The Pedal Forward Blog

31 March 2016

Bamboo to Save the World

You’ve seen it in flooring, in silverware, and maybe even in furniture. Bamboo is a use-all component. People around the world are using bamboo for amazing things, and for good reasons! While the bamboo market is still slow growing, it’s incredibly important that it continue to grow. This single plant has the ability to make an important impact on our world, as long as we allow it.

Did you know bamboo holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest growing plant? Certain species can grow up to 35 inches per day. The tallest recorded stalk measured in at 98 feet. Pine, a common hardwood, grows 8 to 12 inches per year. Seems kind of silly we aren’t using a faster growing wood in all our products, doesn’t it?

But what about its strength? Certainly, it is not that strong. Some bamboo species can be soft as pine, or hard as red oak. It all varies on species type and age. Due to this, many manufacturers wait roughly 3-6 years before using a stalk of bamboo, ensuring premium strength. For example, Pedal Forward uses iron bamboo, the strongest bamboo species. All our bamboo is at least 3 years old. This results in a lightweight component with a higher tensile strength than steel. Unfortunately, many companies provide adolescent, chemical-coated bamboo to their customers. This gives the illusion of strength, but ultimately gives bamboo a bad reputation in many markets.

source: Green School Facebook

source: Green School Facebook

So it grows super fast and it is super strong. What more could you want? Trust me, there’s more. If you haven’t heard, the Earth is going through an environmental crisis under the code name of “Climate Change.” The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is causing the planet to retain heat and warm. While deforestation efforts are increasing, these hardwoods are taking decades to absorb the massive amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere. Bamboo, on the other hand, grows faster and has been known to releases 35% more oxygen than standard hardwoods. This makes bamboo an excellent component for CO2 absorption, fighting climate change one stalk at a time. Leonardo Dicaprio would approve.

source: Bamboo Living Facebook

source: Bamboo Living Facebook

Why hasn’t the world joined in on this amazing concept? Some countries have! Green School in Bali, Indonesia has an educational campus build from bamboo. Companies, like Bamboo Living, are building homes from this amazing grass. Many countries are using bamboo as scaffolding, particularly in Hong Kong. Totally Bamboo, from California, makes a huge variety of bamboo items, like sinks and chairs. Bamboo has always been a second, more expensive choice next to other hardwoods. However, as studies show how amazing of a component bamboo is, this will hopefully change.

The bamboo market might not be growing as fast as the grass, but with time, recognition, and an ambitious consumer, the market for bamboo can flourish. With this growth comes more bamboo needs, leading to more plantations. With more bamboo plantations?

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