Saturday, 28 May 2011

Bamboo for the Home

One great way to make your interiors more sustainable is to use renewable resources. Renewable resources are those things that grow quickly enough to keep up with consumer demand. Hardwood trees take over 100 years to reach maturity and so don’t fall in this category. There are over 1,400 species of bamboo, the quickest take just 3 months to reach full height. The average time is about 5 years to be ready for harvest.

Not only is bamboo fast growing, it is also a hardy plant that can withstand nearly any climate. There are native types of bamboo in every continent excepting Europe and Antarctica. Bamboo can be grown organically because it is naturally resistant to bugs and pests. Moreover, it doesn’t drain the soil of nutrients. Bamboo has successfully be used to reclaimed land damaged by agriculture. Finally, bamboo doesn’t need to be planted since it propagates through a root system.

The great thing about bamboo from the perspective of utility for the home is that it is a very hard material that can be used in the same way as hardwood. Bamboo can be carved, pressed together and thus can be used to make furniture, flooring, kitchen utensils, mats, roofing, blinds and a hundred other items for the home and garden. It is also possible to make clothes from bamboo.

Bamboo Flooring

There is now a wide range of bamboo flooring styles commonly available. The most popular are horizontal, vertical and strand woven bamboo flooring. Of these three types of bamboo flooring, strand woven bamboo is the hardest and is suitable for high traffic situations and heavy furniture. It looks great – just like hardwood flooring – and is easy to maintain and clean. Bamboo is antimicrobial and also antiallergenic and so bamboo flooring is great for people with dust mite allergies.

Bamboo in the Kitchen

There are many ways to use bamboo in the kitchen. Bamboo is odor proof and water resistant and so bamboo mats are a good addition to the kitchen. Bamboo kitchen utensils such as bowls, tongs, steamer, knife block, drawer organizer, chopsticks and placemats are all cheap and good earth friendly products for the kitchen.

Bamboo shoots can be used for cooking. Bamboo charcoal can also be used to keep oil used for deep fat frying clean. The Japanese use ground up bamboo charcoal to improve the taste of noodle soup dishes.

Bamboo charcoal also makes a great water filter to remove excess chlorine from faucet water.

To replace dangerous and toxic surface cleaners in the kitchen it is possible to dilute bamboo vinegar 1 part to 20 and use it in a spray bottle to clean and sterilize surfaces. Bamboo vinegar can also be used to clean windows. Bamboo vinegar for cleaning is much better both for the inhabitants of a home and for the environment.

Bamboo Charcoal

Bamboo charcoal can be used in any room in the house. Instead of using air fresheners that contain VOCs that cause respiratory problems bamboo charcoal can be placed in a room to suck out the unpleasant smells. To replenish bamboo charcoal and its ability to absorb unwanted odors it just needs to be left in sunlight for a few hours.

Another property of bamboo charcoal is that it can regulate humidity in a home. It also emits far infrared rays that are called the ‘rays of life’ and promote cell growth. Furthermore, bamboo charcoal also emits negative ions that help to neutralize the positive ions given off by electrical appliances that cause nausea in some people

Bamboo Charcoal Soap

Bamboo charcoal is exceptionally porous and when it is made into soap it cleans to the bottom of the pores. Also it doesn’t leave a layer of residue on the skin like normal soaps. This means that after washing with bamboo charcoal soap the body’s natural oils can moisturize the skin properly. Bamboo charcoal soap is a great treatment for eczema and acne.

Bamboo in the Office

The office at both home and work is a room that is used a lot. It is thus a good idea to make it more people and environment friendly with bamboo. It is possible to buy bamboo desks, coffee tables and chairs. A bamboo mat under an office chair protects flooring. Various types of bamboo office equipment is easily found online or in good shops such as bamboo space savers, bamboo file holders, bamboo pen holders, bamboo laptop holders. Bamboo shades are anti-allergenic, easy to clean and can add a stylish look to an office. Asus make a bamboo laptop computer with high specs that reduces the use of plastic on the computer by 15%.

Bamboo Shades and Blinds

Curtains are difficult to install. They are also a pain to clean. The chemicals used for dry cleaning are bad both for the environment and for people’s health. The most eco-friendly window treatment is bamboo blinds and shades. They are made from a renewable resource that biodegrades. They are easy to install and easy to clean.

There are a variety of bamboo shades and blinds available – roman blinds, vertical blinds, big slats and matchstick bamboo blinds. A style of bamboo shade or blind can be found to suit any d├ęcor style.

Outdoor matchstick bamboo blinds add privacy to a veranda, patio or balcony. They also filter out dangerous UVA and UVB rays. Often outdoor bamboo blinds are what are needed to make an outdoor space more inviting.

Bamboo in the Garden

Bamboo can be grown from seeds or from small plants. It is easy to grow. Bamboo clumpers add a striking adornment to a garden and also help to fertilize the soil. Running bamboo can be used to mark a boundary and to create privacy and shade in a garden.

Bamboo makes an ideal material for stakes for the garden and for fencing. The Japanese use bamboo charcoal as a fertilizer for green tea.

Bamboo Conclusion

The limits of bamboo in the home and garden seem to be only limited by our imagination. Bamboo can be used for furniture, flooring, window treatments and for a wide range of every day products. Bamboo can also be used to make a home cleaner and healthier. It can even be used to make us more beautiful. Bamboo truly is wonderful and should be at the heart of attempts to make a home or office more sustainable.

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