As our world becomes increasingly urbanized we become more and more removed from the source of our food and fiber. Just as we get used to purchasing our meat in nice clean packages in a supermarket, without having to think about the animals that it came from, so too do we use, consume and throw away hundreds of items on a daily basis without any real understanding or connection to where these products have come from, or the drastic toll our use is taking on the planet.
To date, less than 30% of our wood and fiber needs come from forest plantations, and only a fraction of those are certified for sustainability. The rest comes from the world’s ever dwindling natural forests. We’ve all heard and seen programs on the destruction of tropical forests in the Amazon, but often these forests are closer than we think – in Canada, Eastern Europe and across the world’s tropical belt.
These forests are used in products that we use every day, from the clothes we wear (fibers called rayon and viscose come from the processing of trees into fiber for textiles), to the paper we use in cleaning and in our kitchens and bathrooms, to the packaging that almost everything we buy comes in.
So what can we do about it?
Over the past 6 years a US company called EcoPlanet Bamboo has been developing a global resource of truly sustainable fiber. EcoPlanet Bamboo, which has been called the “Apple Computer of Timber” has coined the term “tree free” and “deforestation free” for the movement they have pioneered. The movement towards certified, and sustainable bamboo, grown only on highly degraded land.
EcoPlanet Bamboo’s fiber, and the products it is turned into are “tree free” because bamboo is a grass. That means that unlike trees, when EcoPlanet Bamboo applies its sustainable harvesting regime, instead of killing the plant, it only stimulates further growth, meaning that the fiber from these bamboo plantations is truly sustainable.
EcoPlanet Bamboo’s fiber, and the products it is turned into are “deforestation free” because the company has developed a global framework for bamboo plantations to never cut or clear a single tree, or any native vegetation for bamboo to be grown.
Combined, these factors mean that EcoPlanet Bamboo’s tree free, deforestation free fiber is one of the most sustainable on the planet. These bamboo plantations are located in South Africa, Nicaragua and Ghana and represent significant investment into ensuring that future generations can regain a connection to the source of the products we use every day, but in a way of which they can be proud.
EcoPlanet Bamboo describes the company’s mission and the inspiration behind investing into these tree free, deforestation free fibers in a short 3 minute video: