Can bamboo offer a sustainable future & help save the planet?

How can bamboo help save the planet?

Can Bamboo really offer mankind a sustainable future and help save the planet? We thought these questions were well worth looking into…

Bamboo is extremely hardy and can grow in tropical and temperate zones from sea level up to 12000 feet above. It was one of the only plants to survive after the atomic blast in Hiroshima!

With plastic waste becoming a huge problem and forests disappearing at an alarming rate, now really is the time for mankind to look for a more sustainable option and we think Bamboo is the perfect alternative.

Some facts about Bamboo

Research in Japan has shown that bamboo can absorb up to 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare per year, producing 35% more oxygen that the same area of trees, which means this plant can be crucial when it comes to stabilizing the earth’s atmosphere.

Soil damaged by over grazing and adverse agricultural practices can be repaired by planting bamboo with its root network helping to prevent soil erosion.

With more that 1500 species of bamboo growing at different levels and habitats it has been used for more that 4000 years by humans for numerous purposes including paper, medicine, food, weapons and construction.

Even Edison used a bamboo fiber as a filament in his light bulb as it conducted an electrical current that lasted more that 1200 hours, better that any other material of the 1880’s. So can it help save the planet?

What can Bamboo be used for?

Once we started to look further into this question it started to become clearer that the answer was, ‘Just about anything!’

A man is born in a bamboo cradle and goes away in a bamboo coffin. Everything in between is possible with bamboo.

Flooring

In the Western world the uses of bamboo have previously been limited to items such as garden canes, conservatory furniture and fishing rods but this is now changing.

When layers of bamboo are glued together it becomes an alternative to wood and when used for flooring it is very eco-friendly, durable and shrink resistant and also as hard as most oak flooring.

Houses

When it comes to building it’s not just flooring that bamboo is good for. As this video shows, in countries like Indonesia they are already making houses, factories and other large-scale buildings purely from bamboo.

This video with Elora Hardy and her forward thinking sustainable construction company called Ibuku is a fantastic example of how strong, flexible, durable and adaptable bamboo really is and how ideas like this can help us all save the planet…

Clothing

Bamboo can be made into a very strong and durable fabric, this fabric can then be used to make a variety of clothing from activity wear to scarf’s and gloves.

It is breathable, antibacterial (so odour resistant), absorbent and fast drying. The thermal control of bamboo clothing keeps you more comfortable than cotton or polyester clothes, so is perfect for exercising.

For allergy prone and sensitive skin bamboo clothing is perfect as it is anti-static.

For the sun sensitive clothing made from bamboo is ideal as it cuts out over 97% of the harmful UV rays.

You could also help the planet a little by making your own eco sandals from old car tyres!

Reusable Bamboo Kitchen Towel & Tissue paper

Another fantastic use on this wonderful plant can be found in reusable kitchen towel & toilet paper. A great example is this Ecoegg kitchen towel that can be used up to 85 times! So saving paper waste from throw away paper kitchen towel that can only be used once.

Fabrics

The extremely soft fabric made from bamboo fiber blends not only have antibacterial properties but also are naturally antifungal, hypoallergenic and deodorizing.

So the fabric is ideal for towels, wash cloths, dish cloths and bath mats.

Oriental rugs often use mango wood in the process, buying a rug made from bamboo will help to save precious trees.

Musical Instruments

The light durable qualities of bamboo when finely crafted make beautiful wind instruments.

The most well known example is probably a flute but this amazing plant can also be used to make other instruments such as drums or didgeridoos.

Believe it or not there are also headphones and speakers made of bamboo which produce a very rich natural sound.

Bamboo Brushes

A wide range of brushes are made from bamboo wood rather than traditional wood. They make extremely good bath brushes, skin and nail brushes, bamboo toothbrushes, hair brushes and combs.

They also work very well for pet brushes, basically anything that has a wooden handle can be swapped for bamboo and go a little way to help preserving forests around the world.

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Beauty Products

Finely milled bamboo powder is used in skincare products which exfoliate the skin. The smooth grains are rich in essential minerals so is ideal for using on sensitive skin.

Bamboo sap is derived from the stalks of the bamboo plant and this sap is very hydrating so is used to aid skin regeneration, skin quality, making it smoother and stronger.

The sap is rich in amino acids and minerals so valuable in medicinal healing of the skin.

Food

Bamboo skin has antioxidant properties and this prevents bacterial growth and can be used as a natural food preservative.

Bamboo shoots are used in Asian foods. There is even a bamboo beer, which is a blend of hops, malt and bamboo.

Fuel

In China and Japan this plant has been used to make charcoal for cooking, this process has been done for centuries.

A by product of this charcoal process is pyroligeous acid which contains 400 different chemical compounds and has many purposes which includes in cosmetics, deodorants, insecticides and food processing.

Please note: This is very different from activated charcoal that bamboo can also be used to produce. Found in toothpastes and supplements this type of charcoal used to help whiten teeth.

Medicine

Ingredients from the shoots of the black bamboo have helped to treat kidney disease in China.

Cancer and venereal disease has also been treated with the root and leaves.

It has been reported that water from its side leaves have effectively treated bone disease in Indonesia.

Kitchen utensils

Bamboo is harder than maple so is perfect for cutting boards. Bamboo kitchen utensils are long lasting and durable, they are stain and odor resistant and easy to clean.

Bamboo cooking utensils will not scratch non-stick pans and they are inexpensive to buy.

To keep your utensils in good condition oil occasionally especially if they are washed a lot but when the useful life of your bamboo equipment is finished they are 100% biodegradable.

Mobile Phone Cases

In recent months bamboo phone cases have started to appear on the market and it seems like a no brainer to us. Tough, durable and eco friendly! No better way to protect your phone.

Even Bikes!

Yes you heard us right, bamboo bikes not only exist but are becoming more and more popular. The bamboo is also meant to be naturally flexible enough to act like suspension making it a smoother ride.

Everything is possible with Bamboo

Whilst not all bamboo species are suited to all applications as you can see it can make a big contribution to a greener and cleaner environment.

As well as the environment, using bamboo can help save the forests of the world, offering a sustainable future and protect the habitat of animal species who live in them. We think all this goes a long way to helping mankind save the planet.

As you can see this fantastic plant makes a wonderful, sustainable and very useful alternative to wood and plastic.

What do you use?

Have we missed anything? please let us know in the comments below if you know or use any other amazing bamboo products…

If you enjoyed this you may also like to read our mammoth 93 Natural Homemade Cleaning Product Recipes article.

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Calm Happy Healthy

We exist to do all we can to help make life a richer, more inspiring and enjoyable experience, for you our reader. By aiming to help you realise that you have the power and ability to change what needs to be changed to improve your health, state of mind, diet, energy levels, reduce stress and do your bit to help look after the environment. Live a Calmer, Happier and Healthier life.

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  • Hey Matt, a very interesting article indee – I did not realise that bamboo was our “one stop shop” for so many different things! I personally love bamboo furniture products, they are very sturdy and decorative, for example we have some bamboo drawers at home from Ikea :-)

  • Thanks Timea! really pleased you enjoyed reading it.

    Yes, this amazing plant is not only an extremely durable and malleable material allowing it to be made into almost anything, it's also an extremely fast growing, sustainable plant which i why i think it's potential to help us be more eco friendly should not be underestimated!

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