Think wood flooring is bad for the planet? Not all hardwood flooring destroys forests. Bamboo flooring makes a great option for reducing the carbon footprint of your home. What makes bamboo flooring eco-friendly? Here is a quick look at how bamboo is grown, harvested, transformed into flooring, and transported.
Easy to Farm
When it comes to a cash crop, bamboo is about as eco-friendly as it gets. Bamboo isn’t a tree. It is grass. And if you have a yard, you know how fast grass can grow. Instead of forests, bamboo grows in groves.
A single bamboo plant can grow several feet in a single day! From the time it is planted to the time it is ready to harvest is just a few years.
During the time bamboo is growing, the farmer doesn’t need to apply fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Bamboo chokes out weeds and literally grows like grass because it is grass.
That makes bamboo an incredibly eco-friendly crop when compared to hardwood trees.
Hardwood trees grow in managed forests. The trees take decades to grow large enough to harvest. So, a hardwood tree farmer may harvest their crop every 30 years or more. In the same amount of time, a bamboo farmer has harvested a crop 10 times! Hardwood trees are susceptible to insect damage, and pest control requires the application of toxic pesticides.
Bamboo Groves versus Hardwood Forest
Bamboo plants have a shallow root system. The rhizomes grow in the top 6 inches of the soil. The bamboo roots grow only about another 6 inches further down. Because the rhizomes are closely bunched, bamboo provides a fantastic erosion control barrier.
Hardwood tree roots grow deep in search of water. They do an exceptional job at stabilizing the tree but a poor job of holding soil in place.
Bamboo stays green all year long. Most hardwood trees are deciduous. This means they lose their leaves in the Fall and are dormant for part of the year. Bamboo continues to scrub the air year-round, and a bamboo grove releases more than 35% more oxygen than the same size hardwood forest.
One ember can start a fire that devastates a hardwood forest. On the other hand, bamboo naturally contains a high amount of silicate acid, which makes it resistant to fire.
Bamboo Harvesting is Eco-Friendly
Bamboo is harvested by hand. The individual stalks are culled from the grove according to their size. The top of the stalk is severed, and this causes the plant to regenerate and grow a new bamboo stalk again. A single bamboo plant can regenerate over and over again.
When diesel-burning logging trucks go into a hardwood forest, every tree is cut down, even the ones that aren’t part of the harvest. This is done to provide access to the mechanical equipment used during logging. Those trees are wasted.
When hardwood trees are cut, the plant does not regenerate. The forest must be replanted with saplings and will take another 30 years to reach maturity.
Transportation Considerations Also Make Bamboo Flooring Eco-Friendly
Most bamboo is grown in Asia, and it is converted into bamboo flooring in Asia as well. That’s an eco-friendly way to manufacture.
Hardwood trees grown in the United States, Canada, and Europe travel by ship to Asia to be converted into flooring and then travel back to be sold by retailers. That’s far from energy-efficient or eco-friendly.
True green transportation manufactures products close to where components grow.
So, even bamboo flooring from China is eco-friendly where transportation is concerned. It only crosses the sea once, and that’s to get to the US.
Feeling Good About Eco-Friendly Bamboo Flooring
Choose beautiful eco-friendly bamboo flooring and feel good about your choice.
You’ve selected a product with a minimal carbon footprint and your flooring will last for years. Bamboo is harder than even the hardest of hardwood trees, it is a fast-growing plant that doesn’t require chemicals to thrive.
The growing, harvesting, manufacturing, and transportation of bamboo flooring make it clearly an eco-friendly flooring.
Order free bamboo flooring samples and see for yourself how beautiful eco-friendly flooring can be.