Most of our attempts to live a more renewable and green life are difficult already. Some major markets, however, are being tainted by the government and making it even more difficult for environmentalists and those who try to be eco-friendly to adapt to an ever more polluted world. The United States government has subsidized (that is, paid money to farmers if they grow a certain crop) cotton for a very long time. Every other renewable fiber has been made a villain in order to keep the world’s number one exporter of cotton on top. This is the same reason why we all think of milk when we want calcium—spinach and a host of other vegetables have a ton of calcium in them! But if we are looking to live a greener life, then a perfectly comfortable way to do that is, simply, change your sheets.
Bamboo sheets are the softest sheets I have ever slept on. Their eco-friendly benefits are vast, and their creature comfort qualities are plentiful. Here are four important reasons why bamboo is an extremely renewable resource.
1. The breath of life is made from oxygen.
Bamboo is an extremely valuable oxygen producer, primarily because it absorbs tons of carbon dioxide. If we ever needed to get the greenhouse gases out of our atmosphere, we could just plant a lot more bamboo and be done with it. In fact, some scientists have speculated that if bamboo was planted on a large scale across the globe, we could reverse the negative effects of global warming in as little as six years. And if that didn’t blow your mind yet – bamboo can produce 35% more oxygen than a group of trees occupying the same amount of land. Bring on the oxygen! Maybe on Earth Day we should all be planting bamboo instead of trees.
2. Grows like a weed.
While many species of any type of plant can spread like weeds, some specific bamboo species can as well. That is not the reason for the title, as this growth like a weed is easily preventable. Benefits from bamboo that I wish to highlight here spawn from its ability to grow to maturity extremely fast. Some species of bamboo can grow up to a meter per day. Many are shorter, but they grow extremely fast and are able to be harvested every one to five years. In comparison with trees, which take over forty years to before they can be harvested, this seems to be a very renewable plant.
Can bamboo be used for paper? For many years, it has been the top paper product in India…what I’m saying is I am sure we can work something out. While deforestation tears out over a million acres of forest every year, bamboo can be harvested, and then allowed to grow right back over the next few years.
3. The camel status.
Bamboo is very much like a camel when you compare it to cotton. Cotton is one of the thirstiest crops in the world. Bamboo on the other hand, requires a lot less water. When comparing cotton with bamboo, bamboo looks very much like a camel. It takes over 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton t-shirt. That is the same amount of water a single person will drink over a three year period. It takes far less water to make bamboo sheets and no pesticides or fertilizer—both of which cotton needs in abundance. Cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world and all of the chemicals used to grow this crop grossly deplete the nutrients in the soil. Bamboo has virtually no enemies and does not need chemicals.
4. Soil erosion.
In addition to cotton’s chemical destruction of soil, the cutting down of forests causes a dangerous phenomenon known as soil erosion. Once forests are cut down, they are burned to provide fertilizer. But the nutrients of the topsoil are inevitably washed away by rainfall, clogging rivers and streams and affecting the lives of people and animals downstream. Soil erosion can lead to landslides and mudslides when near or on hills. Conversely, bamboo root systems are left untouched during harvesting and keep the soil in place.
Reason five is more like a bonus. While we could continue on with our eco-friendly qualities, it helps to know that bamboo isn’t so much of a sacrifice for us. Bamboo sheets and bamboo blankets, for example, are extremely soft in texture. A meager 250, a good thread count, set is significantly softer than a 1000+ thread count set of Egyptian cotton sheets. Even smaller numbers are a good thread count for sheets made of bamboo. They are soft enough to be called the softest sheets in the world. Bamboo sheets are breathable, anti-bacterial, and most importantly, they’re renewable!
by: Fiber Element