Bamboo is an important element in balancing oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It has 4 times more carbon dioxide storage than hardwood and releases 35% more oxygen than trees. Its reticular roots prevent soil loss. It grows rapidly and does not require chemical fertilizers. It can be harvested in 3 to 5 years. These “green” characteristics make bamboo increasingly popular with architects and environmentalists, and have a tendency to replace traditional wood.
In 1880, Thomas Edison used charred bamboo filaments in his first light bulb, which is still preserved at the Smithsonian Museum in the United States today and can still be lit. However, for many years, bamboo has been considered a “poor wood” and is only suitable for cheap outdoor furniture or low-end restaurant decoration. In India, people of higher caste build houses with stones. Medium castes use wood. Only the people use bamboo to build a house.
Today, bamboo is re-examined by the Western world for its wide range of uses, low prices and eco-friendly properties. It can be said that bamboo has completely got rid of cheap low-end labels and become the material of choice for flooring, snowboarding, construction, bicycles and even clothing. In 2007, producer Leslie Chercott won an Oscar for his documentary "A nInconvenientTruth" about the truth about global warming. At the awards ceremony, she wore a long skirt made of bamboo fiber. I have to say that this is the right choice.
Although it looks like a tree, bamboo is actually a particularly tall grass, a member of the grass family. There are many kinds of bamboo, some are slender and soft, and they are close to the shrubs, and some are taller than trees and can exceed 100 feet. Its roots can extend far and even fill the entire garden, making the gardeners crazy. Bamboo is also a very awkward plant that can withstand extreme weather conditions of 30-250 inches per year. The strong roots emit bamboo shoots every year without the need for artificial planting. It is widely distributed in temperate and tropical climates and can grow on the beach or in hills at an altitude of 13,000 feet.
Although widely distributed, bamboo has begun to disappear in many places. In 1976, Brazil's bamboo forest area reached 85,000 square kilometers, and by 1983 only 32,000 square kilometers remained. Some people worry that within 10 years, Brazil's bamboo will disappear completely. Because it can only grow in the tropics, the cucurbit bamboo is already an endangered species.
Bamboo can be said to be the ultimate green material. It grows without chemical fertilizers and insecticides, has a short growth cycle, and is the fastest growing plant in the world (the second largest in the world). Some varieties can grow 1 meter per day. Hardwood trees can take centuries to mature, and cork ripening takes 10-20 years, and bamboo can grow to a finished height in 3-5 years. In Costa Rica, a bamboo plant in a 60-hectare bamboo garden can build 1,000 houses a year. If the same building project uses wood, it will require 500 hectares of tropical rainforest. The net-like roots of bamboo prevent soil loss and avoid mudslides on steep slopes. Bamboo forests can also be shelters during an earthquake. Because it requires a large amount of nitrogen, it can also purify wastewater. Bamboo is also an important element in balancing oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It can store up to 4 times more carbon dioxide than hardwood trees, and some types of bamboo can store more than 12 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare. They release 35% more oxygen than trees. In addition, bamboo reduces light intensity and protects people from UV rays.
These "green" characteristics have made many people highly respectful of bamboo. It is also increasingly favored by architects and environmentalists, and has a tendency to replace traditional wood. "The use of bamboo is similar to that of hardwood, and the cost is comparable to that of A-grade red oak," said Daniel Smith, president of San Francisco-based Smith & Fong Plyboo. This company specializes in the production of bamboo flooring and bamboo plywood. Of course, the use of bamboo goes far beyond this. Columbia architect Simon Villez designed the world's largest bamboo building: the Mexico City Nomad Museum.
