That is not the savior we signed up for right? “Where’s Superman?”, “What about the “S” that stands for hope?”, these thoughts must be popping in your head by now, but let me tell you something, bamboo can surely put up a fight. There are multiple eco-friendly uses for bamboo that go unnoticed daily. It has a variety of applications ranging from making clothes to building roads, yes, roads as well, I’ll let that sink in. Here, we are going to discuss how bamboo is contributing to making this planet a better place slowly and steadily.
8. Fun Facts
Bamboo has multiple species and depending on that it can be grown within five years. When we compare it to other hardwoods which can take up to 40 years, it has the upper hand. Its versatility allows us to protect the remaining forests. It grows fast (up to four inches) and even after being cut down, it can regrow. It is the number one renewable resource in the world making it one of the most important resources in the world as well.
We’ve been taught that trees give us oxygen, but as it turns out bamboo gives 35% more oxygen than them. Research in Japan has shown that it can absorb up to 12 tonnes of carbon, which contributes to a great extent towards capturing greenhouse gas and tackling global warming. If we plant a hectare of bamboo, it can absorb up to 392 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Bamboo can grow in a variety of regions, it’s optimum conditions are amidst warm temperature or tropical climates but it can grow in cold conditions as well. The Yellow groove grows to forty feet with temperatures up to 5 degrees. It can also grow in regions with drought because it preserves moisture from the soil. It also strives in clumpy climates and it has shorter rhizomes that spread at a lower rate.
Countries where unemployment prevails, bamboo production serves as an economic opportunity by providing jobs through bamboo production. This helps the social and economic stability. Also as bamboo has high nutritional values it impacts the economy in western countries. Since it is different from timber trees, planting it has a lower cost initially hence reducing the investment burden from farmers.
Once forests are slashed and burned, the next phase that comes is erosion, which results in the nutrients getting washed away by the rain as they appear on the topsoil. This further affects the rivers and streams as it clogs them due to which people and animals suffer. It’s roots prevent erosion as they hold their position and prevent the soil from eroding.
Every part of the bamboo is used. From making furniture to making soil-enriching mulch, every part of it is utilized one way or the other. Bamboo is used for producing medicine, building roads, houses, and schools, making clothes and accessories, feeding people, making rugs, diapers, toys, and last but not the least, it is also used to make cows more fertile. I bet Superman can’t make cows fertile.
Bamboo has so many general uses that we can remove a significant amount of plastic materials from our day to day life. Starting with a bamboo toothbrush, it is stronger than it’s the plastic counterpart and works as effectively. It even has antibacterial properties that keep our teeth in good shape. It can be molded into a tea/coffee cup. The “Booflask” is thermally insulated and it can keep the beverage at the desired temperature for as long as eight hours. And finally my favorite, bamboo straws. We all are tired of paper straws as an alternative as they become soggy and become one with the drink, no one likes that.
So we haven’t categorized it yet, what do you think? Is it a tree or grass? Well, my initial thought led me to believe that bamboo is a type of tree but turns it bamboo is categorized as grass. It is the largest grass and the only type which can classify as a forest after a certain growth period. Speaking of growth, do you know there are one thousand seven hundred and eighteen bamboo species? Now you know. But one of the most interesting facts about bamboo is that it survived Hiroshima. It is highly resilient as it was the only plant to survive the atomic bombing.
I bet all these astonishing facts would’ve given Superman a run for his money if he were real. The state of the planet is deteriorating but as individuals, we can try and help by incorporating it in our daily lives and avoiding plastic. Understandably it is not an easy task but who said saving the planet would be an easy task?