Is Bamboo the sustainable material of the future?
And how can it benefit your everyday life?
Bamboo is growing in more ways than one!
I'm not sure about you, but I feel like I'm seeing bamboo in almost every shop I go into (And trust me, I go to the shops a fair bit). It seems that this unique plant isn't just useful as a building material or food for humans (and pandas!) - it has an array of applications and is growing at an exponential rate (quite literally - I'll touch on this later!), as one of the most common materials in the eco-sustainability movement we are currently experiencing across the planet.
From baby wipes to cotton buds, socks to home decor, bamboo is not only the 'trendy' choice, but it's also incredibly eco-friendly.
Come on a journey with me, and let's have a quick look at the range of applications this wonder plant is currently used for;
Personal care: Toothbrushes, baby wipes, cotton buds, make up brushes, shampoo (I know right..how!?)
Kitchenware: Utensils, chopping boards, cutlery, chopsticks, cups, plates, bowls
Clothing: Using bamboo fibres, clothing such as t-shirts, socks, and underwear can all be made from bamboo
Decor: Furniture, mattress protectors, placemats, photo frames, baskets, an array of handicrafts, the list goes on
Construction material: This extremely sturdy and mostly water resistant material is suitable enough to build an entire home. Furthermore, often times in Asia, building companies will often use a mix of steel scaffolding as well as bamboo scaffolding, as the bamboo is much cheaper than the steel, and often times it is stronger and more flexible in high wind conditions.
Get to know Bamboo
Bamboo one of 1,400 species of perennial evergreen grass plants, (perennial in the plant kingdom meaning that it lives for more than 2 years). It is commonly associated with countries such as China and Japan, however this hardy plant thrives in a vast range of climates, and in a variety of regions such as Australia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Americas.
For centuries, Bamboo has been used in construction throughout Asian countries, including housing, scaffolding, bridges and buildings. The strength and sturdiness of this material makes it great for flooring, with minimal work needed for maintenance other than insect and rot resistance.
The Timber of the 21st Century
Bamboo is beneficial as an eco-friendly, sustainable material as it grows so incredibly fast and is very low-maintenance to grow and propagate. Bamboo also regrows without having to be replanted, talk about easy! According to the Guinness book of World Records, bamboo has a growth rate of approximately 35-40 inches (80-100 centimetres) a day (insane!) and it is known to be three times as strong as steel.
It absorbs large quantities of carbon dioxide and remains one of the top sources of food for millions of people across India and China. The cultivation of this plant is also a major source of income for some of the world's poorest people.
How can I start supporting this eco-friendly movement?
You can start today! There are so many little, affordable and easy swaps we can make in our own home. One of the first things I did was swap to eco-friendly 100 percent bamboo toothbrushes. Every year, there are at least 5 billion plastic toothbrushes dumped in landfills. These toothbrushes take thousands of years to break down and disintegrate back into our environment. A very easy way to start your eco-friendly journey is be swapping your plastic toothbrush for a fully biodegradable bamboo toothbrush.
I struggled to find a toothbrush that was 100% biodegradable, as most of the bamboo brushes on the market had plastic or nylon bristles, but I eventually stumbled upon a small Australian company that manufactures and sells these type of toothbrushes on Amazon in the US as well as shipping locally throughout Australia. I'll put the link down below so that you can try it for yourself!
We hope this information inspires you to incorporate more of this magical material into your every day life!