Choosing Bamboo in Your Home
The earth provides us with absolutely everything that we need in order to survive without damaging the planet. The problem is that we usually choose alternatives that hurt the planet. Two of the most common resources we use are cotton and timber. These two items are important to our civilization because they clothe us and provide us with housing. However, they also hurt the planet in that large areas must be cleared for cotton, and the pesticide use on cotton damages the environment. As well, cutting down timber takes away important animal habitats, and hurts the earth’s ability to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
In Asia, there is no cotton and timber is not used as extensively as it is here, so what do they use? They use bamboo and bamboo is something that the Earth provides for us that we can use without damaging the environment. Here are just some of the amazing facts about this wonder-plant.
- Bamboo grows at one foot per day, making it the fastest growing plant on Earth. While many think of bamboo as a tree, it is actually the world’s largest grass species.
- Bamboo can be harvested in only three years, versus ten years for many tree species.
- When bamboo is harvested, the bamboo stalk will keep growing, allowing one stalk to be harvested multiple times. Timber is a one-shot deal, once harvested, that is it for that tree.
- Bamboo is used to reinforce concrete in Asia, as well as the primary element of scaffolding in many Asian countries.
- Bamboo has the same tensile strength as steel when it is in stalk form.
- When converted into fabric, bamboo is as soft as silk. However, it is also hypoallergenic, which makes it perfect for baby clothes.
- No pesticides need to be used to grow bamboo because of its amazing growth rate.
- Bamboo towels are 1/3 as thick as cotton towels, but it can absorb 1.5 times as much water.
- Bamboo can also be used in your home to make:
This just shows what an amazing plant bamboo is. For thousands of years, it has been used in Asia for everything from homes to food, and it is a distinctive part of their culture these days. The Western World is beginning to catch on to the power of this plant, and many countries are not only beginning to import bamboo, but they are also growing it themselves. While China supplies about 80 percent of the bamboo in the world, places like Europe, the United States, Australia and even Canada are beginning to start growing their own bamboo. Given everything listed here, it is really no surprise that many experts feel that bamboo is going to be the most important plant resource of the 21st century. Where timber was important for the 19th and 20th centuries, bamboo is the plant of the new millennium.
Bamboo is highly environmentally-friendly, and the perfect alternative to using timber and cotton in our changing world.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Thegreenlivingblog.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on Mar 13, 2010.
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