Bamboo has always been very popular when it comes to decoration. In the garden or even as a hip privacy screen in the home, bamboo is visually very much in the race. But bamboo offers much more. A raw material that can be used in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way. The possibilities are manifold. Whether furniture, biological plastic and the countless variants for which this can be used.
What exactly is bamboo and what is behind it?
As mentioned earlier, bamboo is a sustainable raw material. But how sustainable is it really and why does bamboo count as a sustainable raw material, what exactly is bamboo?
- What is bamboo exactly?
Contrary to what many people think, bamboo is not a tree, but a type of grass. There are many different types of bamboo, which means that everything is represented, from very small grasses that grow only a few centimeters high, up to 40 meters high grasses. Since the grass blades of bamboo slowly lignify with time and growth, bamboo can be optimally used as a substitute for wood. Bamboo is native to tropical regions and the main supplier of bamboo is China.
- What properties does bamboo have to offer?
The great and diverse properties of bamboo are very popular in the timber industry. Bamboo is hard and durable, strong yet flexible and lightweight. These properties ensure that bamboo can be used for sturdy and stable furniture and flooring, as well as many small items and everyday objects.
How is bamboo grown and how sustainable is it really?
Bamboo is a very robust and insensitive plant, the cultivation of which hardly requires the use of fertilizers or pesticides. These characteristics make it possible that the environmental impact of growing bamboo is very low.
Due to the fact that it is grown in tropical areas, artificial irrigation is also much less necessary than in the cultivation of other types of wood. In addition, bamboo has the great property that it grows particularly quickly and is therefore also one of the sustainable raw materials. Due to its rapid growth, it can also store a particularly large amount of CO2.
- How sustainable is bamboo really?
The special properties of bamboo distinguish its sustainability. This is because bamboo not only grows particularly quickly, but the grass also has an extensive root system. New plants grow again and again from the many roots. It is precisely this characteristic that distinguishes the sustainability of bamboo, because unlike most types of wood, the plant does not die immediately after being cut down. Bamboo lives on and forms new plants again and again, which can then be used. Also the low effort and the high robustness of the plants ensure your environmentally friendly and sustainable cultivation. The fast growth does not endanger the bamboo's existence, because new plants can be harvested after only 5 years. So the use of bamboo for industrial use has little to no effect on the population and bamboo is not endangered. This puts bamboo at the forefront of sustainability, unlike most other types of wood, and is also becoming increasingly popular in industry.
- Bamboo cultivation - fair or not?
When it comes to sustainability, it is also important to consider the conditions for the workers, farmers and also the method of cultivation. Here, too, bamboo can score so far. Because so far, the cultivation of bamboo is not yet commercial, which means small farmers in China are still working here under the typical conditions of the country. The various consumers and traders are also concerned about the future increase in cultivation and for developing countries such as Ethiopia, this creates more profitable and better conditions than previously for the other typical imported foods such as coffee or bananas. The emphasis is on sustainable cultivation, so that the environmental protection and sustainability of this raw material can continue in the future.
Bamboo instead of petroleum or tropical wood, the alternative?
Bamboo offers both an alternative to petroleum, which is not a renewable resource and the profits of this can be additionally costly and dangerous, but also to tropical wood. The diverse properties of bamboo are already convincing.
- Bamboo vs. crude oil
Bamboo has in contrast to crude oil equal 2 important advantages. On the one hand, bamboo is a renewable raw material, on the other hand, the extraction of petroleum is associated with a significantly greater effort and risk. Since bamboo can be used excellently as a basis for bioplastics, it is a real and environmentally conscious, sustainable alternative to petroleum. But that's not all. Bamboo is also preferable to other bases for bioplastics such as corn or sugar cane. This is because bamboo is not used as a food source and therefore does not reduce production and food source in the respective growing countries.
- Bamboo vs. tropical wood
The rainforest is severely threatened and so is the very sensitive and important ecosystem there. The CO2 suppliers are very endangered there, which is mainly due to the enormous clearing of the rainforest and the enormously long growth of the tropical woods. Bamboo is a fast growing and sustainable raw material, which does not suffer from commercial use. Thus, the rainforest can be preserved and the ecosystem gets the chance to recover a little.
The advantages of bamboo for people and the environment
The many benefits of bamboo for people and the environment cannot be denied. Both farmers and end users can benefit, but most importantly the environment.
- Bamboo is a sustainable and fast growing raw material that can be used for countless variations. Furniture, flooring as well as bioplastics and the countless variations.
- As an alternative to petroleum and especially as an alternative to tropical wood, whose existence is endangered and contributes significantly to the current climate situation. The tropical wood and also the petroleum stock can be protected in this way.
- The cultivation of bamboo opens up new opportunities for many developing countries, especially if attention is paid to fair and sustainable cultivation.
- Bioplastic is a much better alternative than conventional plastic, but it should not be forgotten that no plastic is still better than bioplastic.
- Bamboo has many properties that the industry can take advantage of and thus provide relief for the environment. A real benefit for man and the environment, so both sides can benefit and harmonize with each other.