Bamboo has been utilized by humans for centuries. In the tropical climates in which it grows, it is widely regarded as a miracle plant. It can be used in building, manufacturing, decoration, as a food source, and the list goes on. We would like to focus on four areas in which bamboo is leading the way to a bright future.
Bamboo provides us with a sustainable resource from which to produce wood for construction and product purposes. Bamboo is a plant that actually helps to prevent soil erosion. Erosion can devastate and ultimately destroy soil and render it dead. In areas where bamboo has been introduced to blighted soil, it can help to regenerate once fruitless soil.
It also grows at an astonishing rate. It can also be harvested without the death of the crop. Once you cut down a hardwood, that tree is dead. To replace that tree, may take up to 20 years before you can harvest a viable crop again. Contrast this with bamboo, which can grow at a rate of 3 ft in a 24 hour period for some species.
Bamboo has been found to have a tensile strength that is greater than that of even steel. Tensile strength is the measure that determines how likely a material is to break. The beauty of bamboo, is that it isn’t made to break. Instead, bamboo goes with the flow and has the ability to bend in a strong windstorm. When stalks are cut and compressed, they can rival the strength of most steel.
This strength lends itself very well to construction applications. These include support beams for heavy lifting and jacking operations. They can also be used for strong structural support in your home.
There’s almost no end to the amount of things that can bamboo can be used for. We all know the obvious uses. It’s a nice way to decorate your house. It’s a strong item to build canes and weapons from. You’re probably used bamboo chopsticks at your favorite Asian restaurant. We’ve pointed out how it be used in construction.
Few think about the big picture of bamboo. For example, you can build a lightweight bike for a Sunday funday or a cross country race. Bamboo can be fashioned into wind turbines that will power the future with clean energy. The potential is limitless.
Bamboo’s green footprint makes it a plant that could very well shape our future. As forests continue to be cleared for wood production and other needs, bamboo can offer us an alternative to clear cutting. Bamboo takes in more CO2 and produces more oxygen than your average hardwood tree. This makes it a valuable partner in fighting climate change.
In addition, new techniques with bamboo in packaging material can help with our trash problem. There are packages being developed now, from bamboo, that will naturally degrade with time. Contrast this with all the plastic we are currently throwing away. That plastic can’t be used for fuel anymore. It is also finding its way into our ecosystem and causing havoc. Isn’t bamboo a better way?