Environmentally Responsible Bamboo. There’s no doubt about it, Bamboo is, perhaps, the single most ‘eco-friendly’ material we have. Super-rapid growth, tiny carbon footprint, naturally anti-bacterial, bamboo is quite the wonder material. Most importantly, it isn’t plastic!
Environmentally Responsible Bamboo
Bamboo is a truly amazing plant. Often touted as ‘the world’s most renewable material’, it is nature’s fastest growing woody plant (it isn’t a tree, it’s a type of grass – a very big grass), with some species growing up to four feet in just 24 hours and achieving maturity in as little as three years.
Also, bamboo plants releases roughly one third more oxygen back into the atmosphere and absorb more carbon dioxide compared to other plants. It cleans up the air, too!
As well as that, bamboo has natural antibacterial properties, too, as it contains natural inhibitors of bacterial growth. There are studies which show that bacteria growth on textiles made from bamboo is almost zero, compared to textiles made from cotton. We’re not talking about clothing here on BambooShootz.com (not yet, anyway!), but surely you would welcome naturally anti-bacterial properties on an object that you’l be putting in your mouth!
Every plastic you have ever bought – and thrown away – very likely, still exists. Somewhere, in some landfill, or on some floating pollution island, somewhere. Your average toothbrush is made from polypropylene plastic and nylon. Oil-based plastics like this do not break down when dumped. They just hang around, effectively, for ever.
It is estimated that anywhere from 3.5 billion to 5 billion- yes, BILLION – toothbrushes are discarded every year. Just because you and I don’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there.
For the sake of argument, we’ll assume that you, dear reader, are 40 years old. We’ll also assume that you’ve been grown-up enough to buy your own toothbrushes since age 20, and that you’ve diligently followed your dentist’s advice and replaced your toothbrush every three months.
That would mean you have bought approximately 80 toothbrushes, so far, in your life and thrown away 79 of them. All those 79 toothbrushes are still somewhere, on some distant beach, in some dreadful wasteland somewhere in some poor country that can’t afford not to accept them.
That’s the reality of our culture. We throw things away and think no more of them.
Is Bamboo Really Environmentally Responsible?
Yes, overwhelmingly. Bamboo – when compared to polypropylene and other plastics – is hugely, almost infinitely more responsible.
A piece of bamboo, be it a toothbrush or anything else, will biodegrade. This nice article describes a bamboo plate in an advanced state of decomposition with a little over 3 months, in the right conditions. A polypropylene plastic toothbrush is estimated to still be intact in anything up to 1,000 years. Let me say that again… 1,000 years!
Anything we (human beings) take from nature might be considered by some as ‘unfriendly’ to our planet, but given that we are part of nature, that argument is a bit silly. Aside from its capacity to easily break down, bamboo’s ability to grow rapidly means it is easily replaced, while absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than almost all other plants.
To reiterate, yes, bamboo is environmentally responsible. Every non-plastic toothbrush you buy is one less in 1,000 year land fill.