Best Buy for Your Home: Bamboo

Mickey | Home Furnishings | Sunday, November 21st, 2010

If the present rate of deforestation continues, there will be no primary rain forests left in the world. Population growth and expansion combined with the high price for hardwood has made frightening inroads into forests around the world. Already Malaysia has clear cut nearly all its rain forest to plant palm oil trees. One way to stop this worrying trend is to stop buying hardwood products. A great alternative to hardwood furniture, flooring, window treatments and kitchen ware is bamboo.

Bamboo is a remarkable resource that makes an admiral material for consumer items. Bamboo reaches maturity in just 5 to 7 years. It is the fastest growing plant in the world. For this reason, bamboo is a renewable resource. Bamboo can also be grown organically – without pesticides and fertilizers. It doesn’t need to be planted because it propagates through a root system. A stand of bamboo produces more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees and uses less water than an equivalent stand of trees. Bamboo doesn’t drain the soil of nutrients. Instead it holds top soil together. Bamboo spreads quickly and is excellent to use to reclaim land damaged by over-cultivation and over-building.

Because bamboo is a hard woody plant it can produce many useful items. Bamboo can be cut into strips, boiled and then compressed under heat to produce strand woven bamboo which has a Janka Hardness rating of about 2,500 pounds force. With a good aluminum oxide coating strand woven bamboo flooring is harder than most hardwood floorings.

Although bamboo is not a wood, it still has a grain and a light wood color. It can be carved like wood and so can be used to make bowls, cutting boards, serving spoons as well as bigger items such as chairs and cabinets.

Bamboo is also a good material for window treatments. Bamboo blinds and shades make great additions to a room. They add insulation and privacy to a room and are allergen free.

There seems no end to the usefulness of bamboo. Other bamboo items include laptop computers made with bamboo casing, bamboo charcoal used as an air freshener, lucky bamboo, bamboo mats, bamboo medicine, bamboo baskets, bamboo shoots to eat and bamboo fabric. All of these items are antimicrobial and anti-fungal and ideal for people suffering from allergies.

Bamboo is versatile, renewable, beautiful and healthy. It is truly a best buy for the home and a great alternative to hardwood.

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