Updated: Aug 10, 2021
For mileniums, bamboo has been part of most asian economies and cultures, particularly in China. Luckily, in recent years we have learned about this amazing plant's versatility, resistence and environmetal benefit. This has led to a rise in bamboo's usage around the world.
Here we show you some of its characteristics.
1. It is actually a type of grass!.
This type of grass has a woody trunk, the bamboo cane. The fact that it is grass means that when it's cut it continues to grow with no problem.
2. It can reach up to 15 to 35 m height and up to 40 cm in diameter.
3. It grows in every continent, except Europe.
The greatest amounts of bamboo are cultivated by approximately 600 million people who mostly live in poverty. Therefore, the bamboo market helps them improve their life quality. In this way, bamboo serves a humanitarian and economic purpose too.
4. It grows faster than any other plant.
Bamboo can grow up to 1 meter in 24 hours. The species Phyllostachys heterocycla 'Pubescens' (Moso bamboo) is the fastest growing plant in the world.
5. It is known as "green steel".
The tensile strength of bamboo is greater than that of steel and unlike other woods, bamboo wood does not swell due to water. This makes bamboo particularly suitable for construction and prolongs the life of bamboo products.
6. Bamboo produces more oxygen in photosynthesis than any other plant, removing large amounts of CO2 from the air.
It produces 35% more oxygen than a wooden tree of the same size.
7. Cultivating Bamboo is sustainable, rather cheap, easy and does not require pesticides nor fertilizers.
In forestry, sustainability is the use of forest land in the form of a closed cycle, meaning the amount of wood removed will grow back. Taking points number 1 and 4 into account, bamboo ticks the required boxes to make it sustainable: whatever is cut away, grows right back.
In the same way, bamboo is extremely fertile, which is why 1/5 hectare of bamboo is equivalent to one hectare of other woods.
8. A popular Chinese saying states that there are 1500 ways to use bamboo.
From the plant, it can be produced versatile everyday products, such as kitchen utensils, storage boxes and dishes, clothes, toothbrushes, furniture, and so on. It is also very good for construction materials.
Also. you can find bamboo extracts and bamboo milk applications in cosmetics.
9. Japanese philosophy teaches us to learn from the Bamboo Tree its flexibility, integrity, resistance, and recovery capacity.
Just the same, in eastern mystique and Feng Shui tradition, bamboo is considered as a transmitter of positive vibes and good energy.
10. The usable amount of a bamboo tree is about 4 times that of an oak tree.
The yield of the “wood” of a bamboo forest can be up to 20 times greater than that of a wood forest covering the same geometric area.
11. The manufacturing process of bamboo materials is much more environmentally friendly.
Bamboo contains no resins, oils, or tannins, which makes processing easier.
12. Bamboo fabrics block 94% of UVA rays and 93% of UVB rays.
The grass has a natural UV-protection. This makes bamboo very color-stable, therefore coloring oils and varnishes can be omitted in the further processing of bamboo products. This is also very much eco-friendly.
13. It is naturally antimicrobial and hypoallergenic.
This property makes cultivating bamboo easier, as well as guarantees better preservation of bamboo products.
14. Bamboo shoots (sprouts) have a high nutritional value.
The benefits of eating bamboo shoots for their potassium and dietary fiber content have long been recognized by health and wellness experts.
15. It is completely degraded in only 1 to 2 years.
For these reasons,
The Bamboo Tree is a sustainable raw material that can be used very efficiently both from an economic and ecological point of view, which makes it the greenest plant on earth.
A healthy reminder: consume responsibly!
Some bamboo trees are harvested from certified organic sources, however, others are not. Search for products from certified sustainable organic sources whenever you can.
Make sure that the bamboo utensils and products you buy don't have any adhesives, lacquer coatings, or other artificial additives that could leak and pollute the environment when discarded.
Here are some Teethtab bamboo products:
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Your team, TeethTab.
También puedes encontrar este post en: Español.
If you want to know more about Bamboo, click on the images in this post and on the following links:
Hebel, Dirk & Heisel, Felix & Javadian, Alireza & Wielopolski, Mateusz & Schlesier, Karsten. (2015). Constructing Bamboo - Introducing an alternative for the construction industry. FCL Magazine. Special Issue. 10-21. 10.3929/ethz-a-010636880.