When I first earned my Hunter Education Certificate, I realized the magnitude of the negative impacts of lead bullets on our health and environment. Even though I learned the methods for gun safety, I never learned the long-term effects of shooting and hunting. I knew there had to be a solution, and bamboo was a resource that popped into my mind.

What it does

Bamboolets are 9mm cartridges with the bullet, rim, and shell composed of Moso bamboo, allowing it to be biodegradable.

How we built it

After growing the bamboo, we'll cut it into rods with the green layer removed and treat it with a hydrogen peroxide solution, ensuring that the bamboo doesn't decay or get eaten by insects. By putting the bamboo under heat and pressure, it becomes carbonized, hardening into a material that we can later cut up into the various parts of the cartridge. Bamboolets replace the metal from the bullet, shell, and rim with processed bamboo; the primer is kept. (The primer is necessary for ignition of gunpowder, but the metal is minimal enough to not cause significant harm to the environment).

Challenges we ran into

As this is a product that has never been created before, I didn't have a lot of information to go off of, and had to do my research on multiple aspects of a cartridge and bamboo to make sure that bamboo really was a possible alternative to metal in cartridges.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

I'm proud of how well the idea turned out; this project could've easily been a dead end if bamboo wasn't strong as we expected, or if it was much more expensive. It turns out the numbers worked out perfectly in my favor, and being able to string together all the facts is an accomplishment I'm proud of.

What we learned

I learned about a whole new world with sustainable resources like bamboo. I never knew how powerful bamboo was in the past; it's not only able to use for a bullet, but it can be useful in so many more ways. Bamboolets are just a start, just a tiny taste of what bamboo is able to do.

What's next for Bamboolets

Although it isn't legal for me to try to create a Bamboolet at my age, I'll definitely be thinking about more ways bamboo is able to make our lives better, and this world greener.

Built With

  • imovie
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