Bamboo is a very fast growing, renewable and easy-to-grow resource. It is an extremely versatile material with countless uses including construction, clothes, food, and fuel.
There are over 1000 species of bamboo. This amazing plant grows in tropical and temperate environments and is very hardy, not needing pesticides or herbicides to grow well. It is a type of grass and grows from its roots, when it is cut it quickly grows back with most species maturing in 3-5 years.
Some facts about the sustainability of bamboo are:
- It is grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers
- It requires no irrigation
- It rarely needs replanting
- It grows rapidly and can be harvested in 3-5 years
- It produces 35% more oxygen that an equivalent stand of trees
- It sequesters carbon dioxide and is carbon neutral
- It is a critical element in the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
- It is an excellent soil erosion inhibitor
- It grows in a wide range of environments
- Its production into fibres has lower environmental impact than other forms of fibre, especially synthetic ones.
A few successfully implemented uses of bamboo are in construction of houses, schools and other buildings, roads and bridges; medicines, clothes, accessories, food, fuel, scaffolding, furniture, rugs and textiles, paper, utensils tableware and also nappies.