Bamboo is Harvested Irresponsibly

One of the greatest claims leading bamboo flooring’s charge to greatness is that it is an eco-friendly flooring option.  Because bamboo can be harvested in as little as 3 years (as opposed to real hardwoods, which can take 100 years to mature), it is considered a rapidly renewable resource.  In theory, this means it can be harvested more often with less of an impact on the environment.

Sounds good so far, right?  Well, here’s where everything starts to fall apart.  Bamboo companies will actually clear out vast sections of natural forest to make room for bamboo plantations, destroying the natural ecosystem and drastically reducing biodiversity.  Additionally, since many forests occupy hilly regions, the lack of a mature root system leads to heavy erosion.  Finally, although it’s not necessary, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and weed killers are used to speed up production.  Combine this with erosion, and you have chemicals being spread throughout the environment.

So, although bamboo itself is a renewable resource, because of irresponsible management practices bamboo flooring is actually environmentally unfriendly.

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