Home tips: Choose bamboo for beautiful, eco-friendly interiors
Bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable resource that has been used by humans for millennia.
Almost every part of bamboo can be used to make a staggering variety of products. It can be moulded into furniture, flattened into flooring and paper, or made into chopsticks and fabric. Bamboo fibres are stronger than wood fibres and are less prone to warping, which makes it an ideal material for constructing houses and bridges.
In an age where deforestation and global warming is becoming an increasing threat, here are some reasons why bamboo is the greener option.
1. It's a renewable resource
Bamboo can be harvested in one to six years, depending on species, whereas trees take anywhere between 25 years (softwoods) to 50 years (hardwoods) to mature before they can be harvested. An estimated 18 million acres of forest are lost each year, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. By choosing products made from bamboo, we can help to reduce the number of trees being felled each year.
The Svalnas Cabinet, $100, comes with two sliding doors. Find it at Ikea.
2. It has a fast growth rate
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth. Certain species of bamboo can grow 91 cm within a 24-hour period, at a rate of almost 4 cm an hour! It is easily cultivated and will grow a new shoot from its extensive root system when harvested.
The Variera Cutlery tray, $34.90, is available at Ikea.
3. It reduces greenhouse gases
Bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide and releases 35 percent more oxygen into the air compared to hardwood trees.
Grand Atelier’s Premium Collection Bamboo Series sheets are made of 100 per cent natural bamboo fibres. Priced from $129 for a fitted sheet and pillow case set, it is available from Tangs and Takashimaya. D.S.
4. It produces very little waste
After harvesting, virtually every part of the plant can be used. Apart from being edible, the versatile bamboo can be moulded into furniture, flattened into flooring and paper, or made into chopsticks and fabric.
The handcrafted bamboo foldable table comes in two sizes and is suitable as a laptop table or a low tea table. Priced from $650, it’s available at The Tatami Shop.
5. It's pesticide free
Most of the world’s bamboo comes from China, where it is grown without pesticides or chemical fertilisers.
Travel green by building your own bamboo bicycle in just a day, at Bamboobee’s workshop. For more information and prices, visit www.bamboobee.net.