Bamboo & The Attack On Carbon Footprints

4th Sep 2016

One of the reasons we build our sunglasses with bamboo, is because it is one of the most sustainable materials on the planet. What does that really mean? What makes it sustainable? First, it is hardy, grows fast and annihilates CO2 faster than most anything else: 

Bamboo has become a jack of all trades in the green living, and here is why:

1. Bamboo Grows Insanely Fast:

Plant a bamboo seed and a pine tree seed and browse Reddit for the next 30 years. When you are done, shower, shave and harvest your pine and bamboo. What you will find is that you have produced roughly 300 pounds of pine, but you have 5,000 pounds of bamboo. That's right, you have 15 times the amount of building material with bamboo.


So, bamboo grows way faster than most materials used for building, but bamboo has even more to offer by way of sustainability.

2. Life, Uh... Finds a Way...

With trees, if you are really careful, harvest at the right time of year and have a little luck, the tree will produce new shoots. Granted, it will be at the same slow rate, but there is an okay chance it will come back. With bamboo, you can harvest at any time of year with reckless abandon, cut where you want, cut how you want, and it is still going to grow back.

Wherever the stalks are cut, leaves will begin to sprout at the top to get energy from the sun, and the new stalks will shoot up from the ground nearby. Bamboo is hardy, it is the honey badger of the plant kingdom. 

Here is a time lapse video of about 2 months of grows of a species of bamboo called Phyllostachys Aureosulcata grown in Pennsylvania:

3. Bamboo Imprisons CO2 Faster Than Other Plants:

We already know that bamboo produces faster than trees, but it also collects carbon dioxide (CO2) faster from the atmosphere. 

In the 1600s, Johann Baptista van Helmhold asked the question "Where do trees get their mass?" He hypothesized that the weight of a tree came from the soil, so he weight the soil in a pot, and then planted a tree in it. He grew it for 5 years, and then weight the soil. 

By this time, the tree weight 72 kg (159 lbs) but that the weight left in the soil had barely changed. So, he concluded that the tree must be completely made out of water.

Well, that was wrong, but he started the process of elimination. The weight of a tree (or stalk of bamboo) doesn't come from the soil, or from the water it gets, or oxygen, or from sunshine, but it comes rather CO2 that it absorbs. Therefore, the faster something grows, the faster it is absorbing CO2 the more "green" the plant is. 95% of the mass of a plant is CO2. 

Veritasium on YouTube did an excellent video explaining this. And while he doesn't mention bamboo, it gets the point across:

Therefore, if 5,000 pounds of bamboo is generated over 30 years from bamboo, 4,750 pounds of that is CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere.

What is the key take away here? Buy stuff made from bamboo! The more we buy, the more gets planted, the more planted, the more we capture and the greener we can live. Buy bamboo sunglasses in stained brown or natural bamboo, bamboo sheets, bamboo flooring - all while locking up that CO2 and cut back on greenhouse gases. Buy a pair of our bamboo sunglasses for starters, you can buy some wood sunglasses too, but we all know now that the bamboo is better.