The environment of giant panda and flooring, is there a connection? Surfing the Internet, visiting homes and flooring stores one can become amazed at the large variety of floors that are available. Soft wood, hardwood, exotic wood and bamboo represent a few of our many floor types. Carpet, linoleum, sheet vinyl, laminate, ceramic and stone are a few more of the floors we enjoy. When admiring these floors do we or should be also be thinking about the environment from which the raw material for them was harvested?
The Environment of Giant Panda Does Bamboo Flooring Interrupt?
As we check out the floors the selection is immense and so is the variety of environmental concerns. The environment of the giant panda is one of the environment concerns that are argued about along with the spotted owl, endangered plants, endangered bugs and rodents, oil spills at sea and pipeline breaks at land.
Our environment is important to all of us and problems are far from a welcome to any of us. As necessary as mining may be, some of our most beautiful lands have been scarred by strip mining. Yes, there are all real concerns and all of us need to take them into consideration, and weigh in our own minds how we truly feel about the products we choose to use.
What are the Effects of Bamboo on the Environment of Giant Panda
When we consider bamboo flooring and its effect on the environment, it is important that we consider its effect on environment of giant panda. A panda must feed 12 to 16 hours a day, consuming 22 – 40 pounds of bamboo. When eating fresh shoots, each panda will consume about 84 pounds of bamboo shoots in a day. It is estimated that their are only 700 – 1500 giant pandas that exist in the wild. The giant panda is probably the best-known endangered animal. They compete with the farmers and are killed by the poachers. Bamboo is already being used for every other conceivable commodity from food, to housing, furniture, musical instruments, toys, tools, and just about anything else you can imagine. And we are taking more bamboo away from the Panda to make floor covering, or are we?
In the Pacific Northwest they have environmentalist sitting at the top of trees in an attempt to keep them from being cut down. Some trees sitters are there for months and even a year or longer. While they are not protecting environment of giant panda they consider themselves protecting our forest. There is not question that reasonable protection is necessary though many have a goal of stopping all harvesting which is foolhardy at best. While wood is a renewable resource when properly protected and harvested, competitive priced wood is no longer available in the United States for housing, flooring, and furniture and just about everything else.
We need oil and lots of it for the day-to-day operation of our automobiles, houses, factories and the manufacturing of a multitude of products including floor covering. Most carpet, laminate and resilient is composed of oil-based products at least in part. Environmental concerns have made us dependent on foreign oil, from countries that have less stringent environmental regulations. And yes, oil prices continue to climb making most of our products more and more expensive.
Even those of us in the floor covering industry want a clean environment. While we may not have giant panda in our own area we do care about the environment of the giant panda. We may be too busy to sit in a tree or block the construction of a pipeline, but when at the supermarket spending our hard earned cash, we still have to think fast when asked, paper or plastic? Do I want to cut a tree today or build a pipeline?
In China you do not have people sitting atop the bamboo canes. I imagine some would if they thought they could. Kidding aside, all of us need to be concerned with out environment and I truly believe those of us in the floor covering industry do care. Most all of us want to see the responsible use of our natural resources. We want the beauty of our country and our world to be here for future generations to enjoy.
So if less than a thousand Panda Bears survive in the wild, and rely on bamboo for their source of food, are bamboo floors the answer? The answer is yes, they are certainly one of our answers for like wood, bamboo is a renewable resource.
Bamboo Floors are Not Destroying the Environment of Giant Panda
Nearly all of the bamboo flooring sold in North America is produced in the southern Chinese province of Hunan. This area is known as “the bamboo sea” for its extensive bamboo forests. The government owns the forest and individuals or companies can obtain contracts to harvest from them. Contrary to the concerns of many, the harvesting in these forests is not a threat to Pandas, as this is not the environment of giant panda which live at much higher elevations and eat a different species of bamboo.
The habitat today of the giant panda is six small areas located in inland China. This habitat is suitable for the 15 or so bamboo varieties on which the panda survives. The area is a cold, damp coniferous forest with elevations that range from 4,000 to 11,000 feet.
More than 1,000 species of bamboo are found worldwide. The Moso species (phyllostachys pubescens) is a popular species for flooring. The Moso grows to about fifty feet in height and two feet in circumference. Moso is primarily found in the low mountain areas of Zhejiang province (It is in the Temperate Zone about 30 degrees North latitude). The temperatures in this area range from below freezing in the winter to over 100 F in the summer.
Mao Zhu (hairy bamboo) is another popular bamboo used for flooring. It is one of the hundreds of bamboo species not consumed by panda.
With its rapid growth cycle and abundance, bamboo floors really do appear to be environmental friendly and do not effect the environment of the giant panda!