Bamboo: An Amazingly Green Plant
Now that our kids are out of the crawling and falling stage of childhood, my husband and I are considering what kind of flooring to put throughout the house. When we moved in, Malia, my daughter was just five months old and learning to crawl. So we were fine with carpet throughout the house; actually, we welcomed it. However, we knew we did not want to keep the carpet forever.
Carpet is short lived, and attracts dirt, dust, pesticides, dander and more, making it almost toxic to have in our home. We knew we would eventually want some type of wood flooring and have been looking into our options. One option that we feel can truly maximize the quality of our indoor environment, and do very little to damage the natural world, is bamboo. This grass is an amazing plant that humans have learned to harvest and cultivate for many different needs.
What's the big deal about Bamboo?
Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant in the world and, depending on the variety, can grow from one foot to gargantuan sized, with timbers of over 100 ft in a growing season. Because it grows so fast and multiplies just as fast, it is a renewable source of material for many things including construction material, kitchen objects such as cutting boards and dinner ware, paper, decorations, towels and clothing. It is becoming more popular for garden fences and furniture. Bamboo also has beauty, hardiness and durability, making it a good alternative to traditional woods.
A few years ago we were given a gift it was the most beautiful cutting board I had ever seen. This cutting board was however not a traditional cutting board as it was made out of bamboo. We oiled and cherished this cutting board because it seemed 'rare' at the time. I was so excited about this bamboo cutting board that I even gave some of them out as gifts to my family and friends. However, today, it seems like I'm finding them everywhere... from Wal-mart to high end retail stores. This phenomenon makes me happy to know we are moving forward in the direction of green and renewable materials as a society and becoming more conscious about what we choose to use.
This amazing plant is not only used as a material, but can also be used as a food for humans and animals. Take the giant panda - it prefer to eat bamboo. And anyone who loves Chinese food has probably eaten bamboo shoots; you can buy them in ordinary grocery stores. If you're lucky enough to have bamboo growing close by, you can eat the new shoots by simply cooking them first.
Obtaining bamboo plants is becoming easier due to globalization...and new uses are being discovered and tested. Bamboo is so versatile and has many good qualities. Its ability to grow rapidly makes it amongst one of the best renewable materials on the planet. Some say it is close to perfect green material.