A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders a sandwich. After he finishes eating the sandwich, the panda pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter, and then stands up to go.
“Hey!” shouts the manager. “Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn’t pay for your sandwich!”
The panda yells back at the manager, “Hey man, I am a PANDA! Look it up!”
The manager opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda: “A tree-dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterised by distinct black and white colouring. Eats shoots and leaves.”
Something to brighten up your week.
But seriously, I have received queries from concerned customers wondering if our bamboo flooring enterprise is depriving those endangered pandas of their food source.
The short answer is, No. We use a different species of bamboo from what pandas eat.
Lucy Siegle of The Observer asked a slightly different question: Will the focus on commercially viable species of bamboo result in monoculture, and lead to the extinction of the other species, including the ones that pandas depend on for sustenance?
She’s right to point out that making a product out of bamboo, however renewable and fast-growing it may be, does not automatically qualify it as an eco-friendly product. The source of the bamboo is just as crucial.
Star Bamboo only uses bamboo material that has been certified by the local Shaowu government. It has a programme in place to manage the harvesting of bamboo in the region.
It is also important to note that the species of bamboo we use, commonly known as Moso, is native to the region. It was not a species imported for commercial reasons.
Ms Siegle also remarked:
Material scientists also question the way bamboo is processed, predominantly in China, using elemental chlorine (which produces toxic dioxins) and where there are little to no standards or controls governing air emissions and liquid effluents.
Well, we don’t use a chemical as toxic and difficult to handle as chlorine in our production.
Instead, hydrogen peroxide is our preferred choice. It achieves a good bleaching effect for our Natural bamboo flooring, and the by-products are only oxygen and water.
It is costly too, which explains why Natural bamboo flooring is generally priced higher than Carbonised bamboo flooring.
So back to the question, do bamboo flooring manufacturers steal food from pandas?
The long answer is, it depends on the practices and ethics of the manufacturer. So please purchase only from responsible manufacturers, and market forces will ensure that the pandas do not go hungry.