteristics, and can be used as substitutions in many situations.
Destruction of Forest Land
The depletion of wood around the world is getting to dangerous levels. More places are uninhabitable for trees to grow, and it takes more and more wood to not only produce all the paper we need, but create housing and the popular hardwood floors for the people who are more susceptible to allergens.
Bamboo is being used all over the world to help reduce the destruction of trees that take decades to grow back. According to Rick Johnson of Ezilion.com "Driven by the ever-growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly products, many bamboo-related companies are gaining momentum as a reliable source for high quality and durable green building materials." This means that people are more aware of the destruction of the forest land and are ready to find a new solution within bamboo.
Many businesses and consumers are turning to bamboo for many solutions to the problems that are becoming increasingly more distressing. Some of these solutions include:
- Bamboo paper - With nearly 1 million acres of forest land vanishing a week, according to Johnson's article, "Use of Eco-Friendly Bamboo Products on the Rise", using bamboo for paper in offices is essential. It is nearly impossible to go completely paperless, with technology in different levels in the country, and all the paper used being made of bamboo helps.
- Flooring - Bamboo flooring has been shown to be an easy alternative to hardwood flooring. As strong as or stronger than the number one hardwood flooring material, Maple wood, the bamboo is becoming increasingly popular because of the many finishes it can be acquired in, as well as the strength of the flooring.
- Housing materials - As a building material, bamboo can be superior to wood. Taking very little time to replenish, and being comparable in tensile strength to steel, bamboo is being used more and more in housing and fencing.
- Erosion control - Planting bamboo is becoming a defense against erosion control as well. The thick root systems are excellent in keeping the dirt in place for other agricultural feats, and for preserving the land.
So why Bamboo?
There are many reasons to use this ancient plant as a modern solution to modern problems. These motivations are based on proven ecological factors that show conclusively that bamboo is better for the environment. These factors include:
- Quick growth- Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet. It grows to full maturity in a matter of months or years, while traditional timber wood takes decades to do so.
- Reduction of CO2 - Bamboo is shown to absorb more carbon dioxide than other plants, and puts out 35% more oxygen than trees, according to Johnson's article.
- Rejuvenates soil - As a plant, bamboo rejuvenates soil because removal of the plant isn't necessary for successful harvesting. The thick root systems keep the soil in place, and the litter it produces rejuvenates soil that has been damaged by over farming.
- Grows almost anywhere - One of the best features of bamboo is that it grows almost anywhere that isn't too cold. Surviving in rain forests as well as deserts, bamboo needs very little water and no pesticides to survive.
Because of the destruction of forest land and many other ecological problems, man has been looking for an answer to the heavy usage of timber for paper and other materials. In the ancient product of bamboo, we may have found it, from bamboo paper, to bamboo clothing. Easy to produce and environmentally friendly, bamboo is becoming more and more popular with businesses and consumers alike.