The use of Bamboo in the western world is increasing as it is now being incorporated into a wide range of items, including clothing, toilet rolls, flooring and walls in construction, bike frames, funeral caskets and even computer hardware.
This use of sustainably produced Bamboo will play a pivotal role in moving society towards a fairer and greener economy.
- absorbs 30% more CO2 than an equivalent mass of trees
- produces 35% more Oxygen than trees
- tough and durable
- fast-growing, 4 year turnaround between harvests
- no fertiliser or pesticides are required to farm
Though China has the most bamboo acreage globally (with Far-Eastern China known as the 'Kingdom of bamboo'), the plant also grows in South America, Australia, Africa, India, and many Pacific islands. Growing at many different altitudes and soil types.
Below are details of two recently started businesses that are making a positive difference to our effect on the world.
Not only are they working sustainably, but they are also making a big improvement to several African communities. Partnering with charities to provide water for school children in Kenya and sustainable companies in Ghana which provide inclusive and equal job opportunities.
Naked Sprout (established in 2020) sources all their Bamboo from FSC certified forests in far eastern china to create affordable, eco-friendly, unbleached toilet and kitchen rolls.
The production of standard toilet rolls removes trees from our environment ("27,000 trees a day – almost 9 million a year.." National Geographic.) and produces substantial chemical waste.
Chemicals found within standard toilet roll include, Bleach, BPA, formaldehyde, de-inking agents, chlorine dioxide, sodium sulphide, sodium hydroxide, sodium sulphate, anti-slime agents, filler, adhesives, wet strength enhancers, inks, scents, dyes and more!
After use, these chemicals can make their way into the local waterways and damage the environment.
NakedSprout creates their rolls without using these damaging chemicals, plastics, or additives. They only use 100% natural unbleached bamboo.
How they make it:
'Bamboo is pulverised and then cooked to break down the fibres in the first instance (70% of this water used then recycled). These broken down fibres then go through a set of steps to isolate the fibres. It is here where most toilet roll manufacturers will then whiten the product using the same chemicals used in wood pulp toilet paper manufacturing, like hydrogen peroxide and chlorine dioxide. We have removed this process completely - hence the off white colour of Naked Sprout rolls. The liquid mix is then drawn onto giant drums at high speed where they re-form, bond and dry as Naked Sprout toilet paper.'
They offset the unavoidable emissions of their energy and water use, associated with their general operations and shipment of products by sea freight, through the World Land Trust's carbon balanced programme.
They use the UK's most sustainable delivery firm, DPD.
Changing to sustainably made toilet roll is only a small change to make, but if we all do it, it will make a difference.
I had been using an alternative bamboo toilet paper for some time, but it was bleached white. When I came across this company I thought I would switch to this better brand, and I'm not disappointed.
Get yours from Shop Naked Sprout
Brother and sister team Andy and Laura, both bike enthusiasts, recently established Netham Bamboo Bikes and are creating sustainably and ethically produced bikes. Up until now, little attention has been paid to the impact of how and where bicycles are manufactured. With their use of sustainably sourced Bamboo, they dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of bike production compared to carbon and steel-framed bikes.
They realised that Bamboo offers a unique alternative to traditional bike frames. Formed from interwoven fibres, its high strength-to-weight ratio allows it to withstand large amounts of stress, even boasting a tensile strength to rival steel.
Netham Bamboo has utilised the great combination of Andy's bike wizardry with Laura's passion for the environment. Working with their partners in Ghana and Bali, they can offer high-quality, affordable bikes.
"We are one of the first companies to offer handcrafted bikes at affordable prices", explains Laura. "Each frame has its own unique markings and its own story. We offer you the chance to make your bike truly unique with any customisation you want, whether it be different pedals, wheels, groupsets, tyres or saddles – the choice is yours!"
29/07/21 Although their website states that all their bikes are out of stock, they are still selling them. Their website and ordering system are in the process of being updated.
So get in touch with them.
September 18 is World Bamboo Day! Lets raise awareness of this fabulous material and our ability to grow and use it sustainably.