In this post, we explore the many amazing qualities of bamboo as a resource for the health of our planet and ourselves as human beings.
Bamboo and The Environment
Bamboo doesn’t require herbicides and pesticides to grow. It also needs far less water than trees. As a grass, it can grow 1 to 2 metres a day. Further, it matures very quickly; after 3 to 6 years, it can be harvested. Most trees take decades. Bamboo can also easily be replaced: it begins to regrow immediately after harvesting. Planting bamboo is a cheap and easy solution to the problem of C02 emissions. It requires very little labour and is a low maintenance plant as it doesn’t need replanting or re-fertilization but can absorb C02 very efficiently and provide the atmosphere with much needed oxygen. Bamboo provides fare more 02 than cotton plants for example.
Bamboo as a Cooking Fuel
It is a great burning fuel alternative- it burns cleaner and more efficiently than wood charcoal and wood. This means it lowers the air pollution that cooking indoors causes and helps prevent lung disease and pneumonia, dangerous effects of burning coal indoors and a huge problem in the poorer parts of the world such as India and Africa.
Bamboo and Your Health
It has medicinal properties. Used by the Chinese for hundreds of years for its health benefits, modern medicine recognizes bamboo’s ability to prevent cancer by eliminating free radicals; reduce the symptoms of hypertension, hyperglycemia, hyperlipemia; and aid with weight loss.
Bamboo as a Food Source
Bamboo is a great addition to any healthy diet. It comprises mostly of water and fibre so it hydrating and great for a healthy digestion. It is low in sugar, high in protein (up to 4 per 100gm) and contains 8 essential fatty acids and 2 non-essential ones. Most bamboo is also produced with hardly any chemicals, making it a great choice for those of us trying to lower our toxic load.
Bamboo and Deforestation
Bamboo grows in the most inhospitable environments. In fact, bamboo is a highly adaptable plant and thrives in almost every temperature, the exception being where it is below freezing year round. Bamboo plants require very few nutrients to flourish and doesn’t. Its roots are powerful and establish themselves in soil very quickly. The roots also draw heavy metals from the soil and stabilize erosion-prone soil, helping to regenerate lost agricultural land. Many successful experiments across the world have shown that bamboo can rehabilitate dead farmland.
Bamboo and the Building Industry
Bamboo is an exceptionally strong material and a very useful addition to the building construction world. It is as durable as hard wood, far more flexible and capable of withstanding very harsh weather extremes, which makes it very useful for building houses in areas prone to hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. Bamboo is also naturally anti-bacterial, it doesn’t absorb or retain odours and is easy to clean- all great reasons to use it for making furniture and floorboards.