Bamboo: Sustainable Material for a Variety of Uses 

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

​In an effort to decrease harmful effects on the environment, using products comprised of eco-friendly material such as bamboo is an effective option. As a naturally grown plant, bamboo has several positive impacts on the environment such as acting as a pest resistant and controlling soil erosion in addition to its antibacterial, antifungal and 100% biodegradable qualities. Bamboo also requires little water than other crops like cotton, produces a large amount of oxygen, and absorbs higher levels of carbon dioxide compared to trees.

bamboo forest

Although bamboo is seen as an invasive plant since it grows fast and in a high yield, it requires less area to harvest the plant. In just a 24 hour time period, bamboo can grow approximately 2-3 feet, therefore yielding a sufficient amount of raw material. Due to the high abundance of the crop, bamboo is an affordable option that is used to create a wide range of products in the marketplace. Continue reading for some of many ways bamboo is utilized.

Bamboo for Homes & Buildings

As both a renewable resource, the construction sector is increasingly selecting bamboo as the material of choice for building structures in addition to surfaces, roofs, floors and walls. While buildings account for a large portion of global carbon dioxide emissions, transitioning to bamboo material is a viable solution to boost reduction of the emissions. Constructing homes and buildings with renewable material like bamboo creates a more positive impact on human health and the environment compared to less sustainable options such as concrete or steel. Aside from the environmental and health benefits bamboo structures provide, bamboo is a great building option since it is a strong material, even stronger than steel. This is due to bamboo’s fibers: the outer skin is waterproof protecting the inner skin from weather and insects. Overall, bamboo’s sustainable qualities, its natural cooling effect, and energy efficiency makes it a great insulator and building material. 

bamboo hut

Bamboo for Furniture

Bamboo is a strong building option, not only for construction of homes and buildings, but also for furniture. Its durability and ability to withstand daily use allows the sustainable material to function as a framework for chairs, tables, beds and headboards. In addition, bamboo is resistant to swelling or shrinking, so bamboo-based furniture is able to withstand atmospheric conditions such as changes from dry air to humid air. This makes it possible to use bamboo furniture for indoor and outdoor purposes.

Bamboo Furniture

Bamboo for Clothes & Bedding

This versatile natural resource provides a soft texture when used for fabric material. Bamboo is a comfortable material for bedding, allowing for smooth and luxurious sheets and comforters. It is also often used as fabric for all sorts of clothing types. Because of bamboo’s antimicrobial and thermal-regulating characteristics, it is commonly used for activewear. Bamboo fabric absorbs water about 3-4 times better than cotton does, which keeps skin dry and comfortable in hot weather and prevents it from being sticky.  

Bamboo for Kitchenware, Paper Products & Personal Care Items

Bamboo cups, straws, bowls and utensils are available in the marketplace as alternative kitchenware items to conventional plastic-derived options. Bamboo kitchen utensils are pleasant in appearance and add a natural touch to any kitchen. Bamboo utensils, cups and bowls have a smooth finish which ensures that using bamboo-based kitchenware will not scratch cooking surfaces. Besides being used for kitchen products, bamboo is a sustainable material for paper products like paper towels, napkins and toilet paper. Additionally, within the personal care sector, bamboo material has commonly been used for toothbrushes and dental floss. This allows for sustainable and 100% biodegradable personal care options, which overall eliminates waste. 

Bamboo Utensils

Bamboo for Food & Medicine 

Historically, bamboo has been used as a natural ingredient in Chinese herbal medicines due to its antioxidant properties. Bamboo aids in a healthy digestive system as it is high in dietary fiber. Its antibacterial properties have resulted in use for treating and improving conditions such as ulcers. The plant also contains a large portion of potassium and therefore has been used to control blood pressure. Within Asian culture, bamboo is used for cooking and is consumed in various forms such as pickled or fried. Bamboo is a common plant used in Japanese gardens. Check out our blog on Japanese gardens to learn more! 

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