Bamboo itself is “environmentally friendly”. There is no doubt about this. However, in the process of transporting bamboo out of bamboo forest and processing it into a final product, there are many practices that are not environmentally friendly. The clothes made of bamboo fiber are as soft as silk, and the water absorption is stronger than that of cotton cloth. However, the production process of bamboo fiber is similar to the production of man-made fiber, and a large amount of chemicals and solvents are used. Formaldehyde harmful to humans is used in hardwood processing. “Some people say that they want to use bamboo flooring all the time,” says Nancy Moore Beth of the American Bamboo Association. “But there is a difference between bamboo flooring and wood flooring. Consumers should understand the production process of the product.” It is best to buy local products. Long-distance transportation will also increase the carbon footprint of the product.
Since the introduction of the United States in the mid-1990s, bamboo flooring has become the mainstream of home improvement, quickly replacing traditional wood such as oak or maple. It is as durable as these woods and is competitively priced. But people have a lot of misunderstandings about bamboo. Unlike hardwood, there is no hierarchical system of bamboo quality. Therefore, the price of bamboo flooring varies greatly. you get what you pay for. It depends on the time of harvest. Bamboo can be as soft as fir or as hard as maple. If the income is too early, such as bamboo with a growth period of only 3 years, the quality is certainly not as good as 5 or 6 years. When buying bamboo flooring, it is best to ask about its hardness.
Most of the bamboo raw materials in the United States come from China and India. Due to the popularity of bamboo products, some American companies have begun to grow bamboo. For example, biologist Jackie Heinrich opened a nursery BooShoot Gardens on Mount Vernon, 60 miles north of Seattle, to plant bamboo. However, the method of cultivating bamboo by seed does not work because bamboo blooms every 60 to 100 years. Heinrich and her business partner Randy Bohr spent eight years perfecting the tissue culture method for large-scale cultivation of bamboo. A fine bamboo is placed in the culture medium and can be turned into dozens of plants in one month. Her clients are mainly nursery masters, and Asian businessmen have shown interest.
Because bamboo is spread all over the continents of Antarctica. Some groups, such as the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization, have tried to use bamboo to create a sustainable local economy. California bicycle designer Craig Calphy has started a project. With the support of the Earth Institute of Columbia University, he launched the Bamboo Bike Program. He has already promoted this program to Africa. The church locals learn to make bicycles from bamboo. In the end, people can sell cars to locals or tourists. Calf said, "Bamboo can bring people economic income. They don't have to go to the forest to illegally cut down trees and secretly get them to the market." The bamboo bike is also very strong enough to withstand one person plus two packs of 110 pounds. Cement. Bamboo is one of the strongest building materials, with a tensile strength of 28,000 pounds per inch and a tensile strength of 23,000 pounds per inch. The strength of the bamboo after compression can exceed that of concrete. Some even speculated that bamboo will soon appear as a mainstream load-bearing structural material in green buildings. A civil engineering professor at Santa Clara University and one of his students invented the I-beams made of bamboo. They found that as an economical “green” building material, bamboo is strong, light, easy to process, and has good corrosion resistance and fire resistance. In Limon, Costa Rica, after the 1992 earthquake, only bamboo houses were still standing. Because of its light weight and good elasticity, bamboo-framed houses can “dance” in the earthquake.
Adam Tuttle of the Earth Defender Experimental Farm in Tennessee said, “Bamboo is the most egalitarian crop. For thousands of years, Asians have already integrated bamboo into their daily lives.” From tableware to furniture, many everyday Supplies can be made of bamboo.
Bamboo of different ages also has different uses. Bamboo shoots below 30 days are a delicious ingredient. 6-9 months of tender bamboo can be used to make baskets. 2-3 years of bamboo can be used for cutting boards and furniture. Bamboo for 3-6 years can be used as building materials. Bamboo for more than 6 years gradually becomes brittle and loses strength.
Can this kind of environmentally friendly material also integrate into Western culture? "Bamboo is not just a fleeting trend," said Plyboo's Smith. "It's going to be more and more versatile and continue to influence every aspect of people's lives."
More and more bamboo use, one of the reasons for the popularity of bamboo fiber mattresses!