Bamboo as an Alternative to Plastic
Why are we saying goodbye to plastic straws, single-use plastic and other unsustainable materials? Not only will plastic products outlive us, but they will outlive generations to come. The demand we place on unsustainable materials like plastic has led to the development of a fossil fuel-dependent economy. Here are 5 ways bamboo makes the perfect green alternative to plastic.
1. Sequesters Carbon
Bamboo releases 30% more oxygen into the atmosphere compared to other plants. It also absorbs more carbon dioxide. As a result, bamboo greatly decreases the amount of greenhouse gases and cleans the air! Once ready to harvest, it’s more environmentally friendly to cut bamboo down to make sustainable products. This avoids carbon being released into the atmosphere when it dies.
2. Reduces Pressure on Forest Resources
Bamboo is the world’s fastest growing plant. As a result, it’s ready to be harvested annually and sustainably after four to five years. Typical hardwood takes many years longer to mature and can be harvested only once! Once harvested, bamboo can produce a vast range of sustainable goods including straws, textiles, furniture, construction, tissue and paper products.
3. Helps Farmers Adapt to Climate Change
Climate change is causing new growing conditions. As a result, farmers have to adapt their management and harvesting practices. Bamboo’s rapid growth allow frequent harvesting, which means less exposure to disaster.
4. Restores Degraded Land
By planting bamboo, we can help restore land degraded by deforestation. This is due to several reasons including: bamboo’s effectiveness as a windbreak, its ability to thrive on problem soils and on land unsuitable for other crops. The plant therefore offers an outstanding opportunity to replace non-sustainable technologies.
5. Provides Green Livelihoods
Bamboo grows locally in some of the world’s poorest communities in the tropics and subtropics. It’s a highly versatile material because it can produce a vast range of sustainable goods, employment opportunities and ecosystem services. Bamboo can therefore be an economic driver for providing sustainable livelihood opportunities in these communities.
Bamboo is an eco-warrior! And our world needs alternative non-wood fibres to survive.