Have you seen a lot more products made from bamboo lately? There is a good reason for it.
Those who are serious about their environmental impact and reduction of their carbon footprints may have seen a rise in bamboo-based products. This can range from houseware, dishware, and even accessories (like sunglasses!). With the ever-growing popularity of bamboo, one can’t help but question if it’s a truly eco-friendly material.
Bamboo, due to its fast growth rate and low-impact processing, is one of the most sustainable materials to harvest for sustainable, eco-friendly products.
Let's break down the ins and outs of bamboo, from what it is to its cultivation, to dispel any doubts about its ecologically sound status.
What Is Bamboo?
Though commonly mistaken for a type of tree, bamboo is actually a species of grass. Unlike traditional grass, bamboo has a hollow inside and doesn’t need consistent watering or conditions to stay healthy- which is what makes it so ideal for harvesting. However, similar to grass, bamboo can grow at incredibly fast rates.
While bamboo is thought to be native to countries in Asia, it’s a strong plant that can grow in most climates- and when we say grow, we mean grow. Bamboo is known to grow about 2 ft. a day. Though fast-growing, this plant is anything but weak. Its tensile and compressive strength and strength-to-weight ratio rival that of metallic alloys, concrete, and graphite.
One of the most special features of bamboo, and what makes it such a great renewable resource, is that you can chop it in the middle of its stem and it will continue to grow. This means that a single bamboo plant can be cultivated for use over and over again, never needing to be uprooted once.
Is Bamboo Truly Sustainable?
The process of growing bamboo doesn’t involve any harsh pesticides or environmentally compromising chemicals (when done correctly), which is different than other materials that are cultivated for consumer use. This feature alone sets bamboo apart from other eco-friendly substances.
Another feature of bamboo that makes it such a noteworthy option for environmentalists is its natural antibacterial and antimicrobial nature. All plants indeed have some sort of protective tendencies, but bamboo’s bacteria repelling tendencies are unparalleled, making them the perfect material for items touching your skin daily (accessories, straws, etc.)
A non-renewable resource that bamboo is constantly compared to is plastic (this is due to its strength and longevity). However, when looked at meticulously, the nuances between the materials make bamboo the unrivaled champion.
Bamboo is far stronger than plastic, tolerating drops, bumps, and scratches in unparalleled ways. When sourced from trustworthy companies, bamboo is also entirely biodegradable- it won’t litter oceans and landfills in the way plastic does. Lastly, when the time comes to part with your bamboo item, you can toss them in the recycling bin with full confidence.
Bamboo is gaining popularity in eyewear, including Eastern Outer Sunglasses, because of its strength to weight ratio. And as an eco-conscious brand, Eastern Outer uses bamboo (and other woods) because it is a much more sustainable material than the plastics found in most products.
Bamboo’s Impact On The Environment
It’s normal to worry about the environmental impact of bamboo farming, cultivating, and processing into household products, but bamboo trumps other materials- even when it comes to manufacturing.
Bamboo planting and farming can only be considered sustainable when they’re done by trustworthy sources. A true environmentally-savvy company won’t source their bamboo from places that take away from Panda habitats, nor will they involve the use of chemicals during the growing process. The key is to find places that allow bamboo to grow at its natural rate.
As for the manufacturing of bamboo, it can be done in one of two ways: chemical or physical. Physical manufacturing allows the most bamboo to be included in the final product but is more strenuous of a process. Chemical processing requires less work, but is harsher on the environment and compromises the state of the bamboo being used.
It’s only right for those who are worried about their environmental impact to wonder about what the best sustainable sources are to switch to. With the manufacturing of bamboo-based products on the up and up, eco-friendly supporters are curious about how the plant stands in terms of sustainability.
Rest assured, the growth, farming, and factory processing of bamboo is one of the least harmful to the environment, and bamboo by-products break down far faster than other resources, so they won’t litter the oceans or fill up landfills.
Ready to try a pair of Bamboo Shades? Check out our 5-star rated Bamboo Floating Sunglasses