The Benefits of Bamboo

by Sarah on January 21, 2009

One of my Christmas gifts I can’t get enough of is a beautiful bamboo blanket I received from my mom. I love this blanket because, not only is it a very generous size, but it’s luxuriously soft (almost like cashmere) and best of all, completely organic and sustainable.

The advantages of choosing bamboo over another material like cotton are numerous. Bamboo fiber is incredibly strong and durable, comparable even to steel. You can see this evidenced by the fact that bridges and houses are constructed from bamboo too.

Bamboo is also one of the fastest growing plants, growing up to a foot and a half a day through the spring and summer! Add in its low maintenance growth cycle (no pesticides and little care required), and weed-like spreadability, and this crop has become a viable alternative to conventional cotton.

Of course, these benefits are a double edged sword, and the booming industry has caused bamboo forests to drop dramatically and endangered species that are dependent on bamboo have taken a hit too. As with all things in life, balance is key. Consider growing your own bamboo or donating to programs already doing it.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle January 21, 2009 at 6:29 pm

I had never heard of a bamboo blanket until now, but it sounds wonderful! I love the idea that it is organic and sustainable.

Ruzhenka June 20, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Hi! I have to disappoint you regarding bamboo material :-( I recently saw a pair of pants and a shirt made of bamboo in one of the clothing catalogs and was as excited as you were because it really caught my attention. I ordered it and couldn’t wait to wear. However when I wore it, my skin didn’t feel right (I’m very sensetive to synthetic materials and can’t wear anything comfortably except natural fibers)and I felt like taking it off immediately. I was very confused and decided to “wikipedia” it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo_fibre

Imagine my surprise when after reading through the initial information, I got to the facts that, and I quote: “It is not made from the fibres of the plant, but is a synthetic viscose made from bamboo cellulose.” now viscose in turn, is used to make rayon and cellophane. Bamboo is categorized as “synthetic” fibre. So for those of us who feel like their skin is not breathing unless it is clothed in a natural material, bamboo, unfortunately is not an option :-(

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