• Team Saltbush

Bambu or Bamboo?

What do the needle in Alexander Graham Bell’s first phonograph, the filament in one of Thomas Edison’s light bulbs, and the latest rage in sustainable materials all have in common? They are all made of bamboo of course!

No matter where you look these days, when trying to buy sustainably you will find a large range of bamboo options, but what is it about bamboo that makes it so popular as an eco friendly material?

Well, to start with, no woody plant on the planet grows as fast as bamboo and it has been known to grow up to 91cm IN ONE DAY. Typically growing at 3 to 10cm per day, it can reach full height in 3 to 6 months and full maturity in 3 to 5 years. Decades ahead of most similarly useful trees. In its normal environment it needs very little water, in fact just rainfall mostly, and requires no fertiliser or pesticides. Bamboo plants can be placed very close to each other, allowing the roots to act as a water barrier and control soil erosion, and the growth cycle is self replenishing as bamboo can regenerate from its own roots after harvesting! If that alone does not make it a miracle plant worthy of your attention then I have a few more surprises up my sleeve to convince you.

Apart from its minimal environmental impact and tiny use of resources, it actually cleans the air of our carbon pollution by absorbing up to 35% more CO2 and releasing 30% more oxygen than any other tree. One source I found said that if you built 100,000 houses out of bamboo you would soak up the amount of CO2 emitted by the United Kingdom in a whole year!

Bamboo is STRONG, having the same strength ratio as steel and a higher compressive ratio than wood, brick or concrete, and has traditionally been used as a building material in earthquake prone regions. It is very pliable and can be grown into a shape or bent when first cut and will retain that shape once it is dried.

Bamboo is VERSATILE. It is used for flooring, construction, paper, medicine, food, textiles, furniture, home décor and as a biofuel, as well as many other purposes. Once you are finished with bamboo it can be easily composted or ‘upcycled’ by using a bit of creativity and ingenuity. I have heard of toothbrush handles being used as seedling markers!

In store we have many products made from bamboo including toothbrushes, cotton buds, hair brushes, straws, forks, spoons, pens and much more. Come into our store and discover the many opportunities to use this versatile and eco friendly material.

Oh, and the significance of the headline? Bamboo comes from the word Bambu, the name given to it by the Kannada people in India.


Resources used










Source of outside images

By Tharish - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18213204


By Jürgen (Guerito), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1372121

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