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Author: bambooadmin

Climate Change: Can We Still Save The World?

Only save the world for a short time.

Since I read the last scientific study on climate change, I feel different. In fact, I feel emotions that I did not feel before. Climate change has certainly occupied us for the last 40 years. But it has been too far. Until this study. Up to this sentence: The next 11 years will be the most important in human history. Because everything we change positively in the coming years has a direct impact on our future. On our own life, on our only planet.


I’m asking myself more and more questions that keep me awake more and more often. Questions that raise fear in me that make me doubt our humanity and make it increasingly desperate. If people from my immediate environment continue to accept things, do not want to explain their own children certain contexts, or perhaps just have given up, because “you can not change anything anyway” – what about our planet, our only home?


But who is willing to disregard this fact, these facts? To get in touch?

Can a human being become aware of the extent, even take action? Or is it the opposite: resignation. Hopelessness. Panic.

How can we all speak together about issues that we as consumers have in our hands every day, without blaming each other or making us feel bad?

How can anyone leave their own comfort zone, see the big picture and make changes from the bottom of their hearts?

The situation is as it is. Everyone has a certain responsibility, even for their own, past decisions. But instead of getting upset, feeling guilty, or even condemning others who point out their own wrongdoing, that does not help anyone.

How can we release energy to be not just the change we want to see, but the change our children and grandchildren need?

All people who were lucky enough to be born in a country/time that is not marked by war and poverty – where there is a democracy, a health and education system, where food and water are flowing. Do not exactly these people have the duty to give something back?

All of these are privileges that millions of people do not have. Should not these privileged people not do everything to ensure that our planet is not completely destroyed by us humans?


Why do we feel superior to nature? Why do we think that we are not part of nature but can exploit it for our benefit? 

Leaving our own comfort zone?

Does our life lose quality if we do without animal products?

Is life no longer worth living if you stop consuming products that do not make you happy anyway? Does it hurt if we dispense with all forms of disposable plastic? Does it hurt us to pick up garbage from nature? Can we not sleep at night if we save as much energy and water as possible, or more often use public transport instead of the car?

Do we lose our personality, if we only show ourselves on social media from the “best side” and prove how great our life is? Or is it best to start talking about really important things that concern us all?

What happens when we question ourselves and our actions when we question all that our parents, grandparents, teachers, advertisers, and even politicians have “taught” us?

What happens when we strip every single layer of our expectations, beliefs, fears, and desires?

I am convinced that only when we seriously deal with these questions will we be able to set our EGO aside in order to preserve our habitat in order to be able to keep alive as a species of the human being.

We are all in the same boat, including politicians and industry. I am firmly convinced that we can be great. All of us should consider ourselves as a team that goes for the same goal. 

Do We Need To Save Our Earth And Humanity?

We have cause for concern – overpopulation, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, climate, wars, lack of food, drinking water and so on. All these are issues that are even more important than ever for the survival of Homo sapiens – the self-righteous man – in the twenty-first century.

Let us take just one example: On the one hand, since Copenhagen, the heads of state and government have been unable to agree on binding climate protection goals. On the other hand, the majority of climatologists are certain that the rise in the global average temperature to two degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial age must be limited to avert irreversible changes in the climate, such as sea level rise, desertification, and accumulation of weather extremes.


Wohlleben’s personal fear of the future

As a consequence, the catastrophes that will hit us all over the next few decades will be huge – and so will the costs that governments, taxpayers and businesses will face, according to a recent study by the International Energy Agency (IEA) After all, it is still necessary to slow down disastrous developments, or at the latest when it comes to getting the consequences and damages of our actions as well as our inaction back under control.

We know all this, but we do not act accordingly. In any case, all of this is reason enough to be worried.

In the face of the many alarming news of our time, one of the nearly seven billion people on earth, Peter Wohlleben, writes of his personal fear of the future of the soul.

Evolution 2.0 looks at Earth evolution

The title of his little book “Evolution 2.0” is as fashionable as it is misleading. Because Wohlleben is not about the second edition of evolution. Rather, his is anything but a new proposition that alone we could be taken out of the curve on the roller coaster ride called Evolution.

When biologists talk about evolution in the tradition of Darwin, they always have long periods in mind – emphasis on long. This is the only way evolution works by selection. Life has existed on our planet for 3.5 billion years (nearly 4.5 billion years ago), and at least 600 million years have passed since fossilized animals and plants began.

On the other hand, the life-form that is directly relevant for man, even though it is unusual, is measured after just a few million years; and only then, if we generously include our australopithecine ancestors. We, the modern human Homo sapiens, is thereby an evolutionary mayfly – with a past of little more than 200,000 years.

At best, people think in centuries

Often people think in other dimensions. Anyone who is not exactly an evolutionary biologist only measures long periods of time after decades, or at most centuries. In any case, he thinks only in historical time, even after generations of ancestors and descendants – and above all, he thinks only of himself and his own.

Wohlleben’s fundamentally correct approach revolves around a second widespread misunderstanding about humans and evolution. No question that the development of our species differs from that of other living beings; no question, too, that evolution has taken place since the beginning of human civilization ten or twelve millennia ago.

Nevertheless, it is almost the favorite error of modern man that we are no longer subject to any evolutionary constraints. In addition, new, culturally transformed selection factors may have taken the place of natural selection alone, and new technologies are accelerating human development – it is biologically nonsensical to speak of an evolution 2.0 or even a life 3.0 as if it were arbitrary, as in computer programs new versions would exist.

