Today something about a multitasking plant which thanks to it properties might become an eco hit.
This is a bamboo I met in one of Tokio parks. Of course, it’s just one out of around a thousand of species of this amazing grass.
First, some basic information. Bamboo, although it can reach the height of even 20m (depending on the kind) is grass, not a tree and here the first advantage appears. It does not require replanting after being cut. A new plant grows from the old one’s shoots. Moreover, some bamboo types can grow for as much as 120 cm daily. You know well, how long it takes for a tree to grow.
Bamboo doesn’t need pesticides or fertilizers and requires just a bit of water. What’s more, it releases 35% more oxygen than similar size trees and it absorbs more CO2. One harvest gices 20 times more material leading to lower prices.
Bamboo production can be salvation for many communities in developing countries. On one hand it brings profit, on the other it can decide about purely physical survival. Thanks to a highly developed root system bamboo helps to control erosion. In many countries it is used as a barrier protecting crops and housing from being washed away.
However, bamboo production can be problematic if the safety of natural environment is not taken care of and only profit counts. Certainly, it is not as harmful as the production of traditional cotton (packed with chemicals) or nylon and polyester. Nevertheless, still some harsh chemicals have to be used. Some producers use a closed curcuit, using the chemicals many times, not once. In order to be sure that a bamboo product has been made respecting nature it is a good idea to look for organic “labels”. It should also be remembered that 25 specific species od bamboo constitute 99% of the Great Panda diet. Using the wild bamboo and destroying panda habitats for crops can be a threat to this already endangered species.
Let’s get to the point. What can be made of bamboo? Probably everything.
First of all, floors. Bamboo is one of the most enduring water-resistant material.
Secondly, fabrics. Bamboo fabric is softer than cotton and more similar to cashmere or silk. It leads water off the skin perfectly and dries quickly. I have some socks and I must say these are the nicest to the touch socks in the world.
Kitchen accessories. They are pretty, durable, dish washer safe. I’m a fan.
At a garden fair I have also seen a bamboo which can be planted. It can create a beautiful hedge ar a cover on a balcony to protect ourselves form peeping Toms. The proposed species are supposed to resist temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celcius.
If you know any other interesting bamboo products give me a hint.