I Have Shared This Article Before But Thought It Timely With COP26 Having Just Wound Up:
Today, almost everyone is aware that we are depleting the natural resources of our one home at a rate that is much beyond sustainable development. To some extent, we have grown weary of the alarming warnings and cautions about our wastefulness.
The media is constantly talking about overpopulation, global warming, and deforestation, topics that either tire or challenge us to make the necessary changes to our lives.
There is a development that gives us optimism about the prospect of positive changes in our habits from time to time. One such development is the emergence of a new use for a species of grass that has been around longer than we have.
Bamboo has been utilized for everything from food to bridge building for thousands of years, but consumers and suppliers are taking a fresh look at all this unique plant has to offer. Here are ten ways bamboo is saving the planet.
1. Renewable resource
Depending upon the species, bamboo can be harvested in 1 to 5 years. Hardwoods, such as oak, take at least 40 years to mature before they can be harvested. Every week, deforestation takes nearly one million hectares of forest worldwide.
The versatility of bamboo as an alternative to hardwoods offers an opportunity to reduce this figure and protect our remaining forests significantly.
2. Absorbs greenhouse gases
Compared to deciduous trees, bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide and releases 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere.
3. Amazing growth rate
Some species of bamboo can grow over a meter in a day! That’s the beauty of bamboo. No other plant on earth grows so fast. At harvest, it produces new shoots from its extensive root system and does not need to be planted or cultivated.
4. Very little waste
After harvesting, can use almost every part of the plant to make a variety of products. From soil-rich mulch to beautiful furniture to chopsticks – every part of the plant can be used.
Bamboo can replace the use of wood in almost all applications. Paper, flooring, furniture, charcoal, building materials, and much more can all be made from bamboo. Additionally, bamboo fibers are much stronger than wood fibers and are less likely to warp in changing weather conditions.
6. No fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides needed
Unlike most commercial crops, bamboo does not require agricultural chemicals to grow. Unlike cotton, which is one of the most intensively sprayed crops globally and rapidly depletes the soil of nutrients, bamboo sequesters nitrogen. It is grown without adding chemicals to the environment.
7. Soil protection
When deciduous forests are cut down and stumps are burnt to provide space for fertilizer and crops, erosion inevitably occurs as topsoil and nutrients are washed away by rain. The eroded soil then blocks rivers and streams, affecting the livelihoods of people and animals living downstream.
The bamboo roots remain in place after harvesting, preventing erosion and helping to retain nutrients for the next crop.
8. Economic development
In less developed countries where unemployment has led to civil unrest, bamboo production and the manufacture of bamboo products offer employment opportunities in areas where social and economic stability is severely lacking.
9. Bamboo grows in a variety of conditions
Bamboo can grow in arid areas where drought has caused other crops to fail and, because its roots remain in situ after harvest, it helps to conserve vital soil moisture. From humid lowlands to high altitudes, bamboo thrives in a wide range of climatic conditions.
10.Optimism and cultural cooperation
In a world where resources are subject to conflict and war, the growing popularity of bamboo products offers different cultures the opportunity to resolve their differences through trade and cooperation, to the benefit of all.
Can bamboo save the planet? The answer to this question remains to be seen. But this unique plant and its spectacular popularity in various products offer humanity the opportunity to enjoy the many comforts of modern life without irreparable damage to our environment.
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