Bamboo

Because of the species' stability, hardness and strength, our bottles are made from Phyllostachys Pubescens bamboo (also known as Moso and Mau Tzu). The bamboo is grown and harvested in temperate conditions that allow it to grow to its maximum potential - 90 feet in 9 months! The best part of the harvesting method is the hand selection and hand cutting of the bamboo. This allows maturing and flowering strands to remain flourishing and minimizes the impact on ground soil since no heavy machinery is used. Once cut, the bamboo will continue to grow just like mowing your lawn. This selective cutting process leaves the soil and land in its best possible state.

Let's dig real deep into our harvesting and production story.

Once harvested, the production process begins. The first step is to cut the bamboo into lengths of 4-, 6-, and 8-foot sections. It is then split into 1 X 1 inch sticks by a splitter that looks like the fins on a jet plane. After the machine finishes splitting, the sticks are then planed. After the sticks are planed, the sticks enter the boiling process.

During the boiling process, the sugars of the bamboo are removed. By boiling the sugars, it is a natural way to remove all insects and prevent them from coming back. Even this process is as environmentally frugal as possible; the boilers use waste bamboo and sawdust to generate energy!

Once boiled, the sticks are then kiln dried. In order to reduce the amount of energy used in the kiln drying process, the sticks are not carbonized. Carbonizing requires more time and heat in the kiln, which uses more energy, but also weakens and darkens the bamboo. All we do is dry it—this maintains it's natural beauty and strength!

The sticks are then meticulously planed and inspected. After the inspection, the sticks are then shaped. Once the sticks are shaped, they can be laminated and pressed together, giving the sticks the shape of a cylinder (your bottle!)

Once the cylinder is formed, it is cut and smoothed into shape, which requires both hand and machine work. Once it has reached it's final shape, a logo is simply burnt on using a branding machine, which requires no ink, or chemicals, just heat.

Although we are not perfect, we have gone out of our way to be as sustainable as possible. Hopefully someday we will have enough sales to modify our production facility into a greener and more eco-friendly plant, but until then, we are striving to be the best we can be. Our power sources used for bamboo processing are electric and steam via a steam boiler, which is generally powered with diesel and bamboo waste. The electricity comes from the main grid, although someday, wind or solar would be amazing!

Now that the process has been explained, here are some facts about bamboo:

  • Bamboo replenishes the environment and the air we breathe. Bamboo releases 35% more oxygen than equivalent strands of trees. And it can sequester up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide from the air per hectare. (Bamboo really does help fight global warming!)
  • Harvesting bamboo does not destroy its root system, meaning there is no topsoil erosion or run-off.
  • Harvesting of bamboo minimally impacts the wildlife, compared to hardwood "logging," where big machinery tears the land apart.
  • Our bamboo is harvested from areas designated and supported by the Chinese government for the sustainability of the species.

If you have any suggestions on how we can reduce our carbon footprint, please contact us. We love new ideas!