Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Can Bamboo Save the Planet ?

I am amazed at all the products that can be made from bamboo. From household items to the entire house! This tall, hearty grass is a renewable resource. One of the great things about bamboo is that it grows so fast. To produce a full grown tree can take up to sixty years, and then another sixty years time for a replacement. Species of bamboo equal to the height and width of a tree take as little as sixty days to mature completely. Bamboo grows everywhere in the world except those places with extremely cold climates, in fact, it grows really well in Texas! It is thought that it originated in China where the first know items made from bamboo have been recorded.
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Use of bamboo for building has been around for a very long time but faded out over the centuries. Currently it is making a comeback in many parts of the world and is becoming a very popular resource in the US.
As beautiful as bamboo is when used in flooring, cutting boards and wall covering, it is also used  to make fabric. Anti-bacterial, wicking and biodegradable, bamboo fibers are becoming more and more popular. From bedding to clothing, industries are making more products with bamboo fabric, extolling the virtues of using the alternative source to cotton.
The most noticeable qualities of bamboo fabric are the aesthetic qualities that are gathered from the first touch or sight of bamboo. These qualities include:
  • Texture – Bamboo fabric feels softer than the most refined cotton.
  • Color – Bamboo fabric tests as well as every other material for color fastness when washing and wear over time.
  • Appearance – The fabrics made of bamboo appear to look like other materials which are more expensive, such as silk.
Another reason that bamboo fabric is becoming more popular is because of the anti-bacterial properties that it has. Bamboo requires very little to no pesticides when growing. This makes products made from bamboo fabric, such as bed sheets and bath towels, good for people with allergies. With the fabric unable to host the bacteria and allergens that cause people with allergies to react, these people are able to find a healthy alternative to other fabrics.
Bamboo fabric is also quite ecologically friendly. 100% biodegradable, the fibers used to make bamboo fabric don’t need to be sprayed with chemical additives of any sort. There is also less water wasted for irrigation for bamboo, and there is very little surface runoff from chemicals that could be sprayed on the plants to keep them healthy, as these chemicals aren’t needed.
By now, nearly everyone knows that we are depleting the natural resources of the only planet we have at a rate that is well past sustainable. Can bamboo save the planet? The answer to that question remains to be seen. But this amazing plant and its surging popularity in a huge variety of products offers each of us, a chance to enjoy many of the comforts of modern life without causing irreparable damage to our environment. 


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