In the tropical climates where bamboo naturally grows, this super-plant has been used for centuries for everything from food to construction and more. I LIVE ECO has been a fan of bamboo since its inception (bamboo straws are where we began!) and we are thrilled that bamboo is quickly becoming a green alternative to not-so-easily-renewable resources. Here are a few of the amazing benefits bamboo offers:
1. Bamboo is sustainable
Growing bamboo takes very little water and no pesticides. In contrast, it can take up to 22,000 litres of water to make just one kilo of cotton. While trees take decades to grow until they can be used, bamboo regenerates itself quickly, growing eight times faster than trees. In fact, some types of bamboo can grow up to three feet in one day!
2. Bamboo is strong
You may think bamboo is flimsy because of how it bends with the wind, but the key is that bamboo bends in the wind, and because of this it doesn’t break. Compared to traditional building materials, bamboo withstands compression better than concrete, is three times stronger than wood and can withstand greater pressure and tension than steel. And bamboo maintains all this strength while being more flexible and malleable than wood, steel or concrete.
3. Bamboo is versatile
Bamboo isn’t just for drinking straws. We’ve seen how its strength makes it ideal for construction projects, but bamboo can also be used to make bicycles, instruments, clothing, paper, charcoal, and household items such as furniture, flooring and even toothbrushes and tumblers. And what’s more, bamboo can be eaten! Bamboo shoots are a good source of dietary fibre and potassium, and they contain phytochemicals, which can have antibacterial and antiviral effects.
4. Bamboo is green
Between 1990-2016, the world lost 1.3 million square kilometers of forest. As a viable and sustainable alternative to wood, switching to bamboo could be a solution to the clear-cutting of our forests. And compared to similar trees, bamboo produces 35% more oxygen and absorbs 5x more carbon dioxide, making it a valuable resource in fighting climate change. Being able to replace wood, steel, plastic, cotton with sustainably grown and quickly renewable bamboo makes more than good sense - it makes green sense.