8 Ways To Use Bamboo
Bamboo has over 1500 current uses worldwide. We have put together a list of the top 8 eco-friendly uses for bamboo that you should know about!
Over a billion toothbrushes are thrown away every year, and when those are plastic handle toothbrushes, it means millions of pounds of plastic waste that won't breakdown for thousands of years... yearly. Bamboo toothbrush handles are 100% compostable and will become a healthy part of the soil in a matter of months.
Cotton is responsible for up to 75% of the agricultural pesticides used today, and cotton is also one of the most water-thirsty crops on earth leading to damaged soil ecosystems, one of the most important ecosystems in the world!
Bamboo– it’s the better fabric. T-shirts, socks, robes, boxers… your wardrobe can become entirely organic and sustainable. Bamboo needs very little water, and no harmful pesticides while providing silky soft, naturally sweat-wicking, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-odor properties that also help to thermoregulate your body up or down 2 degrees, depending on the ambient temperature.
3. Paper Products
We are still deforesting a LOT of rainforests every day for our paper products. According to Scientific American "Pinning down exact numbers is nearly impossible, but most experts agree that we are losing upwards of 80,000 acres of tropical rainforest daily, and significantly degrading another 80,000 acres every day on top of that. Along with this loss and degradation, we are losing some 135 plant, animal and insect species every day—or some 50,000 species a year—as the forests fall." (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-talks-daily-destruction/)
Bamboo can decrease or completely eliminate this pressure on rainforests by offering an alternative option to our everyday paper products such as bamboo paper towels, bamboo toilet paper, bamboo paper plates, and even bamboo printer paper.
4. Construction Materials
Bamboo is being used in road reinforcements in India, and bamboo bridges have also been built in China, capable of supporting trucks that weigh as much as 16 tons. Bamboo has been used for building scaffolding for centuries and has a higher tensile strength than steel!
5. Bamboo is used to build houses and schools.
Just check out the Green School in Bali.
According to UNESCO, 173 acres of bamboo produce enough material to build 1000 bamboo houses. That is 5.8 houses PER ACRE of bamboo. Another estimate is that a 10'x10' area of mature bamboo can produce one house worth of materials per year! If timber was used instead, it would require the felling of trees that could take up to 20 years to grow back. Today, over one billion people in the world live in bamboo houses.
My personal favorite... Bamboo shoots are used in many dishes, mainly in Asian food preparations, such as ramen, dumplings, rolls, and stir fry meals. Bamboo is high in beneficial silica, promoting strong hair, nail, and bone growth. The antioxidant properties of the bamboo skin prevent bacterial growth and can be used as natural food preservatives too.
7. Healthy Livestock Feed
I think we can all think of at least one big black and white bear that loves to eat bamboo, but did you know that regular livestock loves bamboo too? Bamboo leaves and shoots are also the staple diet of elephants and have been found to be effective and healthy alternatives as a replacement for traditional livestock feed. Cows, sheep, goats, horses, and even chickens love to eat parts of bamboo, and it adds to their diet, making them healthier and happier in the process.
8. Bamboo Charcoal
Charcoal is very effective at trapping and removing odors, as well as impurities in water. Charcoal has been used for centuries, and Bamboo charcoal is four times more porous than regular wood charcoal, which significantly increases its effectiveness. It can be used for water filtration, as a toothpaste ingredient, for air purification, and a myriad of other uses around the house.