When talking about sustainability, we may wonder what does it really mean for something to be sustainable? From the word sustain – it means that for a long period of time it will be available. Say for example gas taken from fossil fuels which is dug up from the ground will be depleted in about 53 years from now. Fossil fuels will ran out faster than it forms again. If we are to wait for another fossil fuels to form, it will take millions of years. Unlike water which is “renewable,” our consumption of it is less than it the rate that it forms again.
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials in the world because it is the fastest growing plant in the world according to the Guinness World Records, with a growth rate of about 35 inches a day! Many are arguing that if bamboo does not grow locally in your area it means that it isn’t sustainable at all because shipping will still use up fossil fuels (gas). If it doesn’t grow in your area, then it is up to you to go bamboo. If you choose bamboo then just imagine you would hardly alter the environment because the bamboo you just bought or used will be replenished in a rate of 35 inches of bamboo per day! Now isn’t that amazing!
Bamboo is commonly used for:
- Construction – You would hear bamboo tiles for flooring and even huge houses built entirely out of bamboo. See this magnificent house in Bali built by Elora Hardy.
- Decor – It’s commonly seen as room dividers, place mats, picture frames, baskets, and other handicrafts.
- Clothes – Bamboo fibres is as soft if not softer than cotton and looks like silk. Boody manufactures inner garments and shirts made of this fine material.
- Cooking – Bamboo shoots are cooked especially in the oriental tradition. If you are keen you must have seen bamboo chopping boards and cooking spoons in the homeware department.
- Personal Care Products – Baby wipes, cotton buds, toothbrush, powder brush, and even shampoo is now made of bamboo!
As a final word, bamboo has a promising future in our society and will continue to exist because it grows so fast and is such a low-maintenance to propagate, making it very practical to use.