Global warming is having a devastating effect on our planet. Climate change will result in rising ocean levels which threaten coastal communities. It will cause loss of habitat and wildlife, longer wildfire seasons, more intense storms and heat waves, flooding, droughts and disrupted food supply. To mitigate the effects of global warming, we need to live more sustainably. Though there are many ways for you to reduce your carbon footprint and help the planet, one sustainable plant is taking the green world by storm: bamboo.
Bamboo is, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the fastest growing plant in the world. With a growth rate of 35 inches a day, it replenishes itself far more quickly than wood. Bamboo produces 35 percent more oxygen than a forest of the same size. During its growth cycle, bamboo removes carbon from the atmosphere and sequesters it, which helps to reduce global warming. If you want to make a meaningful contribution to help slow down global warming, finding ways to substitute a sustainable material like bamboo for less eco-friendly options is a great first step.
Nylon and polyester fabrics are made from non-biodegradable petrochemicals in a process that creates nitrous oxide—a damaging greenhouse gas. Cotton, while a natural fiber, is one of the least eco-friendly fabrics. Cotton accounts for 16 percent of the world’s pesticide use and is one of the most sprayed crops in the world.
Bamboo’s phenomenal growth rate makes it the perfect eco-friendly substitute for other fabrics. Bamboo fabrics are lightweight and soft with natural wicking qualities that make them perfect for sportswear and socks. Bamboo is hypoallergenic and good at insulating which makes it great for the home, so consider opting for bamboo curtains and bamboo mattresses as well as bamboo bedding.
Thanks to its fast growth rate, bamboo flooring is a great substitute for hardwoods and synthetics. Bamboo flooring is a durable, inexpensive flooring option that helps you to qualify for green building certifications like LEED.
Bamboo in the Kitchen
From bamboo cutting boards to spatulas, almost every utensil in your kitchen is available in this sustainable material. There are many reasons to switch from metals and plastics to bamboo in your kitchen. Bamboo is durable, it won’t scratch non-stick surfaces and it’s easy to clean. Bamboo offers a beautiful, natural look while being heat and stain resistant. The best thing about bamboo kitchen utensils? They are really affordable.
Nikki Fotheringham is an environmental journalist and campfire cooking author. She is the editor of Greenmoxie.com where she shares green-living tips and helps people to live a more sustainable life.