Is a Bamboo Floor Mat an Environmentally Safe Choice?

by Owner on July 21, 2010

Consumers are increasingly turning to the attractive design and convenience of a bamboo floor mat for their home, whether it’s for an entranceway, bathroom or simply as a middle of the room rug alternative. At the same time, there has been a considerable amount of backlash against the use of bamboo floor mats and other bamboo products. You’ll hear people claiming that bamboo is either one of the best eco-friendly products on the market, or that it’s actually far worse than it seems. So is the bamboo mat an environmentally safe choice or not?

Let’s start with a few of the negatives that have been garnering attention. A typical bamboo floor mat or another similar product made from bamboo will need to undergo a fair amount of treatment in order to become viable for the consumer market. This can eat up energy and also result in the application of chemicals to help impart improved looks or durability.

These are not concerns just to be brushed off, they are legitimate reasons to reconsider your new bamboo floor mat purchase. However, the positives of using bamboo in place of other products still outweigh the negatives. When bamboo is harvested, collected and manufactured correctly, it’s still very beneficial to the environment as compared to chopping down forests or manufacturing plastics, for example.

First, as a plant itself in the natural environment, bamboo offers a wide range of benefits to the ecosystem that it’s in. For one thing, bamboo plants release more oxygen than typical forests, which is always a plus. Additionally, bamboo plants have a very sturdy and intricate root system which will help to prevent erosion, a commonly overlooked problem affecting forests and agriculture.

Perhaps most importantly of all, bamboo plants actually survive the harvesting process when it’s done in the proper fashion. The top of the plant can be removed and the roots can be left intact, allowing the plant to regrow. This is far more efficient and environmentally sound than just chopping down forests and then planting them again, starting from scratch.

This is also crucial when you consider the investment of time it takes to harvest most timber products. Typical timber takes several decades to grow and mature enough to be used commercially. However, an alternative option like a bamboo floor mat is made from a plant which can be ready to harvest in just a few years. Combined with the fact that the same plants can be harvested repeatedly, you’ll see that bamboo is indeed an eco-friendlier choice.

The truth is that there are few absolutely perfect solutions out there for the environmentally conscious consumer. However, alternatives like using a bamboo floor mat still offer a great deal of advantages. In the future perhaps manufacturing and refining techniques can be improved even further, but you can still rest easy knowing that bamboo floor mats do much more good than harm, and are a valid, environmentally safe choice.

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