I’ve been buying and using bamboo products more and moreover the years as opposed to plastic products. The look and feel of bamboo are definitely above and beyond plastic, but there must be more positive aspects to bamboo than just aesthetics. That led me to investigate the most impactful reasons why we should use bamboo instead of plastic.
So why should we use bamboo instead of plastic? Bamboo is a highly renewable, natural material that has antibacterial, antifungal properties and is biodegradable as opposed to plastic. Plastic can take up to 1000 years to biodegrade and is the leading cause of mass pollution all over the world.
Bamboo has become the “green gold” of today because it has so many positive qualities when compared to harmful and wasteful materials such as plastic. In a time when most of our homes are filled with plastic, and knowing the strong negative effects of owning plastic, it’s time to wake up to the green alternative that really is a planet saver; bamboo.
Using Bamboo Instead of Plastic
Our planet has become, over the years, a dumping ground for garbage that has massive negative effects on our environment and future generations. With the “throwaway” culture becoming more of a reality, which appears to not be slowing down, we’ll accumulate more and more pollution problems as time goes on. And the main culprit of all this pollution? Plastic.
For better or worse (and more recently, worse), plastic has changed our everyday lives. Being one of the financially cheapest materials to produce on the planet and its ability to take many physical forms, it’s been a game-changer in the kinds of products we’re able to manufacture. Think of every cell phone you’ve owned, every toothbrush, the packages you open when purchasing something from the store, and even the materials used inside our cars.
Plastic has been a staple in the growth of our culture, society, and economic affluence, but it’s come at a fairly heavy price. In what ways, you might ask? Well, some include:
- 50% of plastic is never reused or recycled.
- It takes up to 1000 years for plastic to biodegrade.
- Over 1 million plastic bags are used every minute in the world.
- Creating plastic requires fossil fuels (oil), which increases our planet’s carbon emissions.
- Over 17 billion pounds (8 billion kilograms) of plastic end up in the ocean every year.
These are just some of the reasons why using plastic is having a detrimental impact on our lives and the environment and why we need to reduce our use of plastic. Year after year these problems only get worse when not properly addressing the issue of replacing plastic with a more eco-friendly, sustainable solution. That’s where bamboo comes in.
In recent years, bamboo has been called the “green gold” of modern times. This super-powered plant is actually a grass and acts similar to a weed in terms of how quickly it can grow and where it can live. There are so many reasons to move away from plastic and switch entirely to bamboo. Some of these reasons include:
- Bamboo can grow without fertilizers or pesticides.
- Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
- Bamboo can regrow to adult size to be harvested within 3 to 5 years.
- Bamboo can grow in many different kinds of environments (China, Africa, South America, USA).
- Bamboo is biodegradable.
- Bamboo produces 35% more oxygen compared to similar plants.
- Bamboo naturally helps rebuild eroded soil.
- Bamboo almost never needs replanting.
- Bamboo is an extremely durable material.
- Bamboo requires far less water than similar plants, therefore often requiring no irrigation systems.
These are all amazing reasons why using bamboo products as opposed to plastic ones is massively beneficial to our environment and future generations. The production costs of bamboo are extremely low due to the high-volume of availability this material has as well as requiring almost zero alterations to be made when producing products.
Not only does using bamboo products benefit our planet in the long-run, but they work and look amazingly well around the house. The natural style that now takes a major role in the setting of my home makes every day have a warm and comfortable feel.
From kitchenware to household items to decorative settings, the number of uses bamboo has is incredible and only limited by your imagination. On top of that, due to bamboo being a very durable material, everything I own that’s made of bamboo will last a very long time!
Popular Bamboo Products That Replace Plastic Products
Now you might be asking yourself: “What products can I buy that are made of bamboo?” There are a huge number of products that you can swap from plastic to bamboo. While we currently aren’t able to swap everything, since plastic is still a major staple in the retail world and arguably does provide value, there are still numerous options available.
Bamboo Cutting Board
Probably the best start in your migration from plastic products to bamboo products is with a bamboo cutting board. I bought the Extra Large Organic Bamboo Cutting Board by Royal Craft Wood (link to read reviews on Amazon) and absolutely love it. This investment is totally worth it because the nature of bamboo ensures it’ll last a very long time and it’s naturally resistant to fungus and bacteria.
Think about all the times you’ve cut veggies before or after having just cut some beef, chicken, or another kind of meat. Plastic doesn’t resist any sort of cross-contamination as opposed to bamboo, so getting a bamboo cutting board is an easy win.
