Bamboo is the green material of the future, or is it? Bamboo is the largest member of the grass family. It is one of the fastest growing “woody” plants in the world. There are different types of bamboo, but on of the most used is called the giant bamboo plant. It can grow in most places in the world excluding those areas of extreme cold or extreme dryness (Bamboo Grove). It is a very useful material for many different animals such as building for humans, or eating for the pandas. It is the main food source for the pandas that live in areas of the world such as Chengdu China. Bamboo is very helpful for humans too.
Currently bamboo has a variety of uses in the world which vary massively based on location. In Asia it is used as scaffolding, and almost everything else such as food. In the United States and many European countries it is used more for a clothing material, flooring and bikes. In the bamboo bike industry the company Calfee is known for their extremely high end bikes. They claim that there bamboo frames are equally still to frames made out of carbon fiber, while still retaining the vibration dampening effect (Calfee). While Calfee makes multi thousand dollar bamboo bikes, they have a sub brand that makes cheaper bikes for third world countries. The sub brand that makes the cheaper bikes also will go into third world countries and teach the people how to make the bikes themselves. Bamboo is probably used to its full potential most in Asia. In China the large scale building projects all use bamboo for scaffolding rather than metal. This is done because of the abundance of bamboo in most regions of China (Bess). The bamboo is also eaten by the wildlife in China, such as the Pandas, and certain types of bamboo rats. Other areas in China along with other countries in Asia, bamboo is the main structure of homes. Home made of bamboo are usually found in the countryside or more rural places.
In recent years bamboo has made its way into the fashion world. Bamboo textiles have been become the go to “green” fabric for clothing companies. The clothing is well known for its extreme softness and earthy colors. Back in 1800’s and earlier, bamboo textiles were merely woven together strips of bamboo, usually used to make hats or shoes. In other parts of the world the bamboo was used to make beauty products such as corsets and toe binders (Akiko). Since then the bamboo has come a long way. Now the cellulose from the leaves and stalks of the bamboo plants are mixed with sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide to create a material of almost pure cellulose that is usable for clothing and other fabrics.
Bamboo has potential to be the next product in sustainable design. Bamboo is a grass that grows on average sixty times faster. It reaches peak maturity after only half a year or less. (Schröder). This makes bamboo a more sustainable alternative to regular slow growth wood that is used today. Not only in bamboo the fastest growing woody plant in the world, it is...