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Why Choose Bamboo??



Logo and "Why Bamboo" provided by:

Environmental Bamboo Foundation
P.O. Box 196
Ubud 80571, Bali, Indonesia
Telephone: 62-361-974-027
Fax: 62-361-974-029

Why Bamboo? Bamboo has a role to play. The plant is deteriorating all around us and it seems that people are just getting used to it rather than doing anything about it. The social, political and economic implications are unimaginable as our ozone layer thins, forest disappear and deserts form, disease rages, earthquakes destroy, housing evaporates and food supplies dwindle. Bamboo has a role to play. Perhaps the environmental crises at hand have not touched your life, but the time will come. The earth desperately needs the attention and action of all of us or our children's children will surely not have a world fit to live in. There is no one solution but amazingly, the simple bamboo plant can make a dramatic positive impact in many areas. It is our goal to inform and raise awareness about "People, The Environment and Bamboo" and give people the tools and information to then respond in their own way in their own world. Every action counts, every person counts...


  • The fastest growing plant on this planet
  • A critical element in the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
  • A viable replacement for wood
  • An enduring natural resource
  • Versatile with a short growth cycle
  • A critical element of the economy
  • An essential structural material in earthquake architecture
  • A renewable resource for agroforestry production.
  • A natural controllable barrier
  • An ancient medicine
  • Integrally involved in culture and the arts



The fastest growing woody plant on this planet. It grows one third faster than the fastest growing tree. Some species can grow up to 1 meter per day. One can almost "watch it grow". This growth pattern makes it easily accessible in a minimal amount of time. Size ranges from miniatures to towering culms of 60 meters.

A critical element in the balance of oxygen / carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Bamboo i s the fastest growing canopy for the regreening of degraded areas and generates more oxygen than equivalent stand of trees. It lowers light intensity and protects against ultraviolet rays and is an atmospheric and soil purifier.

A viable replacement for wood. Bamboo is one of the strongest building materials. Bamboo's tensile strength is 28,000 per square inch versus 23,000 for steel. In the tropics is it possible to plant and grow your own bamboo home. In a plot 20m x 20m2, in the course of 5 years, two 8m x 8m homes can be constructed from the harvest. Every year after that the yield is one additional house per plot.

An enduring natural resource. Bamboo can be selectively harvested annually. Bamboo provided the first re-greening in Hiroshima after the atomic blast in 1945. Thomas Edison successfully used a carbonized bamboo filament in his first experiment with the light bulb.

Versatile with a short growth cycle. There are over 1000 species of bamboo on the earth. The diversity makes bamboo adaptable to many environments. It can be harvested in 3-5 years versus 10-20 years for most softwoods. Bamboo tolerates extremes of precipitation, from 30-250 inches of annual rainfall.

A critical element of the economy. Bamboo and its related industries already provide income, food and housing to over 2.2 billion people worldwide. There is a 3-5 year return on investment for a new bamboo plantation versus 8-10 years for rattan. Governments such as India, China and Burma with 19,800,000 hectares of bamboo reserves collectively, have begun to focus attention on the economic factors of bamboo production.

An essential structural material in earthquake architecture. In Limon, Costa Rica, only the bamboo houses from the National Bamboo Project stood after their violent earthquake in 1992. Flexible and lightweight bamboo enables structures to ÒdanceÓ in earthquakes.

A renewable resource for agroforestry products. Bamboo is a high-yield renewable natural resource: ply bamboo is now being used for wall paneling, floor tiles; bamboo pulp, for paper making, briquettes for fuel, raw material for housing construction, and rebar for reinforced concrete beams.

A soil conservation tool. Bamboo is exquisite component of landscape design. It's anti-erosion properties create an effective watershed, stitching the soil together along fragile river banks, deforested areas, and in places prone to earthquakes and mud slides. The sum of stem flow rate and canopy intercept of bamboo is 25% which means that bamboo greatly reduces rain run-off, preventing massive soil erosion.

An ancient medicine. Bamboo has for centuries been used in Ayurveda and Chinese acupuncture. The powdered hardened secretion from bamboo is used internally to treat asthma, coughs and can be used a an aphrodisiac. In China, ingredients from the root of the black bamboo help treat kidney disease. Roots and leaves have also been used to treat venereal disease and cancer. Sap is said to reduce fever and ash will cure prickly heat. Current research point to bamboo's potential in a number of medicinal uses.

Integrally involved in culture and the arts. Bamboo is a mystical plant as a symbol of strength, flexibility, tenacity, endurance and compromise. Throughout Asia, bamboo has for centuries been integral to religions ceremonies, art, music and daily life. It is the paper, the brush and the inspiration of poems and paintings. Among the earliest historical records, 2nd century B.C. were written on green bamboo strips strung together in a bundle with silk thread. Instruments made of bamboo create unique resonance.

A food source: Bamboo shoots provide nutrition for million of people worldwide. In Japan, the antioxidant properties of pulverized bamboo bark prevents bacterial growth and its used a natural food preservative. Bamboo ÒlitterÓ make fodder for animals and food for fish. Taiwan alone consumes 80,000 tons of bamboo shoots annually constituting at $50 million industry.

A landscape design element. Bamboo is an exquisite component of landscape design. For the human environment, bamboo provides shade, wind break, acoustical barriers and aesthetic beauty.

Other Newsletters...
  Consumers Urged to Replace Old Window Coverings
  What's So Special About Bamboo?
  Why Choose Bamboo??

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