From the soul situation of the patient human

The younger generation of computers made the rounds of Tim O’Reilly’s term “Web 2.0” come round the years ago; Wohlleben also refers to this in the title.

Although his book gives no new insights, it is still worth reading, because it – quite similar to the confessions on the famous coach at the psychiatrist – quite directly and undisguised the soul situation of the patient revealed to people; a patient who is having problems with himself as well as with his environment, more recently and more and more.

But the question arises: Do we have to help him? Or differently: Do we have to save the earth and humanity? And how could this succeed?

The signs for our species are bad

That widespread misconception of a supposed decoupling of man from the evolutionary process feeds from two sources. On the one hand, from the traditional assumption and self-exaltation of man as the crown of creation that has not yet been abandoned.

On the other hand, from the idea of ​​the Almighty that man is no longer subject to the mechanisms of evolution, that he no longer has to adapt his mode of existence to his environment. For him, other laws than those of biology apply and he shapes the world according to his needs and ideas (as we have recently) about a conference of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science wanted to believe).

But that’s exactly what it is: a misconception when we think the world, nature, species, and climate must or could be saved. At best, we could hope to save our own species, but the signs are bad too.

Evolution 1.0 might surprise us again

Homo sapiens presumably lacks the biological means, above all the insight, which is not only theoretical but has been put into practice, not permanently striving for immediate benefit.


Much more likely, Evolution 1.0 takes a new turn because of that disastrous combination of human megalomania and inability, as happened after the earthquake catastrophe of a meteorite strike 65 million years ago (among which some dinosaurs fell prey to other close relatives in the form of our birds lived on).

After such decisions, life on earth will once again break new ground – most likely for a very long time. Just without us, so the message, which also tries to explain to Peter Wohlleben. No nice views.

Bamboo Instead Of Plastic – Is That The Solution?

Toothbrushes, crockery, socks – all this is now also available in bamboo. Does this trend really protect the climate and the environment?

Reusable plates and bowls, coffee mugs, platters, toothbrushes, toilet paper, T-shirts – the list of everyday products that are now wholly or partly made from bamboo are getting longer. There are even bamboo bicycles now. In times when plastic is increasingly frowned upon and responsible consumption is becoming a trend, bamboo seems a sustainable alternative. But do these products rightly have such a green image?

1500 There are about species of bamboo worldwide – most of them in China.

Bamboo is strictly grass. Like rice, wheat and sugar cane, it belongs botanically to the family of sweet grasses. Nearly 1,500 different species of bamboo are known worldwide. Most of them are originally native to China. There cover woody species whose stalks can grow up to 30 meters high and become so thick that they can no longer enclose them with both hands, whole tracts of land. A total of about six million hectares – an area almost as big as Bavaria. Like the grass in the meadow, bamboo forms a network of shoot axles underground, called rhizomes, from which new stalks grow. The plant creates habitats for a wide variety of animal species. And the people of China also use bamboo in many ways.

Straws as stable as wood

For centuries bamboo has been used there as a material for building furniture, houses, and scaffolding. The stalks are as stable and stable as wood. This is because even bamboo cells contain the woody substance lignin. Because of their cavities, the stalks even have an advantage over hardwood: they are much lighter and more elastic. In Asia, bamboo is also used as fuel. And the sprouts, the young sprouts of a new plant, are eaten – meanwhile all over the world.

Not only in China bamboo occurs naturally. Even in South and Central America, Africa and Northern Australia, the grasses grow without anyone planting them. In Germany, horticulturalists came to the bamboo in the mid-nineties. Meanwhile, the plants are everywhere to have. “There are the same five ways to buy in all hardware stores, and there are hundreds of hardy bamboo species that could grow here,” says Steffen Greiner of the European Bamboo Society Section Germany. In 1998, lovers founded this association in order to promote bamboo, its peculiarities and its different species in Germany. Bamboo is a hobby for Greiner. Actually, the plant scientist teaches molecular biology at the University of Heidelberg.

Despite the efforts of the association, the knowledge about bamboo is still limited. For example, bamboo is considered to be a particularly fast-growing plant – up to one meter per day, the stalks of Moso bamboo should be able to shoot up under ideal circumstances. This species is the highest up-shooter, coping in temperate latitudes.

Up to meter of1 growth, the Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) per day lie down

“That’s true in principle,” says plant scientist Greiner. “But no one says that the plant grows so fast for only four weeks in the spring, and for the rest of the year it saves the energy it needs to grow.” Thus, the productivity of bamboo is not much higher than that of other plants all year round.

Often bamboo cups are just plastic cups

If you take a closer look at the products and their production, it quickly becomes clear that even if bamboo is a rapidly renewable natural product, not all products that use the trend word “bamboo” are sustainable. In fact, many of them contain little or no equivalent vegetable content – and the remaining ingredients sometimes even pose risks to consumers. Uwe Lauber from the Chemical and Veterinary Examination Office in Stuttgart (CVUAS) has been testing bamboo-containing everyday objects for potential health risks since 2014. “When we started, it was pure consumer delusion,” annoys Lauber. Reusable coffee cups, which were sold by the manufacturer as bamboo cups, would have up to 70 percent plastic contain. Corn flour or finely shredded bamboo wood were merely added as a filler. Even though the proportion of bamboo in many products increases to more than half, Lauber says: “As long as the plastic is the formative component, it remains a plastic product.”


On 25 average, about % plastic contained the “bamboo cups” that were examined by the Veterinary Investigation Office in Stuttgart.