Bamboo Serving Tray
There are so many different kinds of bamboo serving trays out there, you’ll never have a problem finding the one that best fits your style. Bamboo serving trays are on the rise and are steadily replacing plastic, wood, and other less sustainable materials. As a matter of fact, the Solid Bamboo Serving Tray by Lipper International (link to read reviews on Amazon) is what I own due to being durable and able to hold a full dinner in one go.
The added benefits of owning a bamboo serving tray are that they’re extremely durable, they’re easy to clean, and they look great when used for serving as well as a decorative piece.
Disposable Bamboo Cutlery
Whenever you go to a BBQ or some get-together, it’s almost always the case that the cutlery is made out of plastic. This is how we’ve always done it, but the problem is that it can be extremely wasteful because plastic cutlery is mainly a one-time use product and rarely gets recycled. The Disposable Bamboo Cutlery Set by Bamboodlers (link to read reviews on Amazon) is a perfect choice and is far better than any plastic competitor out there.
With disposable bamboo cutlery, not only is it naturally biodegradable and anti-bacterial, but it also looks great! The combination of looks and eco-friendly disposal is a huge win in my book.
Dentists say you should replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, which means if everyone in your house is using plastic toothbrushes, you’ve got a lot of plastic waste. Unfortunately, a lot of plastic toothbrushes are mixed with other materials, including rubber and other synthetic materials, so throwing them away is very harmful to the environment. If you plan on getting a set of bamboo toothbrushes, you definitely want to check out 100% Natural Bamboo Toothbrushes by GoWoo (link to read reviews on Amazon). Trust me, they’re amazing.
That’s why switching to bamboo toothbrushes is an excellent way to help the environment. In my opinion, they look and work fantastically, and even my family started appreciating them after I bought them. Win!
Bamboo Drinking Straws
You can probably imagine that the number of drinking straws we use on planet earth is very big. Sadly, as I’m sure we’re all aware, most plastic straws end up in the garbage, which goes straight to a landfill. Me and my family use the Organic Bamboo Drinking Straws by Worthy Picks (link to read reviews on Amazon), which even come with a handy cleaner.
Using bamboo drinking straws has become a very popular way to combat this environmental disaster, and I love to see it becoming more popular as time goes on.
Is This Bamboo Craze Just a Fad?
Now you might be thinking that this move from plastic to bamboo is just a fad, and I can understand that feeling. Every year we’re bombarded with “Go Green!” advertising and it’s become common to ignore it due to disingenuous marketing and advertising. At the same time, we have a planet that’s becoming more and more unhealthy as the years go by, therefore addressing this crisis by reducing our use of plastic is very important.
Bamboo as an alternative to plastic is a viable solution in many use-cases. The fact that plastic usage is one of the major contributors to pollution on the plant is a very good reason to find an eco-friendly, renewable alternative, and I’m so thankful that bamboo has come around. The qualities bamboo has can really help our planet and hopefully, one day, it will become more common in our retail world.
Unfortunately, we can’t replace everything made of plastic with bamboo because plastic is still a very useful material. Regardless of its negative impact on the environment, we still need it because it’s extremely cheap, malleable, and abundant. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t make the switch to bamboo in every use-case possible.
Reducing Our Use of Plastic
Even if we can’t replace everything made of plastic with bamboo, we can at least replace what we can as well as reduce our plastic usage. We use so much plastic on a day-to-day basis that there must be some areas in our lives where we can reduce our plastic consumption. With that in mind, it’s important to be aware of what you’re buying whenever you go shopping.
For instance, whenever I go to the grocery store, I try not to use plastic bags anymore. Instead, I use reusable bags, and if I forget my bags I’ll use paper bags instead. Another great way to reduce plastic usage is to buy a glass water bottle. This small investment is easy and functional. Also, be careful when buying facial cleansers with micro-beads inside because these simply go straight down the drain and ultimately end up in our oceans.
Why is bamboo a sustainable material? Bamboo is a fast-growing material that’s naturally biodegradable and is extremely abundant globally. It’s durability and renewable qualities rank it high in the most eco-friendly materials in the world and a popular replacement for plastic.
Where does bamboo grow? Bamboo mainly grows in parts of Asia, Africa, South America, and North America. The vast majority of bamboo produced for retail use is grown in China as they have a lot of naturally growing bamboo.