We here at My Little Panda love bamboo! Not just because it makes excellent, sturdy and sustainable, biodegradable products but also because it can have a really positive impact on the environment. Everything we do is because of an ideology of sustainable and ethical, eco-friendly practice and so we're really keen to tell you why we think bamboo is nifty...
"We must maintain plant life to keep the balance as we continue to pump more carbon into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels."
It Gobbles Up Carbon and Helps Out Trees Most plant life uses carbon from the atmosphere to survive, while in turn, producing oxygen for us to live and breathe. Too much carbon in our atmosphere is a massive contributing factor to global warming, heating up our atmosphere and causing environmental havoc. We must maintain plant life to keep the balance as we continue to pump more carbon into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. In recent years though, growing human populations and an increase in farming have meant that deforestation has been rapidly on the rise as more and more woodland is cleared to accommodate our needs. Essentially acting as a superweed, bamboo can grow up to 10-metres a day without chemicals or fertilisers and can be harvested every year whereas many trees can take 20 - 30 years to grow. If more bamboo were to be used in the production of materials, instead of wood, this would allow forests time to regrow as well as creating more carbon sinks in a relatively short space of time. The carbon stored in Chinese bamboo forests is estimated to increase from 727 million tonnes in 2010 to 1018 million tonnes by 2050.
It Can Be Used as An Alternative Fuel Highly renewable due to its rate of growth and ability to grow on marginal land, bamboo offers up an attractive alternative to fossil fuels. While it can most obviously be used for its properties as solid biomass, it also can be converted into gas or pellets to provide heating or electricity. It has a fairly similar output to other forms of bioenergy as well with around 180kg being able to produce enough power for 250 households over 6 hours. Given how much carbon is put into the air from fossil fuels, which are not renewable, imagine growing a fuel that takes carbon out of the air before it is used, thus helping combat its own carbon output.
It Can Help Protect Fragile EnvironmentsNot content with removing carbon from the atmosphere and providing an alternative to wood and plastic, bamboo can also be used directly in the fight against the loss of fragile environments. Its incredible ability to grow almost anywhere means that it can thrive where other plants might struggle, and this adaptability can be, and has been, applied to helping protect environments that are disappearing. Because of the way it grows underground, it can shore up unstable soil and help regulate the water flow through it. As such, it is excellent for preventing erosion and can also act as a very effective wind barrier.
Used Around The WorldIn India, bamboo has been used to help return degraded areas of land back to proper levels of productivity and growth. Its benefits in land restoration have been noted across China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania and Thailand.
“If the economic role of an environmentally friendly product grows, it will see more resources allocated to seeing it is maintained and nurtured as a business and a job creator. "
It Creates Jobs and Changes LivesThe rise of bamboo usage can create jobs and livelihoods. We know because, well...we work with bamboo. In fact, as climate pressures increase so will the likelihood of bamboo being employed to mitigate the effects of this and thus so will jobs working with it.
If the economic role of an environmentally friendly product grows, it will see more resources allocated to seeing it is maintained and nurtured as a business and a job creator. Resources that, potentially, could have gone into more detrimental industries.
Ethical Products We know ourselves, if an eco-friendly business has provided you with a livelihood, you are also more likely to embody the ethics behind it as well.