Bamboo Facts

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Throughout the eastern cultures, bamboo has been a symbol of serene inspiration, as Buddha himself preferred it in his house. The many uses of bamboo are varied and numerous, almost anything can be made from it, with imagination as its only limit. There are some 1,500 species of bamboo grown throughout the world today, basically prevalent in every continent except Antarctica. Although categorized into the grass family, it can reach 150 feet in height and 1 foot in width. Using bamboo instead of wood conserves tropical forests, stimulates healthy agriculture, and nurtures sustainable life.

Advantages of Bamboo

  • strong, durable, stable, and flexible
  • possess a tensile strength stronger than steel
    o bamboo homes were the only ones left standing in a 1992 earthquake in Limon, Costa Rica
  • hardness comparable to maple wood
  • one of the fastest growing plants on earth
    o some species grows 2 inches per hour
  • matures to harvest in about a year
    o trees take decades to produce the same amount of material
    o 60-hectare plot of bamboo equals 500 hectares of rainforest
  • sustainable and renewable
    o like grass, it grows from the base up
    o trees die at harvest, bamboo doesn’t, just keeps on growing
  • root system remains between harvests
    o hold soils together, prevent erosion, and stop rain run-off.
  • a natural water treatment plant
    o ability to utilize water pollutants as a fertilizer
    o transforms harmful elements into useful materials
  • is extremely tough
    o was the closest surviving life after nuclear detonation in Hiroshima
    o grows in many diverse regions
    o no need for toxic chemical treatments