Bamboo, the much-needed reuse environmental expert.

Bamboo, the much-needed reuse environmental expert.

Bamboo has a long history of culture, from bamboo slips, bamboo paper and musical instruments to today's flooring and bamboo fiber products, bamboo plays a very important role in daily life. The Chinese also have a fondness for bamboo and have been bestowed with countless reputations. In the 21st century, bamboo will take on a new mission - to combat climate change. Bamboo has the advantage of sustainable use once planted, and has great potential in mitigating climate change, energy saving and emission reduction.

Carbon sequestration and emission reduction effect is large.

Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, making two major contributions to energy conservation and emission reduction.

Fu Jinhe said.

First, the growth of bamboo can fix the carbon dioxide in the air and bamboo teaspoon reduce the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It takes only 2-3 months from the time bamboo shoots break the ground to an average of 10-30 meters tall new bamboo, which has a large carbon sequestration potential. And the carbon sequestration effect of bamboo far exceeds that of trees. Generally, trees require at least ten years of growth before they can be harvested, but bamboo matures in four to six years and can be harvested. One study estimated that a hectare of bamboo and its products could store 306 tons of carbon over 60 years, compared to 178 tons of carbon stored in a hectare of cedar forest under the same conditions.

Second, making bamboo into everyday products can stabilize carbon storage and avoid rapid release into nature. Bamboo made into durable crafts, flooring, building materials, etc. can store a large amount of carbon. In terms of the carbon sink process, the carbon footprint is negative compared to conventional building materials such as steel and plastic. In other words, bamboo products not only do not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but also fix/reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Compared with other high-emission building materials, the more bamboo, the more it contributes to mitigate global climate change.

There are many uses for clothing, food, housing and transportation.

Bamboo also has great potential for everyday applications. More than a thousand years ago, Su Dongpo described the endless uses of bamboo: bamboo shoots for food, bamboo tiles for dwelling, bamboo raft for carrying, bamboo fuel for cooking, bamboo skin for clothing, bamboo paper for books, bamboo shoes for footwear, it can really be said that you can't live without it for a day. Fu Jinhe said that the branches, leaves, roots, stems and bamboo shoots of bamboo can be processed and used. Take bamboo as an example, bamboo shoots can be eaten; the thickest pole can be made into flooring and furniture; the upper thinner pole can be made into bamboo weaving, chopsticks and toothpicks; bamboo branches can be used as brooms; bamboo leaves can be refined into bamboo leaf flavonoids; the remaining bamboo roots and processing waste can be burned into bamboo charcoal. According to statistics, bamboo has more than 10,000 uses in clothing, food, housing and transportation.

Today, bamboo is known as plant steel. With technological processing, bamboo products have been able to replace energy-intensive raw materials such as wood in many fields. For example, in 2009, the International Organization for Bamboo and Rattan and Professor Xiao Yan's group at Hunan University cooperated to build a bamboo structure villa in Beijing's Zizhuyuan Park, in which the columns, beams and walls were all made of bamboo; in 2003, the third terminal building of Spain's Madrid International Airport all used bamboo ceilings, with a total area of 230,000 square meters, and the fire rating even reached the EU M1 fire protection standard (M1 is the level of flame retardant materials). But Fu Jinhe said, in general, we do not use bamboo widely enough.

Development and utilization need support.

Compared to harvesting trees, the exploitation of bamboo forests does not damage the ecology. Bamboo forests usually have different ages of bamboo growing in them, and the mature ones are chosen when they are harvested. This means that only 1/5 or 1/3 of the bamboo forest is harvested, and the entire harvesting process does not delay the growth of other bamboos, which has little impact on the ecosystem and does not destroy the ecosystem function of the bamboo forest or the wildlife habitat. A bamboo forest will grow new bamboos every year, and with proper maintenance, it can be operated for decades or even centuries. Some of our bamboo forests have been growing for thousands of years and are still being exploited.

Fu Jinhe introduced that China is a big bamboo country with rich bamboo resources. There are more than 1,600 species of bamboo plants in the world, about 45 million hectares. 43 species of Chinese bamboo, an area of 6.41 million hectares, including 4.68 million hectares of moso bamboo. It is estimated that the fixed carbon of bamboo forest vegetation, soil and apoplankton in China's bamboo forest ecosystem accounts for 5.1% of the entire forest carbon stock in China. In addition, while the global forest area is declining sharply, the global bamboo forest area is instead expanding, growing at 3% per year, which means that bamboo forests are playing an increasingly important role.

But bamboo isn't perfect. Geographically, bamboo is a partially tropical and subtropical plant, limited by climatic conditions, and cannot sustain high yields in northern and harshly cold regions, says Fu Jinhe. As far as industrial development is concerned, the market for bamboo products is not sufficiently developed, and there is more room for bamboo to replace wood, cement, steel and plastic. In terms of price, the cost of bamboo products is high, and enterprises need to vigorously develop intelligent manufacturing to reduce labor demand and production costs. The country also needs to introduce export tax breaks or special financial support to further encourage the development of enterprises.

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