Forty-five items that have been advertised as containing bamboo have been tested by the Veterinary Investigation Office as part of Baden-Wuerttemberg’s official food inspection system for the past five years. Thirty-five samples, about half of which are coffee-to-go cups, were categorized by the inspectors as plastic items. Because the products had descriptions such as “environmentally friendly”, “from renewable resources” and “biodegradable”, they were judged to be not marketable. And: Eleven out of 35 samples were found to have given up either melamine or formaldehyde or both to food. In some cases, the statutory limits were exceeded significantly. These chemicals, which are proven to be residues, are the raw materials of the melamine resin, which gives the cups their strength. According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), formaldehyde also increases the risk of cancer when inhaled.

The quantities released in the investigation of the office in Stuttgart, would not necessarily have health effects, says Lauber. It is only problematic if the tolerable daily intake is exceeded for a long time. However, you should not expose the cups to a higher temperature than 70 degrees Celsius. According to the BfR, items made of melamine resins are not suitable for use in cooking and in microwave ovens.

Uwe Lauber believes that in the next few years more and more mixed products made from natural and synthetic materials will be on the market. Even those that are food grade. In recent years, he has already seen in the manufacturers that advertising will be less misleading. For consumers, it is still far from certain that bamboo cups contain plastic.

As with crockery, the term “bamboo” is rarely completely applicable to textiles. Socks, T-shirts, bed linen – all sorts of textiles are said to be made of bamboo and to breathable, environmentally friendly and possibly also antibacterial. However, bamboo fibers, like other natural cellulosic raw materials such as beechwood, need to be altered in a complex chemical process to convert them to viscose. Only then can yarn be made for fabrics. However, the process produces a number of harmful intermediates, such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon disulfide. It also consumes lots of energy and water. It is therefore deceptive for manufacturers to promote viscose T-shirts as sustainable bamboo products.

The toothbrush – a hybrid

Another commodity was grabbed by the bamboo: the toothbrush. In drugstores and on the Internet, more and more toothbrushes made of or with bamboo are available. One of the manufacturers is the Hamburg brand Hydrophil, which advertises with “sustainable toothbrushes made of bamboo”. Unlike crockery or textiles, the handle of this company’s toothbrush is actually made from a piece of bamboo. “He is turned directly from the raw material,” explains CEO Christoph Laudon. Nevertheless, the brush is not 100% bamboo: the bristles are made of bioplastic, but not biodegradable.


The company Hydrophil, therefore, recommends breaking off the head of such a toothbrush together with the bristles and disposing of it separately. Christian Duwe, the recycling expert at the Clausthal Environmental Technology Research Center, advises that bamboo cannot be recycled, but that bioplastics can be. However, Duwe says, “recycling mixed forms are very laborious, and the different substances have to be separated from each other in complex processes.” Especially the combination of natural material and plastic is challenging. From the perspective of recycling, sometimes pure plastic products, for which there are secure recycling routes, make more sense than mixed forms for which there are no recycling routes, says the researcher.

According to the managing director, the bamboo used by the Hamburg toothbrush manufacturer grows 600 kilometers from Shanghai in a small town. “Small farmers are planting bamboo for us, but it’s not a classic plantation, but rather a mixed forest,” says Laudon. Other plants grew between the bamboo, additional irrigation was not necessary, as well as the use of pesticides, the stalks were harvested by hand. It takes a good half a year to be ripe for the harvest. About 1,000 toothbrushes could be turned out of it. According to its own statements, Hydrophil launched 800,000 brushes last year.

About 1000 toothbrush handles can be turned out of a bamboo stick

One problem that affects most products is long transport distances and associated CO2 emissions. “Transport is currently the crux of our ambition to sell a sustainable toothbrush in Germany,” admits Laudon. “At the moment, we are not paying compensation for CO2 emissions, and our assumption is that as it grows, the bamboo compensates for it very much, but we have zero carbon footprint.” The assumption that bamboo binds more CO2 than trees is widespread. However, this is clearly not proven scientifically. There is even a study that suggests otherwise.

But not only for everyday objects bamboo is used, but also for parquet, decking, and interior trim. The bamboo sticks are then cut and glued. How ecological this depends on which adhesives are used in which quantity.

As far as the life cycle assessment is concerned, it is always problematic for all products, because in Germany bamboo simply does not grow well enough for commercial use. Although there are winter-proof species for the garden, the cultivation of woody species for industrial use is not useful under the local climatic conditions. Anyone who sells bamboo products as a plastic alternative in this country must import from China, Ethiopia or other far-flung countries. There, the plant does justice to the green image it has here. It covers large areas, does not need to be irrigated or treated with pesticides. And it is harvested by hand. However, if the bamboo is transported to Germany and processed, the natural product becomes an industrial product with an ecological footprint.

Plenty of plastic pollutes the oceans, microplastic is detectable down to the deep sea. What can each one do, what can the world community do? Read more in our Focus on Life in Disposable Mode.

10 Tips For Less Plastic

Packaging films, disposable tableware, tear-off bags: Plastic has become indispensable in our everyday lives – and yet not that difficult to avoid. We have a few tips.
Our oceans degenerate to the plastic repository: up to 13 million tons of plastic waste arrive in the sea each year alone from the land. An estimated 150 million tons have accumulated there – most likely much more. And Germany also contributes to pollution: after all, a quarter of the European plastic consumption is solely on the account of the Germans. Not everything is disposed of properly. In order to curb the plastic flood, ambitious and binding steps are required above all from politics and business. But every single person can do something in everyday life. We have some ideas.

Plastic products



When washing synthetic fibers such as polyester, tiny pieces of fiber are removed from the clothing, washed away with the sewage – and end up in the sea. In addition, the production of synthetic fibers requires much more energy than cotton production. It’s worth looking at the label before you buy it.


