THE BENEFITS OF BAMBOO

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

Bamboo is without doubt one of the most important non-wood forestry products and one of the most important agricultural plants in the world

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Technically, bamboos are grasses but some species are very tree-like in appearance and are often called “bamboo trees”.

Altogether, studies have identified 1575 bamboo species – herbaceous bamboos are usually small and resemble grass, while woody bamboos (depending on the species) can grow up to 40m tall and 30cm in diameter, hence the reason they are often confused for “trees”.

Bamboo is a fast growing natural resource with an unsurpassed rate of biomass generation in the plant kingdom.

Guinness World Records states that the world record for the fastest growing plant on earth belongs to a certain bamboo species that grows up to 91cm (35″) per day, almost 4cm (1.5″) and hour, or travelling at 0.00003km/h (0.00002mph).

Bamboo History

The recording of the first use of bamboo to make every day items was in China.

As it was a quickly renewable resource, this tall, hearty grass people used for as many products as they could manage.

Unlike all trees, individual bamboo culms emerge from the ground at their full diameter and grow to their full height in a single growing season of three to four months.

During these several months, each new shoot grows vertically into a culm with no branching out until reaching the mature height.

It then persists for several years, gradually increasing the number of side branches and branchlets, but neither growing broader or taller.

Another important difference is that bamboos don’t have a bark as trees do, they have protective leaves around the culm (culm sheaths) in their early stages of development.

Many tropical bamboo species die at or near freezing temperatures, while some of the hardier temperate bamboos can survive temperatures as low as −29 °C (−20 °F).

An extraordinary example of bamboo’s resilience is that it was the only plant to survive the radiation of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.

The incinerating heat destroyed all trees and other plant life, except for one bamboo grove. The grove has gone but culms from the grove are preserved in a museum in Hiroshima.

Why Bamboo Can Help To Save The Planet

We are depleting the natural resources of the planet at an alarming rate, most especially the deforestation of rainforests and forest land, for animal agriculture and for food crops to feed animals.

There has been a search for an answer to the heavy usage of timber and in Bamboo we have the answer – from bamboo paper to bamboo clothing.

Bamboo is easy to produce and environmentally friendly too.

Bamboo is becoming more and more popular with businesses and consumers alike who use it all over the world to help reduce the destruction of trees that can take decades to grow back.

So What Does This Amazing Plant Have To Offer

  • Quick Growth – Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet. It grows to full maturity in a matter of months or years, while traditional timber wood takes decades to do so
  • Grows With Strength – With a tensile strength superior to mild steel (withstands up to 52,000 Pounds of pressure psi) and a weight-to-strength ratio surpassing that of graphite, bamboo is the strongest growing ‘woody’ plant on earth
  • Bamboo Protects the Environment and the Air We Breathe – Bamboo is the fastest growing canopy for the re-greening of degraded lands, Bamboo can also lower light intensity and protects against ultraviolet rays
  • Absorbs Greenhouse Gases – Bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide and releases 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere than an equivalent stand of hardwood trees
  • Rejuvenates Soil – As a plant, bamboo rejuvenates soil because the removal of the plant isn’t necessary for successful harvesting. The thick root systems keep the soil in place, and the litter it produces rejuvenates soil that has been damaged by over farming
  • Saves Rainforests – Bamboo is one of the strongest building materials. Bamboo’s tensile strength is 28,000 pounds per square inch versus 23,000 pounds per square inch for steel. In the tropics it is possible to plant and ‘grow’ your own home. In Costa Rica, 1000 houses of bamboo are built annually with material coming only from a 60 hectare bamboo plantation. If an equivalent project used timber, it would require 500 hectares of our diminishing tropical rainforests. Using bamboo to replace timber saves the rainforests. With a 10-30% annual increase in biomass versus 2 to 5% for trees, bamboo creates greater yields of raw material for use. One clump can produce 200 poles in three to five years. Bamboo generates a crop every year
  • Grows Almost Anywhere – One of the best features of bamboo is that it grows almost anywhere that isn’t too cold. Surviving in rain forests as well as deserts, from low wetlands to higher elevations in the mountains, bamboo thrives in a wide range of climates
  • Renewable Resource – Depending on the species, bamboo can be harvested in one to five years. Hardwoods like oak take at least forty years to mature before they can be harvested. Almost 1 million acres of forests are lost each week worldwide to deforestation. Bamboo’s versatility as a substitute for hardwoods offers a chance to drastically reduce that figure and protect the forests that we have left
  • Amazing Growth Rate – Some species of bamboo grow more than three feet each day! No plant on the planet features a faster growth rate. When it is harvested, it will grow a new shoot from its extensive root system with no need for additional planting or cultivation
  • Very Little Waste – After harvesting, virtually every part of the plant is used to make a wide variety of products. From soil-enriching mulch to beautiful furniture to chopsticks, every part of the plant can be utilized
  • Versatility – Bamboo can replace the use of wood for nearly every application. Paper, flooring, furniture, charcoal, building materials, and much more can be made from bamboo. What’s more, bamboo fibers are far stronger than wood fibers and much less likely to warp from changing atmospheric conditions
  • Bamboo Requires Very Little Water and No Harmful Chemicals – Unlike most cash crops, bamboo requires no agricultural chemicals to survive and thrive – no fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides. Unlike cotton, which is one of the most intensely sprayed crops in the world and rapidly depletes the nutrients in the soil, bamboo sequesters nitrogen and cultivation does not add chemicals to the environment
  • Soil Protection – Once hardwood forests are clear-cut and the stumps are burned to provide fertilizer and space for growing crops, erosion inevitably occurs as the topsoil and nutrients are washed away by rainfall. The eroded soil then clogs rivers and streams and affects the lives of people and animals living downstream. Bamboo roots remain in place after harvesting where they prevent erosion and help retain nutrients for the next crop
  • Economic Development – In less developed countries, bamboo production and the manufacturing of bamboo products provides job opportunities in areas that desperately need social and economic stability

