The recent changes observed in the ecology of the earth are due to global warming and climate change. It has brought to the forefront like never before the need to preserve our planet earth.
Rising maximum temperatures, rising minimum temperatures, wildfires, and rising sea levels are some of the consequences of this phenomenon.
Global warming is the long-term heating of the earth system when carbon dioxide and some other air pollutants, absorb sunlight and solar radiation. These pollutants instead of letting the radiation escape into space, trap the heat.
This is consequently causing the planet to get hotter. These pollutants like; carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen oxide are commonly known as greenhouse gases. Climate change, on the other hand, extends to extreme weather conditions, shifting wildlife population, and a range of other impacts.
All these long-term changes are emerging as greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, changing the climatic rhythm of climate that all living things have come to depend on.
Some are of the opinion that global warming is a natural phenomenon. But evidence has shown that human activities that release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere are majorly responsible for this phenomenon.
We can’t continue to live in denial that most of our activities and the products we use don’t impact our environment. The manufacturing process, use, and disposal of some of these products after their service life impact the environment negatively.
More effort need to be put into innovating products that are eco-friendly. We also need to see the preservation of our environment as a collective responsibility. Each of us has a role to play by choosing and buying products that are eco-friendly.
In light of this, bamboo has given a glimmer of hope. Bamboos are a group of woody perennial evergreen plants. Although grass is often referred to as trees because many of the larger bamboos are tree-like in appearance.
Bamboo is said to have originated from China, where the first use of bamboo to make everyday products was recorded. Bamboo also grows in other regions like Southeast Asia, Central America, South America, and Africa.
Bamboo is found to be eco-friendly and if properly exploited can be used as a raw material in making some products we use daily as humans. Bamboo is exploited as an alternative material in making tableware.
Salad bowls are one the tableware bamboo is used in making. This is in a bid to preserve our environment and reduce carbon prints. But do bamboo salad bowls really offer any environmental benefits as compared to traditional bowls?
The answer is a resounding yes! Let’s dive into some of the environmental benefits of bamboo salad bowls over traditional bowls.
Cultivation of Bamboo is Eco-Friendly
As the world looks for sustainable energy and products to reverse and minimize some of the consequences of global warming and pollution, raw materials that continue to support and preserve the environment are of utmost priority.
The cultivation of bamboo to source the raw material used in making bamboo salad bowls is beneficial to the environment. This is because bamboo can grow extremely fast and successfully without the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture is one of the contributors to global pollution.
The use of pesticides and fertilizers can lead to contamination of the soil, air, water, and non-target vegetation. During surface run-off, these chemicals can get washed into surface water bodies and consequently pollute them. Wind can carry pesticides to other fields and human settlements potentially affecting other species by threatening biodiversity.
Not just that, bamboo’s root system helps to prevent erosion by preserving twice as much water in the watershed. Bamboo plants also replenish the oxygen in the air by releasing 35% more oxygen than other trees reducing the carbon dioxide content in the air. The sourcing of bamboo for making bamboo salad bowls is eco-friendly as compared to sourcing of materials for traditional bowls.
The process of sourcing materials like ceramic, glass, and plastic used in making traditional bowls are hazardous to the environment. The production of glass involves melting activities. The burning of fuel and decomposition of raw materials during the melting leads to the production of carbon dioxide.
The production process of plastic from plastic resin also produces harmful gases like sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides that pollute the air. Ceramic on the other hand is souced from clay a natural material, but this has led to the depletion of lands from which the clay is sourced.
Bamboo Salad Bowls are Biodegradable
What happens after the service life of the salad bowls is of genuine concern. In preserving our environment, reducing the amount of waste we generate is important. The bamboo fiber from which bamboo salad bowls are made is biodegradable.
This means that it will be acted upon by micro-organisms like bacteria and fungi, then break down into its natural element without releasing toxic chemicals into the environment. This helps to reduce the pollution caused, as the waste is not accumulated in the environment such as landfills. This reduces carbon emissions significantly.
Disposal of traditional bowls made from non-biodegradable materials like plastic, ceramic, and glass is harmful to the environment. They cause pollution by accumulating over the years. Plastics are non-biodegradable and remain the same for thousands of years after trashing. This is so because, during the manufacturing process, the properties of plastics are improved to increase their durability.
This makes them highly resistant to temperature and micro-organism action. They remain the same years after trashing and continuous disposal leads to accumulation that becomes pollutants that afflict oceans, waterways, and lands. It is estimated that around 8 million pieces of plastics make their way into our oceans daily which is a serious threat to aquatic life.
Traditional salad bowls made from glass and ceramic also have this impact on the environment. Glass and ceramic when disposed of are more difficult to degrade than plastic. They can sit around in landfills or worse in natural habitats like (oceans) for millions of years without deteriorating. Evidence of this is the discovery of ceramics and glass on archaeological sites.
Though there are efforts to get these materials separated and recycled, the process is expensive and energy-consuming. Bamboo is compostable and can be recycled to produce manure, compost, and biogas which is more economical and less energy-consuming.
Bamboo Protects From Hazardous Effects of Paints
Bamboo products like bamboo salad bowls help to protect the environment from the hazardous effects of paints. It naturally has an appealing fine finished surface and doesn’t require further painting.
Traditional salad bowls made from materials like ceramics and glass are usually painted to improve their aesthetics and make them more appealing. But this process has a negative impact on the environment.
The manufacturing process of paints generates carbon dioxide which is released into the atmosphere. Asides from this paints used in coating bowls made from ceramics and glass release volatile organic compounds, during the drying process after the coating is applied. These volatile organic compounds are released into the air.
The volatile organic compounds participate in the formation of ozone while in the atmosphere, by reacting with oxygen in the presence of sunlight. The most toxic component of this process is commonly known as smog. Ozone attacks the lung tissue and it is very injurious even in low concentration.
Transportation of Bamboo Salad Bowls is Efficient
Bamboo salad bowls are lightweight, meaning that transportation of bamboo salad bowls is highly efficient and has less impact on the environment.
Pollutants are released from means of transportation such as trucks, ships, and airplanes into the air and water. These emissions rise with the increase in freight. This is because there is an increase in the number of trips made or the number of vehicles needed to transport the goods.
Bamboo salad bowls are lightweight and therefore cause a reduction in freight. This reduces the content of harmful emissions like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide released from trucks into the environment.
Ships also release black carbon produced from combustion and released from its exhaust which contributes to the carbon in the atmosphere. Traditional bowls made from ceramics and glass are, however, heavier and delicate.
This increases the freight as they are heavier and have to be transported carefully because of their delicate nature. This increases the number of trips made or the number of vehicles needed for the transportation activity which consequently increases pollution.
What next, now that you know the environmental benefits of products like bamboo salad bowls?
The future and the sustainability of our environment are a matter of concern like never before. Continous use of products that aren’t eco-friendly impacts the environment negatively. We and the future generation to come will bear the brunt of these negative impacts.
You can contribute your own quota to preserving the environment, by making a conscious decision in choosing these eco-friendly products over non-eco-friendly products. Producers of the bamboo salad bowls also need to ensure the production process isn’t compromised. This will render to futility the gains to the environment. Let’s go green!