Do you need a disposable bottle, plastic utensils or 1-Euro-Nippes? Insanity, which effort is operated about for a disposable spoon. Would not it make more sense if we simply wash our cutlery? Many plastic gadgets in everyday life are completely superfluous. Therefore: Just ask the quick grip on things, which are also made of beautiful, durable materials such as wood, glass, fabric or metal.


No matter whether you are at home on the Baltic Sea or in the Alps: plastic waste not only reaches beaches but also rivers into the sea. Therefore: Roll up your sleeves and join in garbage cleaning. Or even initiate them – so that plastic waste in the environment has no chance.


Many personal care products and cosmetics contain solid, liquid and waxy plastics. They serve as grinding, binding or filling agents. There are alternatives – natural cosmetics work without the ingredient plastic. Recognizing plastic in the product is not easy. A small Greenpeace guide helps identify and list fabrics that indicate artificial polymers, such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) or even nylon. So do not buy any products that contain these ingredients.


Every German consumes 76 plastic bags per year on average. Far too many! There are sustainable alternatives: baskets, rucksacks, cloth bags. They are more robust than disposable plastic or paper bags – and their eco-balance is much better with repeated use. A small fabric bag fits in every pocket – and is, therefore, a good companion even with spontaneous purchases.


More than 100 million tons of plastic are produced annually for products that are used for less than five minutes, such as disposable tableware and cups for “to go” coffee. With our convenience also the plastic waste mountain grows. It does a good job to slow down everyday life: do without the plastic lid when sipping coffee and enjoy a cup of coffee in the café or cook an espresso or filter coffee yourself (not from capsules, of course). In spite of the best will, no time? The often chic Thermo cups, which can always be taken along – and help keep the coffee warmer than any disposable cup.


At present, 311 million tons of plastic are produced per year, with a strong upward trend. The main customer is the packaging industry, which primarily uses product marketing. But the content does not get better. Therefore buy as unpackaged food or only in larger packages. In many German cities, there are now also unpacked shops, where customers can fill food, cosmetics, etc. in self-brought containers. Rethinking can also affect who appeals to manufacturers and food retailers on alternatives – or even regional products, for example, in fruit and vegetable boxes ordered.


Just do not be fooled: Bags from “Bioplastics” are currently still pure eyewash – especially if “compostable” on it. In the least cases such bags are actually biodegradable, and if so, then only under very specific conditions in industrial composting. This misleading report back to the seller!


Even if it is sometimes awkward: In the case of waste, separate the plastic from the other materials so that this recyclable material can be recycled. No other country in the European Union consumes as much plastic as in Germany. All the more important that it can be used several times.


Not always in the bin with it: Even some plastic objects can be repaired. Or rededicate. If, for example, the cheese is already packed in a plastic bag, can it at least serve as a sling bag? And who knows? – maybe you can create something completely new, beautiful, useful from one or the other disused plastic part? Plant pots, trays or even stylish curtains from the flower-shaped bottoms of disposable plastic bottles, for example. Lots of ideas for plastic waste upcycling are available online.

The Problem Of Plastic Waste Has To Be Solved First And Foremost On Land.

Plastic has become one of the major polluters in the oceans. It becomes a danger to the environment and health. The danger arises from wrong handling and poor waste management on land. It requires the combination of political and regulatory measures and new consumer awareness on the subject of plastics.

Millions of tons of plastic are floating on the oceans, accumulated by ocean currents in 5 huge swirls.

Plastic waste not only on the surface: Much of it decays and deposits on the ground floating, floating.


Efforts must be stepped up to tackle the various causes of marine pollution. And that’s not just plastic but also the pollution with long-lived organic matter, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, nitrates, radioactive substances, dangerous wreckage, etc. In particular we, along with many well-known scientists and the Global Ocean Commission, demand that the countries working together in the world. Together, we must prevent plastics from getting into the oceans: this is where all governments, the economy, and civil society are required:

  • Reduction of disposable plastic through legislative measures and incentive schemes for consumers.
  • Creating incentives for more recycling and tighter producer responsibility
  • Introduction of quantitative and temporal specifications for pollutant reductions
  • Improvement of waste management
  • Promotion of a new consumer perception
  • Support and dissemination of various local initiatives to reduce or eliminate certain plastic materials (eg prohibition of disposable bags, polyurethane foam packaging, etc.) as well as cleaning actions on beaches and riverbanks.
  • Support innovation to reduce plastic and avoid packaging.
  • Through taxes, duties and other means, a global Maritime Responsibility Fund must be set up to organize waste management in the high seas, coordinate national measures against plastic waste, support sustainability initiatives and change the behavior of production and consumption.

Where does the plastic go?


Source: 5 Gyres and the Global Ocean Commission. The Pacific plastic whirlpool is said to be larger than Germany by area.

The problem of ghost nets & Co.

Plastic is also very popular in fishing. Nets are mostly made of plastics, as are the long lines and large buoys or pontoons used to attract large fish such as tuna (“fish aggregating device”, FAD). With the help of FADs, around one million tonnes of tuna are caught every year, which corresponds to about one-third of all tuna catches.

Nets, FADs and other fishing materials end up as garbage in the sea, intentionally or accidentally. On the other hand, we have to protect the oceans as well as the plastic garbage from the land.

