Panda

More than just the primary food source for China’s giant pandas, bamboo is the fastest growing grass (yes, it’s a grass). It can grow nearly 40 inches in a 24-hour period, and because of its fast growth cycle, it’s also a versatile, super strong and sustainable alternative to wood and textiles (like old growth forests and GMO cotton). And long before Glade or Febreze tried to purify our air by adding massively toxic chemicals to it, and even before we had the whole chemistry of baking soda down, bamboo charcoal was absorbing odors and purifying air.

Used during the Ming Dynasty, bamboo branches, residue and roots were burned at temperatures more than 1000° C to create the charcoal briquettes that were used for fuel, cooking, drying tea and cleansing the air. The highly absorptive charcoal can also purify drinking water. Bamboo charcoal has four times the surface area of traditional tree charcoal, making it much more effective at absorbing odors and purifying air.

Not only can the bamboo pull odors and impurities out of the air, but it can also temper humidity as air passes through the porous filter, and it can also add moisture to air that’s too dry, making it a natural humidifier (or dehumidifier as the case may be), without using excess water or electricity.

Bamboo charcoal can be placed in your refrigerator and freezer instead of baking soda, in closets, basements, garages and cars, and decorative bamboo “pillows” can freshen living rooms, office spaces and bedrooms while blending right into your décor.

Unlike toxic “air fresheners” or the messy boxes of baking soda, which aside from being other than the best air fresheners, don’t even last very long, bamboo charcoal can last as long as a year, making it not only a sustainable product from the start, but it creates less waste on the finished product side too. 

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Image: Claus Rebler