Savvy Earth Savers
Bamboo


There are over 1000 species of bamboo. This amazing plant grows in tropical and temperate environments and is very hardy, not needing pesticides or herbicides to grow well. It is a type of grass and grows from its roots, when it is cut it quickly grows back with most species maturing in 3-5 years.


Some facts about the sustainability of bamboo are:
It is grown without pesticides or chemical fertilisers
It requires no irrigation
It rarely needs replanting
It grows rapidly and can be harvested in 3-5 years
It produces 35% more oxygen that an equivalent stand of trees
It sequesters carbon dioxide and is carbon neutral
It is a critical element in the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
It is an excellent soil erosion inhibitor
It grows in a wide range of environments
It’s production into fibres has lower environmental impact than other forms of fibre, especially synthetic ones.


The uses of bamboo
According to UNESCO, 70 hectares of bamboo produces enough material to build 1000 houses. If timber was used instead, it would require the felling of trees from an already diminishing forest. Today, over one billion people in the world live in bamboo houses.
It is also used in bridges built in China, capable of supporting trucks that weigh as much as 16 tons.
In China, ingredients from the black bamboo shoot help treat kidney diseases. Roots and leaves have also been used to treat venereal diseases and cancer. According to reports in a small village in Indonesia, water from the culm (the side branches) is used to treat diseases of the bone effectively.


It can be made into a strong and durable fabric a bit like canvas and can be made into all sorts of clothes. Bamboo fabric is breathable, thermal regulating, wicks moisture better than polyester performance fabrics, will resist odour and is absorbent and fast drying keeping you dryer and more comfortable than any cotton or polyester fabrics.
In Japan, the antioxidant properties of the bamboo skin prevent bacterial growth, and are used as natural food preservatives.
In Hong Kong, bamboo scaffolding is preferred over metal scaffolding because its easily available and cheaper.
According to Japanese scientists, bamboo cloth can retain its antibacterial quality even after 50 washings, making it great for reusable nappies.


Do you have any ideas for what we could use bamboo for?

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2019-10-18 by Cruzanne Macalligan
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