Bamboo, Renewable Resource

Tue, Jun 27, 2017
Bamboo - Renewable Resources (© iStockPhoto)
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Lets talk Bamboo!

Bamboo has been talked about recently like it is the wholly grail of renewable resources. And reading about the uses and incredible resources of this plant, I have not doubted it's claims. Touted as one of the most eco-friendly plants, not only because of it's versatile short growing cycle (it is harvested every three to five years as opposed to the 20 to 50 years of its wood counterparts), and its yield per year is about 20 times higher, sometimes more then timber, but also because of it's capability of regeneration with out a need for replanting! Bamboo is said to be one of the strongest of building materials (up there next to steel), while being very light weight as well. The list of good doings of bamboo is long, from greatly reducing rain run-off and preventing soil erosion, to helping control water pollution because of it's high nitrogen contents. Complemented as a beautiful hardwood that is light weight, hard wearing, aesthetically pleasing, and when harvested, the bamboo is not killed off and the topsoil is held in place unlike other trees when harvested.
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Newer to the market is the fiber from bamboo, although used to make paper in China for centuries, it is now hitting the market in the United States. There are many various uses for bamboo such as:

baskets, bicycle frames, bird cages, blinds, boats, bridges, brushes, buckets, canoes, carts, charcoal, chopsticks, clothing, cooking utensils, diapers, fans, fences, firewood, fishing rods, food steamer, furniture, garden tools, handicrafts, hats, incense, musical instruments, paper, particle board, pens, pipes, ply ,roofing, scaffold, tableware, toilets, toothpicks, toys, umbrellas, walking sticks.....and the list really goes on and on.

My favorite form of bamboo is the clothing and towels. I have purchased a couple bamboo shirts and the extraordinary comfort and feeling of the fiber is like being enveloped in a soft silky micro fiber blanket. Additionally, the way the clothing fits to your body is so comfortable yet stylish it is really hard to pass up. Although there is controversy on the way that bamboo is now being exploited today, and there are unanswered questions about just how it is manufactured, there really is no doubt that it is a great sustainable, renewable source that one should contemplate purchasing in lieu of other unsustainable, toxin laden products out there. And lets not forget the history behind bamboo. In Asian culture it is believed that bamboo is where humanity emerged from, and in Malaysian culture there is a similar legend of a man who dreams of a beautiful woman that is sleeping under a bamboo plant and when he wakes he breaks open a bamboo stem and the beautiful woman is inside. Additionally there are medicinal purposes for the plant that are currently being researched such as treatment for coughs and asthma and treating kidney disease and even cancer. We should feel lucky to have been blessed with such a miraculous plant that will reproduce in the harshest circumstances and will grow in our climate, and we should do our part in supporting and promoting it!

Places to find Organic bamboo clothing:

Comparison Shop (includes multiple outlets and price comparison)
www.gaiam.com
www.bamboosa.com
www.shirtsofbamboo.com
www.organicbambooclothing.com
www.greenpeople.org

and you can search on Amazon.com for some great deals as well.
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