The Many Uses of Bamboo
Updated: Sep 2
Fast-growing, strong and affordable, bamboo is one of the most versatile plants on the planet. Used for thousands of years by countries and cultures across the world, bamboo has notable economical and environmental significance. And as the world’s demand for wood and plastic-based products grows each day, so does the need for this eco-friendly and renewable alternative. Known as “poor man’s timber”, “green gold” and a “miracle plant”, bamboo has an impressive list of over 1,500 uses. So what sorts of things can you use bamboo for?
Bamboo for building materials:
Bamboo has a long tradition of being used for building materials, conventionally in areas where it grows natively. Lightweight, durable and fire-resistant, bamboo is one of the most used construction materials - including for scaffolding, bridges, floors, roofs and houses. Its elasticity also makes it particularly useful in areas that are at risk of earthquakes.
Bamboo for tissue and hygiene products
Bamboo’s long-list of natural properties also make it a great resource for tissue and hygiene products. Not only is it antibacterial and antifungal, but it also doesn’t require harsh chemicals for manufacturing and thus can be used by people with sensitive skin. It is also super absorbent and 100% biodegradable, particularly useful traits for one-use hygiene products such as nappies, toilet paper and wipes that create large quantities of daily waste.
Bamboo for food
When you think of bamboo as a source of food, you probably picture pandas munching on it all day long. And whilst pandas do indeed eat bamboo as their main source of food - consuming about 25-50 lbs of the plant each day - you might be surprised to find out that bamboo is also used in a number of staple (human) dishes, including stir-fries, soups and salads.
Bamboo for kitchen products
Did you know that you could swap many of your day-to-day kitchen items for products made from bamboo? Anything from pots and pans, spoons and ladles, tongs and cutting boards, can all be made from this sustainable material. You might be wondering why you would make the change. Well, bamboo has many advantages over plastic, wooden and metal utensils. Not only is it more durable and lighter, but it is also more eco-friendly and non-toxic.
Of course, there are many other common uses to bamboo, including textiles, musical instruments and medicine - though we wouldn’t be able to name all 1,500 uses for you here... Its endless list of commercial uses have produced many economical and environmental benefits, providing essential jobs and income to rural communities across the world, whilst also helping to fight climate change, restore degraded land and conserve biodiversity. No wonder it has such a stellar reputation!