That’s why we demand:

  • States and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations are to define guidelines for the design of FADs that will ensure that bycatch is minimized. These include, for example, the ban on fixed underwater nets on FADs and the definition of permissible mesh size for net fishing in the area of ​​FADs.
  • Providing incentives for the use of natural, rapidly degradable materials in the construction of FADs. For this, the degradable materials must be subsidized or the use of non-degradable materials taxed higher.
  • Promote research on alternative production materials for FAD floats, perhaps as part of general programs to develop more compatible fisheries methods.
  • Extension of the international MARPOL (Marine Pollution) program, which already in 1973 issued a ban internationally on the disposal of plastic waste, nets, and linen. Regulations should be found to allow ports to provide free, safe disposal of defective fishing equipment.
  • Documentation of all deployed FADs and mandatory equipment of all new FADs with tracking technology, so that they can be found again at any time.
  • Lost networks must be reported already now. However, this requirement is currently only met inadequately and must become binding.

Bamboo, The Environmentally Friendly Packaging Solution Directly From Nature

Renewable, locally available and biodegradable

Paper and plastic are the most common packaging options, but they are far from the only ones. We have taken a decisive pioneering role in the use of bamboo to protect certain equipment. This giant representative of the grass family, from which innumerable products can be produced from food to flooring, now also provides sustainable packaging solutions. We use them to cushion some of the lightweight products.

Why bamboo?

Bamboo packaging pollutes the environment less and creates a healthier environment. Here are some reasons for Dell’s bamboo packaging:

  • Bamboo is locally available: The bamboo plants that we use for our packaging grow around the facilities where our products are made. This reduces our packaging carbon footprint.
  • Bamboo grows fast: Bamboo grasses are the fastest growing woody plants in the world. They can grow up to almost 61 cm (24 inches) per day. The bamboo can be harvested after just three to seven days – much faster than hardwood. Therefore, bamboo is highly renewable and an ideal alternative to foams, corrugated board, and molded paper fiber materials.
  • Bamboo is durable and sturdy: Like steel, bamboo can withstand heavy loads and can be stretched and pulled enormously, making it ideal for boat and scaffolding applications as well as other tasks that require strength and flexibility. Thanks to this resilience, we know that your technology devices are in good hands in bamboo packaging.
  • Bamboo is environmentally friendly: Bamboo plants promote soil health. The deep root systems protect the soil from erosion. In a crop-friendly harvest, bamboo must not be replanted afterward. In addition, Dell’s bamboo packaging is biodegradable and can be composted after use.

The bamboo plants that we use for our packaging grow around the facilities where our products are made. This reduces our packaging carbon footprint.

Responsible Materials

Sustainability is at the heart of all processes involved in bamboo production. After harvesting, the bamboo plants are mechanically processed into pulp in a nearby facility. During this process, 70 percent of the water is captured and recirculated. The remaining 30 percent are lost as water vapor. Nothing is drained into the ground and no toxic chemicals are used. In sunshine, the pulp is dried in the sun, which in turn lowers power consumption.

The demand for bamboo is increasing, as others have recognized the value, but we will continue to use it for certain product packaging.

Recycling or composting

Amongst other things, the added value of our bamboo cushion is that it can be easily recycled in most recycling programs on site. In addition, the Dell bamboo packaging has been certified for compostability by an independent test laboratory to ASTM International standards. This certification ensures that the bamboo material will disintegrate in a timely manner into compost that is comparable to other compostable materials.

Because of the high quality fiber and the great willingness to accept the upholstery material in the US as recyclable, as a reminder that they can recycle the bamboo packaging in many communities, we add the easily recognizable “circular arrows” to our customers.

Off in the compost

In addition to their eco-friendly features, Dell’s bamboo packaging is certified for compostability by an independent testing laboratory to ASTM International standards. This certification ensures that the bamboo material dissolves satisfactorily into compost and biodegrades in a timely manner comparable to other compostable materials. It also ensures that the compost obtained from the degradation process is of good quality and suitable for plant growth.

Stronger Than Steel

For the opening race of the Eastern U.S. collegiate cycling season, Nick Frey, a junior at Princeton, had a brand-new bike. Frey, currently the under-23 national time-trial champion and a recent hire of the Time Pro Cycling Team, had left his state-of-the-art, $13,000 carbon-fiber team bike at home. What he brought instead—and what was drawing a steady crowd of disbelieving collegiate cyclists on that chilly March morning—was an even more recent model: a racing bike he and friends had made out of bamboo.

Frey and pioneers beyond the bike world are discovering that bamboo may be the most useful raw material ever to be overlooked. Although a common building material in many tropical countries, it’s considered “the poor man’s timber,” and in the West it’s mainly decorative. As the world goes green, however, bamboo’s essential qualities are beginning to win converts. Environmental organizations are promoting its use as a building material, architects are putting it into green homes, and makers of flooring, furniture and now bikes are quietly setting up their industries for a bamboo revolution.

Despite its lowly reputation, bamboo may be the strongest stuff on the planet. It has greater tensile strength (or resistance to being pulled apart) than steel, and it withstands compression better than concrete. Both qualities are essential to keeping the plant, which grows to nearly 60 meters but is only as wide at the base as the very top, from falling over. It needs the compression strength to hold up its own weight and tensile strength to bend in the wind without breaking. “Our concept of strength is, it doesn’t move, it doesn’t break,” says Dan Smith, who owns Smith & Fong, the largest manufacturer of bamboo plywood in the United States. “The Chinese concept is, you’ve got to bend with things. If you don’t bend, you break. Bamboo’s strength is in its ability to bend, and that’s the miracle.”

