Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bamboo Green

One of the coolest ways to go green is to use bamboo in construction when ever you can. Now you aren't going to start seeing bamboo framing lumber down at the home depot anytime soon. It doesn't have that kind of strength. But you can use it for finish types of jobs. Laminate flooring is one area that has really taken advantage of bamboo. Also, windows coverings.


Why is Bamboo Green?

You hear all the time about how we are deforesting the world, especially the rain forest. There is tons (literally) of carbon stored in the trees of the world. Humans release much CO2 in the process of cutting down trees from the energy that is required to cut down the trees, haul them to the mill, mill them, ship them to retail locations, etc. This is still not counting the carbon that is released in burning and decomposition of the waste from the tree that don't become home and furniture. The biggest CO2 loss is the loss of all the CO2 that would have been captured in the future by the trees that are cut down if they had just been left alone.

Bamboo is a quickly growing source of wood. You can use a relatively small acreage and grow a crop of bamboo which is cut down and sent to the mill. You can have it in an easily accessibly location so the energy it takes to cut it down and get it to mill and store is minimal compared to traditional foresting. Then once you cut it down you can replant and, relative traditional trees, quickly have a new crop ready to go again.

So the next time you are looking to update your home and you want to be green with your decisions think about bamboo as an option. It really looks great as a laminate flooring and wears well over time. It can be expensive, but if you shop around and look for sales you can find it as cheap if not cheaper then traditional laminate flooring.

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