Understanding the products we use in our everyday life is the first thing we need to do when we are looking at greening our lives. We have to understand why bamboo is better than rayon and plastic, so we can make informed eco friendly choices in our life. Bamboo is one of those eco friendly products that may seem to be new right now. However, it has been around for hundreds of years and has a ton of different eco friendly uses.
Amazingly, in some parts of the world, people actually consume bamboo as food! The shoots and culms are prepared and then eaten. In many Asian countries, they consider it a vegetable. They eat it raw, steamed, and boiled. China even makes beer from it! Talk about sustainable living!
Bamboo is also used to build eco friendly homes and sometimes even larger structures. It is very flexible which is why it is useful in places that have earthquakes and cyclones. (After the earthquake hit Haiti, there were bamboo homes constructed). Surprisingly, it is virtually as strong as steel. A 173-acre bamboo plantation is sufficient to build 1000 bamboo houses per year. To build the same number of houses with timber, it would take 1482 acres of natural forest!
One of my more favorite uses of bamboo has to the “ecolo”. This is a laptop whose outer casing is made from bamboo! Another great eco friendly product!
You will find that there has been a huge influx of bamboo household items. It has been used for sewing needles for years. However, you now can easily find bamboo cutting boards, bamboo furniture, bamboo baskets, bamboo window blinds, etc.
Bamboo is also great for musical instruments. The flute seems an obvious instrument made from bamboo, but it can also be used to make xylophones, drums, rattles, stamping pipes, chimes, etc.
In the sporting world, you will often see bamboo fishing poles, bamboo snowboards, bamboo bikes, bamboo boats, bamboo rafts, and even bamboo surfboards. Its flexibility, buoyancy, and strength make it a great material for these uses.
Bamboo is also a great material for clothing. It is extremely breathable and can actually wick sweat away from your body. It is also one of the softest fabrics I’ve ever felt and used. Best of all, it has the durability of cotton.
It is amazing all of the eco friendly uses there are for bamboo. It is a sustainable crop because it grows quite quickly (sometimes up to two feet a day!). Bamboo is a material I would choose any day for the products in my home.
What bamboo products do you use?