The Western mind is also opening to bamboo’s environmental qualities. In both temperate and tropical climates, it grows as quickly and abundantly as a weed. Though most often used as an alternative to timber, bamboo, with its underground rhizome root system that continually regenerates the plant when the stalks are cut, is technically a type of grass. In fact, it grows faster than any other grass—in some conditions well over a meter a day. It also produces 35 percent more oxygen from carbon dioxide than trees and more effectively binds soil to prevent erosion.

Designers are getting more creative as they embrace bamboo as an alternative to lumber. Environmentalist architect Michael McDonough has incorporated bamboo in his two working prototypes for sustainable housing, e-House and ArcHouse. E-House has all-bamboo floors and cabinetry. A stalk of bamboo becomes a finer version of plywood once it’s split from the top and milled into smooth strips. ArcHouse, a modular home, has an exterior made from double panels of bamboo oriented strandboard—bamboo strips compressed and cross-positioned for strength— and insulated with foam made from the oil of orange peels. The panels seal tighter than conventional insulation, and McDonough is the first to replace wood strandboard with bamboo. “It’s dinosaur grass,” he says, yet it’s pushing the engineering curve.

Bamboo is still a niche material in the United States, but it’s catching on. Smith & Fong first cracked the markets in 1989 with flooring and, later, a laminated bamboo sheet called “plyboo.” Sales grew at an average of 26 percent a year until 2003, then accelerated to nearly 40 percent three years ago. The company now has 30 types of flooring and 60 options in plyboo, and has begun engineering gymnasium floors and bamboo structural beams. Bambu, a U.S. maker of housewares that are distributed by Whole Foods, has begun to draw attention at its plant and showroom in Shanghai.

Bike designer Craig Calfee says it’s only a matter of time before bamboo sweeps the bike-racing world, and he should know. Calfee, owner of Calfee Design in California, pioneered the use of carbon fiber, the gold standard for elite bicycle frames since the 1990s. Now he says bamboo may be superior, offering a better combination of stiffness (for power efficiency) and compliance (for vibration dampening). Sales of his $2,700 bamboo road frame grew at just under 10 percent in 2005 but more than 33 percent in 2007—a trend that echoes the sales growth of Calfee’s carbon frames in the late ’90s.

Frey and three engineering students are picking up Calfee’s torch, aiming to refine the design and reduce the price. Riding a bamboo bike, says Frey, “is like wearing comfortable loafers and having the efficiency of track spikes.” It’s a technological wonder—that nature already built.

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Bamboo The Super Resource?

For some time now I see more and more bamboo furniture and decoration as part of the interior. Natural materials are generally just a very big interior trend. Whether with friends in the living room or in the hip restaurant in Schwabing, bamboo is increasingly replacing furnishings such as plastic chairs or glass lamps. But not only in interior design, but also for everyday products and especially as a substitute for plastic and as a more sustainable alternative.

The bamboo trend has arrived in all over the world, and I’m convinced he’s here to stay. But what is bamboo actually, where does it come from, and how sustainable is it really?

A sustainable resource

Bamboo is a grass that grows in tropical areas and is grown mainly in Asia, South America, and the southern United States.

China is considered the largest producer and exporter of bamboo. The Chinese already used the raw material during the Shang dynasty for means of transport, musical instruments, and weapons

The big advantage of bamboo is that it grows incredibly fast – some varieties grow up to a meter in 24 hours. This bamboo is incredibly productive despite relatively small acreage. For fast growth, bamboo needs only rainwater and no artificial irrigation.

There are several different bamboo varieties. They differ mainly in the color and in the width of the stalks. In tropical or subtropical areas, the stalks can grow up to 40 cm in diameter.

And as if that were not sustainable enough, bamboo produces up to 35% more oxygen than usual trees. Thereby he contributes a lot to the compensation of the carbon dioxide emission.

In summary, it means that bamboo consumes less area and water, is very stable and easy to work with and is climate friendly to carbon dioxide. This makes bamboo a super raw material like no other.

If bamboo poles are shipped unprocessed, they must, however, be treated with chemical substances to kill bacteria and germs due to customs and import regulations.

However, even taking into account this factor and the transport of China, the above advantages outweigh, especially compared to plastic and the resulting enormous environmental pollution.

Is bamboo the solution?

Nevertheless, I believe that the earth cannot be saved by bamboo alone. Bamboo is and will remain a great and sustainable alternative to plastic products such as plastic toothbrushes. However, I am convinced that more, innovative and sustainable materials will be launched in the coming years. In the end, our purchasing decisions count as we contribute to the preservation of our environment with each one of us.

In the following we took a closer look at three bamboo products:

  1. straws
  2. Toothbrushes
  3. coffee mug

Straws made of bamboo

Especially straws are becoming more and more popular with hotels that are located on the water – if one of them lands in the sea, that is a lot less harmful than the plastic straw. What does it in the stomach of marine animals or stuck in sea turtles has in the past shown us the frightening images that are rampant through all social media platforms. Nice that there are also many positive examples of rethinking, such as the island of Cempedak.It is a prime example of the use of bamboo straws, as well as a total plastic-free, and very bamboo-focused, hotel operation. Since bamboo is native to this area, it can also be processed directly locally.

Toothbrushes made of bamboo

In Germany, there is a garbage mountain of over 160 million toothbrushes a year. Extrapolated to the global consumption of the garbage mountain of plastic toothbrushes increases to sheer unimaginable size. As plastic and residual waste are burned in many countries, it also contributes to CO2 emissions. You can break this cycle by replacing your plastic toothbrush with one made of bamboo.

