Our Mission – from Bamboo Warehouse’s Graeme Solomon.
We have all heard the following catch phrases and sayings, Green Living – Sustainability – Eco-Friendliness – Carbon Footprint etc. What does all this mean and how does Bamboo Warehouse fit in.
Let me first and foremost state I am not a scientist, neither an expert on the climate or green house gases. What I am, is a “citizen of the world” who loves the outdoors, nature and the notion that my kids will one day too, be able to enjoy the wonderful planet that we have been blessed with.
Bamboo Warehouse as you are by now aware, is a business that deals in an incredibly “eco-friendly/sustainable” resource. I would like to take a minute or two of your time, to explain what makes bamboo eco-friendly and sustainable.
Most of us understand the idea of carbon emissions.We understand that carbon monoxide emitted by the exhaust of our very own car will kill you if you inhale enough of it. We understand that carbon dioxide is the very gas that we have to expel out of our lungs in order to breathe in fresh oxygen. Most of us know that there is a fine balance between all the gases in our fragile environment and that the carbons are at very dangerous levels at present. This has negative effects on our ozone layer which amongst others are reasons for the global warming, acid rain, etc.
What most of us don’t know is that Bamboo absorbs up to 5 times as much carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, than any other plants/trees through its life cycle. It is literally a natural sponge for carbon dioxide, helping radically in the reduction of the carbon footprint our modern lifestyles have created.
I was asked a question a while ago, by a property developer at a presentation that I gave, after giving them these stats he asked “well then by cutting the bamboo down to produce the flooring, you in effect stop this benefit!” The answer to this question has two environmental benefits:
When the bamboo is harvested, it is cut about half a meter above the ground so
A) The “sponge effect” continues.
B) The roots system is not ripped up thereby causing no erosion.
Thus: unlike other hard wood flooring is traditionally made out of, bamboo is harvested/not killed. When a brazilian walnut tree is cut down, it is dead!!!!! The growth cycle of bamboo is 5 to 7 years, a fraction of the cycle of an oak tree for example.
What does sustainable mean to you? Well, for me it is simple. Is the current method of growing, harvesting and converting the bamboo into flooring/furniture boards and other wonderful bamboo products, something that could go on for the next thousand years??? Answer YES YES YES.
Think about it, are you worried about the grass in your garden not being around in a thousand years? Or even better, how about those pesky weeds that you break your back over week after week to pull out? Well bamboo is not a tree, it is a grass that grows like weeds. It is grown in a very specific place in China and for a very specific use (and it is not food for the pandas!!) it has been grown for thousands of years and there is absolutely no reason for it not to continue as such. It also produces jobs for an enormous amount of people.
Bamboo Warehouse is proud to be a contributer to this industry in China and hopefully our business together with others around the world will continue to strengthen the industry. When it comes to being conscious about the environment and trying to reduce ones “carbon footprint” it very often comes with sacrifice and/or added cost. Think about it, when faced with choices between a free range chicken and a battery chicken, battery chicken is cheaper, the veggies sprayed with pesticides and other nasties are much cheaper than the organic option, the list goes on and on!!
Well with bamboo flooring, I am pleased to announce that this is in the reverse. You will find that it is far more cost effective that the rare solid wood and other traditional hardwood flooring (please lets not even mention laminatesas that is for another chapter all together!) It is also no sacrifice, because you will find that the feel, sound, look and smell of a bamboo floor will totally surpass your level of expectation and the fact that it has the added benefit of being “eco-friendly and sustainable” just makes it that much better!
Apart from all the certifications that we at Bamboo Warehouse can furnish you with at any time, I thought it was important in plain English, to substantiate our claims that bamboo is a wonderful green building material.
In closing, a thought for the cynics out there who will pose questions like, “that’s all very well but you still have to ship it here!!! etc etc”. To them, I acknowledge that there is no 100% eco-friendly product on the planet and certainly there will be a very small component in the manufacture/shipping of bamboo flooring that will have carbon emissions, but I would also like to put to them, that in the time you have taken to read this page, you have expelled close to 100L of carbon dioxide through your nostrils into the environment. My point – we do what we can but in the end we are all human!
I hope this helps you to make an informed and well researched decision as to what floors to invest in, not only for your home, but also for the planet!
(Managing Director of Bamboo Warehouse)