lifestyle

Go green and switch to bamboo

21 Comments
By Jamie Rockers

Everyone’s talking about going green these days and although I have always tried to reduce my carbon footprint, all this talk of going green has made me want to do even more. Some people help the environment in different ways, whether it’s trying to save water by cutting down the time you spend in the shower, recycling PET bottles and aluminium cans, using cloth bags instead of plastic ones at the supermarket, or eating less red meat. Everything counts these days in the face of global warming, pollution, and overcrowding at the dumps and finding sustainable energy sources has become more important than ever.

In the crisis surrounding the cutting down of the world’s forests, bamboo has come to the rescue. Bamboo is actually stronger than steel if you can believe it, its tensile strength 28,000 pounds per square inch versus 23,000 pounds per square inch for steel. It is estimated that one billion people live in bamboo housing and the number is expected to rise over the next ten years. So for those of you who invest in the stock market, it might be a good idea to invest in bamboo! Sometimes, money really does grow on trees, or in this case, grass.

Some other benefits of bamboo include:

• Bamboo plants are the fastest growing plants in the world and can grow successfully without any fertilizers or pesticides. Some species even grow a meter a day.

• Bamboo plants release 35% more air than trees and refresh the oxygen we breathe.

• Bamboo plants can be harvested in 3-5 years and since it is a grass, can be harvested again and again from the same plant.

• Its wide-spreading root system helps prevent massive soil erosion and it doesn’t require as much water as trees.

Bamboo can also be used to make clothing, paper, textiles, musical instruments, and even bicycles! In China, it is used in various medicines and it is a good source of potassium. In many Asian countries, it is eaten and served in a variety of ways. In Japan, a bamboo forest sometimes surrounds a Shinto shrine as a part of a sacred barrier against evil. It also makes an important appearance in the Japanese folktale, “Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” in which a princess from the moon emerges from a shining bamboo section. In ancient times in Japan, bamboo was seen as having magical power and even today, many traditional products in Japan are made from bamboo.

So it is clear to see that with all its amazing qualities, bamboo is something we should definitely be seeing more in the future.

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21 Comments
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The only thing bamboo is good for is building hats.

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The only thing bamboo is good for is building hats......And building scaffolding, boundary fences, wind breaks, garden rakes............a whole multitude of uses for this versatile plant !

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So for those of you who invest in the stock market, it might be a good idea to invest in bamboo!

I'm pretty sure "bamboo" isn't traded on the stock market. Even if a bamboo harvesting company was listed on the stock market, you would have to look at that company's balance sheet, income statement and management rather than just blindly investing (or giving silly investment advice) based on what the company produces.

Sometimes, money really does grow on trees.

No, it really doesn't.

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Pandas like bamboo. It eats shoots and leaves.

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Bamboo can also be used to make clothing, paper, textiles, . . .

Yup! Just like cellulose from trees can be made into fiber or paper. And just like wood cellulose, it requires a decidedly un-green process involving lots of heinous chemicals.

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Once I bought stock in a trading company that specialized in this sort of thing, but I got bamboozled.

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I prefer to pick a few shoots each spring thru early summer to much, great stuff. But if you dont keep the stuff in check bamboo grooves get wild, expands & ugly quick

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Dear Jamie Rockers Thank you for your article about bamboo. Its a wonerful plant, and I believe in protecting the environment and especially trees, which naturally soak up C02 emmissions that all human beings emit and the emissions into oxygen for us. Like many millions of people throughout the world, however, I do not believe in all the "man made global warming" stuff, and the associated vocabulary, including "carbon footprints." I couldnt care less what my "carbon footprint" is, nor the "carbobn footprints" of anything else, living or dead. Its all nature, and its all natural, and there aint anything puny human beings can do to change natural climate change. I love bamboo, by the way.

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i wish they would use bamboo more in china to help curb all the yellow sand that blows over here to japan making breathing hazardous as well as covering everything in its path. not to mention all the pollutants the yellow sand carries with it. bamboo to the rescue.

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This article has been taken from his blog at gaijinpot

http://blog.gaijinpot.com/author/jamie-rockers/

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While we're on the subject, I should add that I use a bamboo sheet over my mattress in the summer. I thought it looked crazy at first, but when I tried it, I found that it really does help to keep you cool and comfortable during the steamy hot summer nights here. You can toss and turn without sticky-sheet syndrome.

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Bamboo is cool, and you can do almost anything with it...There are companies that specialize in bamboo housing...these homes are beautiful! Do a web search and check them out...

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I have a bamboo tree in my yard.

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gamera - You are officially certified green!

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There are also bamboo bicycles. I kid thee not, I've ridden one. It was great. Just Google it.

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Bamboo is really a multipurpose thing even can be taken as food. Hats off Mr. Bamboo.

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I like the way the article tells you all the great stuff living bamboo can do, while telling you the number of pople living in houses made of dead bamboo is going to increase.

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It also has some bad qualities. My dad used to kick my ass with a bamboo stick when I was little and didn't listen to him.

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Interesting article. It coincides with my ideas.

I have just returned from an overseas trip. I saw some bamboo flooring which looks very nice and I hope to sell it over here. I should have my samples soon.

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Will I'm surprised that no-one picked up on the error

• Bamboo plants release 35% more air than trees and refresh the oxygen we breathe.

Wrong !!

It should be

• Bamboo plants release 35% more oxygen than trees and refresh the Air we breathe.

Air is a mixture of gases

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Great info. I just moved into an eco-apartment in San Francisco with plyboo flooring (plywood/bamboo mix) and it looks and feels great. I am a huge fan of bamboo clothes, but, at least in my area, it is still too expensive to buy much of it.

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