The company Hydrophil produces its products completely water-neutral by using natural resource bamboo, which grows without artificial irrigation. In addition, the products are made exclusively with certified natural colors, without mineral oils or other chemical additives.

Coffee mug made of bamboo – How harmful is it?


A contribution in WDR has launched a discussion on the use of bamboo cups especially. This article states that up to 60% melamine resin is contained in bamboo cups.

With hot drinks and through the dishwasher melamine can be released. Since melamine resin is basically harmful, there is a limit that products should not exceed in the test. However, all cups tested by the WDR have not exceeded the limit. Nevertheless, and that’s the crux of the matter, not all cups have clearly stated that they contain melamine resin. And honestly – even if? Who of you would have known right away that it is harmful and why and why? I am sure I am not the only one who tries to give the manufacturers a basic trust.

Currently, the problem is that the alternative to melamine would be animal adhesives, and that does not seem like a sustainable alternative at first glance. And whether that would not harm the health in the long term, would have to be examined first.

That is, look at the materials the cup has. If it is unclear or spongy, then do not access it. And if you have questions, contact the manufacturer directly. That’s how I did it with Bamboo Hearts, who also has a bamboo cup in their assortment. This consists of 55% bamboo fibers, 25% melamine and 20% corn starch.

My favorite mug is and remains the porcelain mug with silicone lid. This is not practical at all and one of them is already shattered on the street, but I just have the best feeling when drinking and it feels like a real cup. Unfortunately, I will not reach for my old bamboo cup anymore, because unfortunately, I do not know who the manufacturer is and where I bought it years ago. I will use it as a flowerpot from now on.

Or just do as you used to – take your time and enjoy the coffee in the café. Of all options, this is certainly the very best.

Plastics And Co – What Alternatives Are There? The Bamboo Trend

Let’s face it: plastic or plastic is still one of the most important materials for many products worldwide. But that changes slowly. Alternative materials like bamboo and wood are on the rise. A rethinking process has begun that affects not only private consumers stowing their purchases from the supermarket in cloth bags or paper bags.

The keyword is sustainability; Not only we ourselves want to live as resource-efficient as possible and keep our ecological footprint as small as possible. And the same goes for companies.


New Plastics Economy – new ways of recycling

Of course, plastics and plastics from polyethylene to polyurethane are expected to accompany us for many years to come. But the fewer plastic products and the more products there are made of recyclable materials, the better the eco-balance for companies and consumers will be. An important contribution was made by the British sailor Ellen MacArthur with her initiative ” New Plastics Economy “. She joined more than 40 global corporations, companies and cities at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2017, including global players such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Danone.

In the first report one finds: “While plastics and plastic packaging are an integral part of the global economy and deliver many benefits, their value chains currently entail significant drawbacks.” Specifically, three points were highlighted in the 2017 report

  1. Without a fundamental redesign and innovation, 30 percent of all plastic packaging will never be reused or recycled.
  2. For at least 20 percent of all plastic packaging, reuse makes economic sense.
  3. Through joint efforts in the redesign of plastic packaging and the construction of intelligent systems that are used after the use of the plastic, the recycling of another 50 percent would be economical.

Environmental friendliness is worthwhile

And in addition to the redesign and the increased recycling of plastic, there are other ways that serve not only the image. On the one hand, a switch from petroleum-based plastic products to biodegradable plastics, and on the other, the search for alternative materials that are more environmentally friendly in terms of their manufacture, use, and disposal. And these alternatives are also found more and more often in the daily lives of consumers.

So it is much more common nowadays to see people at the cheese counter in the supermarket, who have their Emmentaler stowed away in specially brought boxes and do without plastic packaging. Supermarkets experiment with natural branding. Instead of packaging, the label is lasered directly into the shell of sweet potatoes or avocados. Product designers are experimenting with edible drinking cups, a London start-up is filling water into edible (and even printable !!) water bubbles called Ooho, These are, so to speak, superior to conventional PET bottles, since, in the manufacturing process, nine times less energy and five times fewer Co2 are consumed. Another material that is in focus when it comes to recyclability and environmental friendliness has been known for millennia.

Bamboo – biological, fast growing, reusable

Bamboo is something of a universal material. It serves as a building material for houses, bicycle frames are made in scaffolding and bamboo. Baskets, household materials, musical instruments, weapons – there is almost nothing that could not be made out of or with bamboo. More and more popular is the use of bamboo in the form of dishes.

What began as a trend for children whose parents wanted to give up plastic drinking cups, has now arrived with the adults. To make such a bamboo cup, ground bamboo is mixed with cornmeal. Reusable drinking vessels are dishwasher safe. But there are also cheaper alternatives of ToGo cups made of bamboo wood, which are biodegradable and thus have a great advantage over conventional plastics.


The own mug: Good for the environment and for your wallet

This ecologically valuable advantage of reusability and rapid biodegradability also make such Coffee2Go cups an attractive adult product and promotional item. How often do you get annoyed when you just want to get your coffee around the corner and throw the huge plastic paper cup into the trash? With a beaker made of bamboo and cornstarch or a specially brought stainless steel mug, you do the environment something good.

In the past, you might have looked a bit awkward when you wanted to put the Caffè Latte into your own cup at Starbucks, and today it’s not just used, it’s even rewarded. A 30 cent discount makes the customer’s coffee taste a little better. And these discounts are not just for the coffee giant from Seattle, but also for many other cafes and Coffee2Go chains.

How Sustainable Are Bamboo Toothbrushes? Background Information & Facts

We do not need more plastic on our earth. We all agree. Therefore, more and more people are switching from conventional plastic toothbrushes to bamboo toothbrushes. But how sustainable is such a bamboo toothbrush actually?



