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I just wanted to clear up that I’m not anti-green. I’m not anti much at all. I’m all for making the right choices and not getting sucked into marketing. I’m also all for commercial companies competing with each other to come out with the latest technology (auto and energy production) that is also environmentally friendly, sustainable, and well- Green.
Here is a great example of trying to do the right thing but missing the mark.
Bamboo flooring versus Domestic hardwood flooring (such as oak)
Oak is a domestic hardwood, aka it is grown and harvested in North America. A quick google search turns up an average cost of $3-$5 per square foot. Its grown, milled, finished, and sold here in the US and abroad.
Bamboo is considered an exotic, foreign “wood” (it’s actually grass). Grown Primarily in Asia, it is a fast growing plant with crop turn around being far faster than that of a full grown Oak tree. Just as durable as many more expensive exotic hardwoods, and in some cases stronger, and coming in at just over $1 to around $3 a square foot, it seems like the great “green choice” to make.
Reality- The bamboo has to be grown, harvested, dried, cut and milled, packaged and shipped over to us in the US from Asia, the boats used get far from the millage of a new hybrid car if you catch my drift… When the boats arrive they unload onto trucks to ship it nation wide. So in the process of actually GETTING the more renewable, sustainable product over here for use, we actually USE more of our limited supply of fossil fuels.
Take home message- Just becasue soemthing is labeld as more environmentally friendly doesn’t always mean its IS. Now if substantial bamboo crops were started here in the US for domestic use… it would be a totally different story.
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