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The Benefits of Bamboo


Not just for pandas, bamboo has fast become a popular eco-friendly material. It’s been used for centuries across the world for a number of different purposes, including building houses and for cooking.

More recently it’s become well known as a great alternative to plastic, and many popular household items are now available in bamboo. We're encouraged to make the swap from plastic to bamboo, because of it's eco-friendly credentials, but not all of us know why.

So, here's some great reasons why bamboo is such a fantastic resource for us to use. 


FAST-GROWING 

Bamboo is a fast-growing crop. Some varieties grow 2 -3 feet a day during the growing season! This means that it can be harvested at a far quicker rate than trees. It regrows from its own roots and doesn’t need any fertiliser to grow well.  

While most of the bamboo used today is grown in China, it can grow in a number of places across the world, including the UK. You’ll see it in many country gardens and bamboo used to be grown in large quantities in Lanivet, Cornwall (not too far from Keep Cosy HQ!), where it was produced to feed the pandas at London Zoo. 


 


BIODEGRADABLE AND GREEN 

Unlike plastic, bamboo will naturally degrade over time, which is one of the reasons that it's a great alternative material. While this can take up to ten years, depending on how it is recycled or composted, it’s quicker than the amount of time it would take plastic to break down, which is hundreds of years. 

Bamboo easily absorbs carbon dioxide and produces oxygen, which is great for our atmosphere. A grove of bamboo for instance will release 35% more oxygen than an equivalent amount of trees. 

Bamboo is also good for our soil. Because of the way that it is harvested and the way that it grows, the roots are undisturbed, which is great for the health of the soil. This helps to bind the soil together and the bamboo continues to be useful to the environment even after it’s harvested. 


ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTIES 

 

Bamboo is popular in everyday items of clothing such as socks, because it is antibacterial, breathable, and thermoregulating. 

This means that it keeps you cool, smelling fresher for longer, and won’t go stinky as quickly as some other fibres. This makes it a great material for warm weather and in particular too for base layers and socks.

The antibacterial nature of bamboo, thanks to it’s ability to resist bacteria, means that it makes a great natural fibre to wear against our skin. 

 

VERSATILE 

Bamboo is a versatile crop, plus it’s very strong. Perhaps surprisingly, bamboo is a member of the grass family. It's the only type of grass that can become a forest. With over 1000 varieities, it has a range of uses. For instance, it's often used to build houses and scaffolding, as well as furniture. It's great too for resuable homeware such as coffee cups, plates, and cutlery, and because it's light it's ideal for use on the move.

It works well for socks and clothes too, and is even used in fragrances! It’s popular in the garden too, with bamboo canes regularly used to stake plants. 

And of course, it can be eaten - not only by pandas but humans too! Bamboo shoots from certain varieties are edible and are used in a range of Asian dishes. They're available to buy fresh, dried, and canned, and can be found in your supermarket.

 

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All in all, bamboo is a pretty amazing plant and something that we should definitely keep using for a whole range of everyday items. You can see our full range of bamboo products here, which includes socks, candles, and coffee cups.