1. Why bamboo as the main ingredient of a toothbrush?

You just have to love bamboo. It combines just about all the properties that our environment needs in a single material. Giant Bamboo eg reaches its maximum length of 20 meters within a few months. It then takes about 4-5 years for the tree to develop its excellent hardwood-like properties. Because bamboo grows extremely fast, large quantities can be mined annually without endangering the stock. In contrast, hardwood is often ready for use only after 50-100 years. The rapid growth also means that bamboo can convert a lot of CO2 into oxygen compared to trees. Because the bamboo is such a resilient “weed”, it does not need pesticides and fertilizers to grow.

Bamboo, therefore, has two main advantages :

  • Bamboo is a resource that grows very fast and is sustainable by definition. Petroleum, from which most of the plastic is made, is finite. That’s why we should not use more of it than we really need.
  • Bamboo is biodegradable and plastic lingers on our planet for 500 years. We have to change things about the garbage piles we produce.



2. How sustainable is it to produce toothbrushes made of bamboo in China and to transport them to Germany?


There are several reasons why brushes should not be produced in Germany.


China is no longer the cheap country it once was. There are business people who have their ideas and enforce them as well as the Germans.


The bamboo itself grows in China. There it grows without fertilizer so fast and so high that you can actually watch it grow – depending on the species. This would not be possible in Europe without fertilizer. And that would then be found in the final product.

  • The transport of bamboo pipes would take up an enormous amount of space. Because the pipes are hollow inside. 

Suppose you send the amount of bamboo that you need for 100 brushes, unprocessed. In comparison, 100 brushes occupy only about 1/10 of the space. The so-called “life cycle assessment” for 1 brush is thus much better.

  • The quality

In China, people specialize in the processing of bamboo. In Europe, this raw material is still relatively rarely represented. A constant and above all high quality is guaranteed.

  • The price

Since the necessary machines are already available in China, there are no expensive initial costs, which are then transferred back to the product.

If you’re realistic, a bamboo toothbrush will not compete with a plastic toothbrush from Europe. Almost all of our toothbrushes or toothbrush heads are produced in the Far East and thus go back the same way. The long transport route is certainly not ideal. But in the production of plastic also CO2 is produced. By contrast, bamboo transforms CO2 into oxygen through photosynthesis. Then the difference is not that big anymore.


Bamboo Toothbrush_Bamboo Planet


3. Production conditions in China

As mentioned earlier, China is not a cheap country that is often sold to us in the media. The small and medium-sized companies, including our production company, offer their workers very good working conditions. To convince themselves, these companies also offer regular viewing appointments. The companies in which the workers are doing badly are the productions of the really big brands – I will not name one, but everyone knows which brands I mean.

Much of the bamboo sold in Europe comes from China. Environmental and social standards are naturally low compared to the Western world. However, it is positive that bamboo cultivation has so far been little industrialized and for the most part is in the hands of small farmers.




4. Why should I even switch to a bamboo toothbrush?

With the daily use of the toothbrush, the plastic is usually rubbed against the mucous membrane for three minutes. It dissolves small plastic particles, which then enter the circulation. This also shows the documentation. How much plastic is in our body and what consequences that has for us, we can unfortunately not really say today. But what we can say with certainty – it is not healthy.

A toothbrush is used for about 2 to 3 months. Then you throw them away to replace them with a new one. So it creates a lot of plastic waste. First through the packaging and secondly through the brush itself. Our bamboo toothbrushes are packed in a waste paper box. The brushes themselves can also be disposed of well.


5. Bamboo toothbrush bristles: differences

Right, there are different bristles. Currently, you can distinguish between

  • Bristles made of biological plastic (nylon-4) or “normal” plastic (nylon)
  • Bristles of bamboo viscose

The advantages and disadvantages are listed quickly.

Bamboo bristles:

Bamboo bristles are made of bamboo pulp. They are biodegradable – and relatively fast compared to organic plastics. However, the hardness can only be influenced by the bristle density here.

Bristles made of biological plastic (nylon-4) or “normal” plastic (nylon): 

Bristles made of bio-plastic can be influenced very easily in the degree of hardness. They are biodegradable – but very slow. Bristles made of “normal” plastic (nylon) are not biodegradable.


6. Disposal of the bamboo toothbrush & service life

For reasons of hygiene, I recommend changing the toothbrush every 3 months. If you were sick in between, you should boil the brush or scald with boiling water. Depending on the model, the brush can completely go into the fire, be buried or just thrown on the compost. The bristles made of bio-plastic are biodegradable but take a long time. Therefore it is best to dispose of the head separately. Cancel and put in the trash. The stalk burns best then. This bamboo toothbrush with bamboo viscose bristles can actually be placed completely on the compost pile or into the fire. *

* To play safe, you should break off your head and dispose of it separately.


7. Is there a 100% compostable bamboo toothbrush at all?

100% compostable is very difficult. The production of bristles always uses chemistry. This can never be avoided, in my opinion. This chemistry will always be present in the product. Thus, a small amount of plastic. This plastic is biodegradable – only at which time? Yes, you can throw the brush into the biowaste. No, the waste company will not be happy about that. In an organic waste should only things that rot quickly. And the brush does not do that. Would be also bad if she rotted while brushing her teeth.



CONCLUSION: Bamboo toothbrushes are certainly NOT the panacea for the plastic problem. However, they are a step in the right direction and it is (although very rarely) already grown bamboo in Europe. So it’s definitely a product that has a lot of potentials.