The wonders of bamboo

October 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Bamboo...will it be flooring, decking, or maybe a blouse?

If you’ve been shopping recently you may have noticed that there are suddenly more products on the market made of bamboo.  If you’ve been shopping for your kitchen you might have seen cutting boards, bowls, and utensils made of bamboo. Visit your home supply store and you might have seen bamboo flooring and for your yard: bamboo fencing and decking. Textiles for clothing and bed sheets can even be made of bamboo fibres.  It has become popular in the West recently because it’s a sustainable renewable resource.

Bamboo is a desirable material because of a few qualities. It grows and regenerates itself very quickly making bamboo a sustainable alternative to wood, in fact it is the fastest growing plant in the world.  Some species of bamboo grow 6” to 3’ feet a day in ideal conditions without pesticides or fertilizer. With the natural growing cycle of bamboo, it can be harvested every 3 -7 years compared to softwoods that can take 10-20 years. To be clear it is a plant and not a tree as it is a member of the grass family. Still for grass it is stronger than oak and steel in tensile strength. Bamboo has been utilized in construction materials for centuries all over Asia and has even withstood earthquakes.

Bamboo has become a darling of the consumer market with manufacturers and designers coming up with new ways to use bamboo.  What does it mean for you as a consumer? You have several choices for products you consume every day. When you choose a bamboo product, you know that it’s a more sustainable choice than wood.

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