Bamboo: A Symbol of Longevity
A symbol of longevity in China, it is no surprise that Bamboo is a rising star in the sustainability movement. The environmentally-friendly properties of bamboo are endless and manufacturers from all different sectors are starting to take note. A member of the grass family, it is the fastest growing plant on earth. Fast-maturing, it takes only three years to be ready for harvest.
Bamboo adjusts well to extremes in temperatures, such as really hot or cold environments. It is also extremely lightweight and yet durable enough to withstand very heavy loads. One of the primary benefits of bamboo is that it can be grown without pesticides or fungicides as it is extremely resistant to insect and pathogen attacks.
It is becoming more and more common now to see flooring and fabric made out of bamboo material. As a fabric, it is absorbent and resists odours, mould and bacteria. It is also hypo-allergenic, which makes it an ideal fabric for sheets, towels, etc. Fabric and yarn made out of bamboo is extremely soft, easy to work with, machine washable and does not wrinkle.
A wide range of other products can also be made from bamboo. The list includes such items as : fences, bridges, canoes, furniture,chopsticks, musical instruments, fishing rods, paper, knitting needles, window blinds, artwork, toys…and yes, you can even eat it! For culinary purposes, bamboo cutting boards are strong enough to withstand years of use, but soft enough that they cause less damage to knife blades.
Increasingly, those seeking environmentally friendly alternatives are beginning to explore even greater uses for bamboo. Skateboard and snowboard deck manufacturers for instance are beginning to develop new products with bamboo because it is often lighter and stronger than the more traditionally used materials. As well, many paper companies are now incorporating this ancient sustainable option.
Originally Published in: Responsible Suppliers Guide for travel and tourism in Ontario 1st Edition 2008