Among bamboo's great qualities is that it's naturally anti-bacterial and it is also water resistant, which makes it a better choice than other hard woods that can stain or deteriorate when any kind of moisture gets in contact. It is also an extremely durable piece of material that is easy to move and has a natural golden colour. Bamboo furniture makes an attractive addition to your home or office, as well as helping our precious planet and animals. Bamboos are habitats for a number of endangered species, including the Giant Panda, so increasing bamboo growth helps them too.
Bamboo, being one of the world's most prolific plants, is able to reach maturity in about four years, compared to the typical 25 to 70 years for commercial tree species. Though most people are generally familiar with this beautiful and graceful plant, the average person is usually astounded when learning that there are more than 1000 documented uses of bamboo. Bamboo is actually a tropical grass, with an extensive root system that sends out an average of four to six new shoots per year, naturally replenishing itself and growing to heights of 50 feet or more. Some bamboo species grow up to 4 feet per day and can be harvested every 3 to 4 years. As a result, bamboo is one of nature's most sustainable resources since it is naturally regenerative. Bamboo is a plentiful, renewable natural product with many remarkable characteristics. It is natural and chemical-free and is grown without using pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Bamboo fibre is 100% biodegradable.
Another excellent natural plant is Hemp, often considered an environmental 'super fibre'. Hemp fabric is made from the fibres in the herbaceous plant of the species Cannabis Sativa. It's a high-yield crop that produces significantly more fibre per acre than either cotton or flax. Hemp makes a durable material and is excellent for bags, backpacks, laptop cases and shoulder bags and when mixed with organic cotton has a lovely soft, flexible texture. All products manufactured from Hemp are environmentally friendly, sustainable and psychoactive free. They make an ideal unique gift too, that shows you care about our planet.
The plant that produces this eco friendly fabric is a distinct variety of the Cannabis plant. Due to the similar leaf shape, Hemp is frequently confused with marijuana, although both plants are 'Cannabis' hemp contains virtually no THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana.
Hemp farmers do not need to use herbicides or pesticides. Hemp suppresses weeds and improves the soil for crop rotation and is therefore well suited for use in organic and sustainable farming. The mass introduction of chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides has helped to keep the price of cotton and other fibre and oilseed crops low. However, as pests have become more resistant to these chemicals, larger quantities are required poisoning both land and water supply. It is planted so tightly together that no light is left for weed growth and pests are not attracted. A large percentage of the nutrients that hemp uses for growth are returned to the soil as the leaves fall so the need for fertilisers is reduced. It also fits well into an organic crop rotation where soil fertility must be maintained.
Hemp's main competitors are cotton (paper and textiles), flax (fibre and oil), and evening primrose (health). All of these are grown using large amounts of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals. Hemp also provides a sustainable alternative to many oil-based products. These can be extremely damaging to the environment both in terms of waste from refining oil, spillage during transport and disposal of the end products, which are often not biodegradable. Plastic, nylon, polyester, PVC, cellophane, fibreglass resins and many other common every day products are usually petroleum-based but hemp is now being used to make plastics.
Nature itself is giving us the answers to help our planet; we just need to make the most of our natural, renewable resources.
Hemp and Bamboo- we love you!!