Anybody that is committed to saving the environment needs to make smart, eco-friendly decisions every day. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle. One of the problems is that a lot of the products on the market that are labeled “eco-friendly” aren’t as good for the environment as we would like to think. Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is among the people that has gotten a lot of support from supporters for pledging to tackle climate change, even though actual climate scientists aren’t as impressed.
The products might be made from sustainable materials. However, they may involve manufacturing processes that are not nearly as good for the environment.
Some of our readers have asked about the environmental impact of bamboo pillows. They have heard that it is supposed to be good for the environment. But is it really? Or are the impacts the same as other materials?
We decided to investigate the environmental properties of bamboo in more detail. Here are some factors to look at.
The Lowdown on the Environmental Impact of Bamboo Pillows
The media talk of carbon emissions and global warming daily, prompting consumers to favor environmentally friendly items. One recent poll showed that 88% of customers want companies to be eco-friendlier.
Sleep accessories made of natural fibers seem to belong to this category, which is why bamboo pillows are all the rage. Check out these bamboo pillow reviews to see how properties of competing pillows compare. You may think such a product makes you an environmentally responsible sleeper. After all, goods made out of a plant should be eco-friendly. But are they? Not entirely.
The Controversy About the Eco-friendly Claims About Bamboo
The word ‘bamboo’ conjures up an image of cute pandas enjoying their meal. This plant is strongly associated with China, and it is known for incredible growth speed and self-regeneration. Indeed, it grows naturally.
But does everything that grow naturally necessarily help the environment? After all, all wood grows naturally and is considered a renewable resource. But we all know that it leaves a large carbon footprint when it is burnt.
So, does this mean that natural materials like bamboo might not always be good for the environment? That is an issue that we are going to want to explore in more detail.
Is there Truth to Advertising About the Eco-friendly Properties of Bamboo?
These pillows are eco-friendly if you consider the raw materials. Bamboo is harvested in areas that would otherwise constitute wasteland. Besides, there is no need for notorious pesticides. As the items are made of natural fibers, they are biodegradable. This is one factor that definitely counts in favor of using bamboo as an eco-friendly material. However, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
What is The Catch?
Any naturally occurring resource is eco-friendly when handled responsibly. Here, before turning into a pillow, it undergoes processing. Sadly, it is usually the viscose process, a part of the general manufacturing cycle.
Unfortunately, due to its natural roughness, bamboos may not be used in its untreated form. Pillow covers that are bamboo-classified are made of viscose rayon fiber. The compound involved in the process is called carbon disulfide, and it is officially considered a hazard to human reproduction, the central nervous system, and other functions.
The output does not make these pillows “certified organic” due to the substances that have been applied to them. Some manufacturers ignore the danger as it softens the fabric boosting its appeal. The only fabric made with a non-toxic solvent is called Lyocell bamboo.
Nevertheless, advertisements often tout the brands as “ethically- and organically-sourced”, or “toxic- and chemical-free”.
Inside, you still find the memory foam pillow we are all familiar with. This enables the support to adjust to our head contours and improve breathability, as well as possesses heat distribution properties.
The production of viscose rayon, the material used for bamboo pillow covers, requires twice as much energy as cotton-based fabrics. This means you will be more likely to get a genuinely sustainable item if you search for certified organic cotton.
What about Allergies?
Some brands love touting antibacterial properties of bamboo pillows. Nevertheless, if the treatment involved chemicals, it is unclear whether such desirable characteristics remain present. Besides, the “hypoallergenic” claim does not refer to any clean-cut industry standards. Mites are not going to bother you, however.
What is the Takeaway on the Eco-friendly Properties of Bamboo?
Consider getting a bamboo pillow if you:
- Suffer from snoring or breathing difficulties;
- Sweat during sleep;
- Have neck and back pains.
Overall, there is little difference from top memory-foam options since the same material is used for filling. As bamboo is subjected to chemical treatment, sustainability only refers to its chemical-free growth, except for Lyocell.
Bamboo Pillows Are Great for Sleeping but Not Necessarily the Environment
If you are truly committed to helping the environment, then you need to make informed decisions. You should be aware of the environmental properties of bamboo pillows. They sadly aren’t as good for the planet as you would like to think.