Bamboo

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Botanically categorized as grass, bamboo is probably the world’s most sustainable resource. It is is eco-friendly friendly because it not only grows fast but grows without pesticides and little water. So products made from bamboo wood, like kids bamboo forks, spoon, and plates are a good eco-conscious options.

Not surprisingly, Bamboo is making its presence felt in stores all over the world. From kids' dresses to bamboo flooring, it provides a sustainable raw material for a plethora of commodities. Buyers are paying extra for bamboo products in hopes of buying the greenest products going. But just how eco-friendly is bamboo?

Contents

Why should I be aware of this?

There is an increasing demand for bamboo products because of its renewability/sustainability.

Being the fastest growing grass which can shoot up a yard or more a day, bamboo reaches maturity quickly and is ready for harvesting in about 4 years. Bamboo does not require replanting after harvesting because its vast root network continually sprouts new shoots which almost zoom up while you watch them, pulling in sunlight and greenhouse gases and converting them to new green growth.

And all this happens naturally, without the need for petroleum-guzzling tractors and poisonous pesticides and fertilizers. It is also an effective plant for Short Rotation Forestry which produces large amounts of biomass for energy and paper through the use of fast-growing tree species.[1]

A peerless erosion control agent, Bamboo's net-like root systems are an effective mechanism for watershed protection, stitching the soil together along fragile riverbanks, deforested areas, and in places prone to earthquakes and mud slides. Its wide-spreading root system, uniquely shaped leaves and dense litter on the forest floor greatly reduces rain run off, preventing massive soil erosion and keeping up to twice as much water in the watershed.

Bamboo is a pioneering plant and can be grown in soil damaged by overgrazing and poor agricultural techniques. Unlike with most trees proper harvesting does not kill the bamboo plant so topsoil is held in place.

With a tensile strength superior to mild steel (it withstands up to 52,000 pounds of pressure psi) and a weight-to-strength ratio surpassing that of graphite, bamboo is the strongest growing woody plant on earth with one of the widest ranging habitats of more than 1500 species thriving in diverse terrain from sea level to 12,000 feet on every continent but the poles. It is very hardy -- bamboo survived the Hiroshima atomic blast closer to ground zero than any other living thing and provided the first re-greening in Hiroshima after the blast in 1945. [2] It is quick growing, which makes it ideal to be used for afforestation.

All about bamboo

Here are some of its other benefits to humans and their environments --
  • It is one of the cheapest renewable sources of building material available to man.
  • At the same time, it provides rural communities with a sustainable livelihood.
  • It is one of the fastest growing components of forests, and thus plays an important role in the development of animal habitats.
  • It costs neither a lot of energy nor money, to cultivate.
  • Bamboo has been an important part of art, music, tradition and ceremonies through out the Asian continent.


Copperbytes

  • Bamboo can grow about 4 feet in under 24 hours. [3] [4]
  • A Bamboo plant can be continuously re-harvested every 3 years, without causing any negative impact on the soil and the environment. [3]
  • The dense roots of the bamboo plant are so deep into the soil and remain so firmly intact that they prevent soil erosion effectively.
  • It retains twice as much water in the underground watershed.
  • It consumes nitrogen and thus remove pollution.
  • Bamboo plant produces 35% more oxygen than any other tree species.
  • Bamboo also protects against ultraviolet rays.
  • Soft bamboo shoots, stems, and leaves are the major food source of the endangered Giant Panda of China.
  • The plant marketed as "lucky bamboo" is actually an entirely unrelated species, Dracaena sanderiana.
  • Bamboo is the only living thing that survived the Hiroshima atomic blast in 1945. It also provided the initial re-greening of Ground Zero afterwards. [2]

Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo is, strangely enough, not a bamboo at all. It is a resilient member of the lily family that grows in the dark, tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and Africa. Lucky Bamboo has long been associated with the Eastern practice of Feng Shui - or the bringing of natural elements of water, fire, earth, wood and metal into balance within the environment. It is believed to be an ideal example of the thriving wood and water element, with the addition of a red ribbon sometimes tied around the stalks - which is believed to "fire" the positive flow of energy or chi in the room.

Hear a Pod on Bamboo

Amazing Bamboo on Traydio

The Green Ghost adds

Bamboo wins

Fabric made from bamboo is incredibly soft, smooth and luxurious. It acts to absorb and evaporate sweat in seconds so does not stick to the skin cooling it off as manmade material does. The material is breathable in the hot weather and in the winter, like silk, keeps the body warm. Being anti static it will sit well on the skin but does not stick and with its natural anti-fungal properties will not smell if left at the bottom of a kit bag for days. The Japanese Textile Inspection Association discovered that the natural anti bacterial nature of bamboo killed 70% of bacteria incubated on the bamboo fabric. More...

References

  • Bamboo Women
  • Uses of Bamboo
  • Bamboo Furniture and Flooring

Source

  1. FOA Document
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bamboo Central
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bamboo - The Modern Economy's Super Product
  4. American Bamboo Society

See Also