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Health Benefits of Bamboo

  • No Allergic Reaction – Many people are allergic to natural fibers, such as wool. Bamboo has had the smallest number of allergic reactions with people barely having any reaction at all
  • Wicks Away Moisture – By wicking away moisture from skin, the wet skin doesn’t have time to build up any bacterial colonies and also keeps from developing the rashes that wet skin can develop when irritated
  • Anti-Bacterial – Bamboo is aggressively anti-bacterial. It has a natural property called bamboo kun that kills up to 70% of any bacteria attempting to incubate on the bamboo, be it in its natural form or fabric
  • Deodorizing – In today’s world, people use more and more chemicals to ensure that they will smell pleasant to others. A way to overcome this is to take advantage of the deodorizing properties of bamboo in your clothing
  • Breathable – Healthy skin can’t be confined inside tight clothing all the time. This can lead to rashes and other skin problems. Bamboo fabric is breathable; it doesn’t cling to the skin even when the wearer is sweating profusely
  • Low In Fat – Bamboo shoots are low in fat and calories, which is always of concern to people when trying to eat healthy
  • High In Nutrients – Bamboo shoots are an excellent source of fiber and potassium. One serving of bamboo shoots can provide 10% of the fiber a human needs a day
  • Sustains Temperature – Bamboo fabric is amazing in that it sustains a temperature fairly well. It keeps people cool when it’s warm, and warm when it’s colder out, and a normal body temperature is important for good health
  • Blocks Ultraviolet Rays – The reason many beach cover ups are being made with bamboo is because bamboo naturally blocks the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. This is important for healthy skin, especially for children and women who are pregnantbambooshoots

Bamboo:
The Wise Man’s Timber

Bamboo Homes
Are Eco-Friendly

Bamboo
Scaffolding

Practical Uses of Bamboo

  • Forestry
    • Erosion Control
    • Soil Stabilization
    • Environmental Remediation
    • Windbreaks
    • CO2 Sequestration
    • Sound Screens
    • Commercial Plantations
    • Landscaping

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  • Wood Industry
    • Particle Board
    • Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
    • Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
    • Mat Board
    • Corrugated Roofing Sheets
    • Flooring
    • Molding
    • Beams
    • Glulam
    • Plybamboo
    • Veneer
    • Lumber
    • Laminates
    • Poles

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  • Pulp and Paper Industry
    • Newsprint
    • Bond Paper
    • Toilet Tissue
    • Cardboard
    • Cement Sacks
    • Coffee Filters
  • Textile Industry
    • Clothing
    • Underwear
    • Socks
    • Bullet Proof Vests
    • Blankets
    • Towels
    • Sheets
    • Pillows
    • Mattresses
    • Baby Diapers
  • Bioenergy Industry
    • Charcoal
    • Biofuel
    • Pyrolysis
    • Firewood
    • Gasification
    • Briquettes
    • Pellets
    • Biomass
  • Food and Beverage Industry
    • Bamboo Shoots
    • Bamboo Wine
    • Bamboo Tea
    • Bamboo Beer
    • Bamboo Vinegar
    • Charcoal Coated Peanuts

  • Automotive Industry
    • Dashboards
    • Interior Trim
    • Body Parts

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  • Sports and Recreation Industry
    • Bicycles
    • Skateboards
    • Surfboards
    • Snowboards
    • Polo Balls
    • Baseball Bats
    • Ski Poles
    • Golf Tees
    • Inline Skates

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  • Electronics Industry
    • iPhone/iPad Cases
    • Mouse
    • Keyboards
    • Headphones
    • Speakers
    • Laptops

  • High Tech Industry
    • Bioplastics
    • Compositesbamboobioplastics
  • And More!
    • Houses
    • Furniture
    • Bridges
    • Cutting Boards
    • Baskets
    • Toys
    • Blinds
    • Door and Window Frames
    • Medicine
    • Bathtubs
    • Steamers
    • Musical Instruments
    • Chopsticks

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    • Helmets
    • Incense Sticks
    • Matches
    • etc…

Resources:
Wikipedia
Guadua Bamboo
Bamboo Grove
Bamboo Network
Bamboo Central

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