Bamboo is truly a natural wonder crop. It is one of the earth's fastest growing plants, reaching maturity in five years or less. Bamboo is actually a species of grass rather than a tree. The shoots can grow up to two feet per day in ideal climates, making bamboo a quickly renewable resource.
Bamboo has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities, so it does not require pesticides to farm. It is so hardy that it generally requires no fertilizer and no irrigation in tropical climates. In a world with increasingly scarce farmland and fresh water, bamboo makes great use of natural resources.
Bamboo is an extremely versatile material suitable for many uses.
- Flooring – Bamboo makes beautiful flooring when cut and laminated into planks. Although bamboo is technically a grass, flooring made from it can be up to three times harder than oak hardwood. The rapid growing cycle for bamboo (three to five years to maturity) compares favorably to the 100 years it can take for a hardwood tree to mature to the point that it is suitable for flooring. Bamboo has a gorgeous grain which displays beautifully. Bamboo flooring is available in many textures and colors, ranging from “natural” (a light, golden color) to ebony (when stained). The cost for bamboo flooring is often cheaper than for hardwood alternatives.
- Furniture – Bamboo is great for furniture. Its delicate grain, whether natural or stained, presents beautifully in furnishings. Its strength provides for durability and longevity.
- Other “Wood Goods” – Bamboo can be cut and formed into vases, cutting boards, utensils, bowls and many other products. Since bamboo holds stain and paint well, products are available in a wide variety of shades and colors. Unlike plastics and other materials, bamboo products are naturally bio-degradable at the end of their useful life.
- Textiles – Bamboo fiber is used to make fabrics (often blended with cotton) for towels, linens, and clothing. The first thing people generally notice about bamboo is its rich, soft texture. It is also very durable, standing up well to frequent laundering. Bamboo is very breathable and keeps you comfortable in a wide range of temperatures – its fibers wick away moisture. Bamboo naturally deters bacteria growth, so your linens and clothing stay fresher for longer. Bamboo is a great, sustainable alternative to cotton (an acre of bamboo yields ten times the product of an acre of cotton, which requires extensive application of pesticides, fertilizers and irrigation)
- Food and Medicine – Sliced bamboo shoots feature prominently in the cuisines of China and other Asian countries (which you eat with bamboo chopsticks, naturally!). Bamboo is also a source for traditional medicinal remedies in China and India.
Check out DwellSmart's wide range of bamboo products, including flooring, furniture, kitchen items, linens, and clothing!