Bamboo towels have joined the ranks of the green revolution. Now, what exactly is the "green revolution" you ask?
It is the ever-growing number of environmentally-friendly products entering the consumer market. More specifically, people are demanding the goods they purchase be sustainable, recyclable, and have a light "carbon footprint."
Bamboo towels meet these three major green product criteria with flying colors.
Bamboo towels are sustainable because bamboo is the fastest growing terrestrial plant on Earth. It can grow up to a few feet in a single day during its growing season. The key to sustainability is replaceability. As a result of bamboos rapid maturation, it is easy to replenish. This makes products made of bamboo certifiably sustainable.
In comparison, products made of hardwood like furniture or flooring come from trees which take about 30 years to grow back to where they were before commercial harvesting. On the other hand, bamboo takes only a few years to return to its original height and size. This is why bamboo products are generally considered sustainable and thus green, and why hardwood goods simply are not.
The next major criterion for a product to be considered green or eco-friendly is recyclability. This is the measurement of how many parts of a good come from recycled materials as well as how many parts can be usefully recycled once that good has exceeded its lifespan.
For example, styrofoam does not possess notable recyclability because it comes from synthetic materials which all must be manufactured. This means no recycled materials go into the production of styrofoam. On the other end of the cycle, styrofoam cannot be recycled once it has been used. In consequence, every product made of styrofoam wastes energy in its production and then burdens landfills with its extraordinarily slow and toxic decomposition.
In contrast, bamboo towels and products can be made with recycled bamboo. This means considerably less valuable energy is wasted in the creation of bamboo goods. It also means resources are retooled for future use rather than becoming yet more trash in more dumps. Furthermore, when one has gotten full usage out of their bamboo towels, some parts of them can be reused to make other products. Therefore, both the energy in and waste out impacts on the environment are lessened by bamboo product’s recyclable qualities.
The last overarching characteristic of green goods is what is called the "carbon footprint." The idea behind this is to measure the full life-cycle of any particular good so to gage the amount of CO2 (the main catalyst for human-imposed climate change) which it produces in totality.
For instance, if one were to measure the carbon foot print of Australian beef consumed in the US, one would have to take into account the following factors: the CO2 released by grass fertilizers, cow feces, the running of a cow farm (i.e., lights, heaters, water pumps, the storing of slaughtered meat etc.), the trucks to get the meat to a ship or plane, the ship or plane to get it to a port in the US, the trucks to get it to distribution centers, the trucks to get it to the grocery stores and restaurants, and the vehicles getting it to its final destination such as homes or businesses – as well as the amount of CO2 not otherwise converted by vast forests razed for cow pastures.
Indeed the carbon footprint for Australian beef consumed in the US is likely one of the highest of any product in the country.
In evaluating bamboo towels with the same standards, the results are markedly different.
Forests are typically not cleared to grow bamboo. Fertilizers are generally not needed either, because commercial bamboo comes from Asian nations where it grows naturally. Moreover, because the efficiency at which a plant converts CO2 into O2 is in direct correlation with its rate of maturation, bamboo is one of the most effectual carbon reducers on the planet. This means even though bamboo farms are popping up all around Asia for commercial use, in the five years this extra bamboo is living it is helping reduce carbon emissions.
These benefits when weighed with the carbon costs of shipping the bamboo from Asia present products with a relatively light carbon footprint, such as bamboo towels.
Naturally, there are other environmental considerations, such as whether a product is organic (comprised of mostly nature-made materials) or synthetic (comprised of mostly man-made materials). However, these types of ecological concerns primarily fall within the scope of the abovementioned categories of analysis. For, organic products tend to be more sustainable and recyclable than are synthetic goods.
For more information on what makes a product "green," why bamboo towels have met these criteria, and where you can get your own, simply fill out our contact form!
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