With a vast increasing population, the demand for new housing and consumables is diminishing Africa’s forests. Trees are vital for our planet’s survival especially for cleaning the air and our environment from all the toxic gasses. Tree overage has decreased from 35% to a mere 3% in the last decade. By using products made from bamboo instead of hardwood, you can make a difference. Read on, see the various uses of bamboo and save the planet, one tree at a time.
Nothing can beat the look, feel and smell of wood, but let’s face it, if the demand of wood doesn’t decrease, the cutting down of trees wouldn’t either. To give the earth a bit of a break, start using alternatives such as plastic toothpicks or go digital to save paper. However, I will not tell you to stop braaiing, because it’s what we do!
Did you know that 70 hectares of bamboo could produce enough material to build 1000 houses?
Bamboo does not need pesticides or herbicides to grow. Similar to grass, bamboo grows from its roots and, unlike hardwood trees, it grows back after it has been cut and can be harvested every year thereafter. Bamboo grows much faster than trees and takes between three to six years to mature.
Here are a list of things bamboo is used for, so the next time you go shopping, try to look out for alternative products made from bamboo instead of trees;
Functional Uses of Bamboo
Domestic and home uses
Kitchenware and utensils
Craft beautiful furniture out of bamboo
Makes beautiful hardwood flooring
Used in various cosmetic products and deodorants
Bamboo provides high quality pulp used for making paper
Pen, USB casings and various other stationary items are made from bamboo
Bamboo sprouts can be helpful in treating ulcers and wounds
Bamboo extract is used to treat various inflammations
The roots and leaves are used for treating venereal diseases
Used as an abortifacient for kidney diseases
Used to treat infantile epilepsy
Building materials used in construction
Used to reinforce roads and bridges
Used as eco-friendly and more cost-effective scaffolding
Bamboo stems are used to make fences, roofs and roof tiles
Used in food as a natural food preservative because the bamboo skin prevents bacteria from growing.
Clothing and accessories
Bamboo makes a strong and durable fabric with a long-lasting antibacterial quality and is therefore used to make clothing as well as rugs.
Made into accessories such as necklaces, earrings and other types of jewellery
Tools and equipment
Bamboo is used in making weapons as well as handicrafts
The stems of bamboo are used to weave strong and durable baskets
Crafting musical instruments
Bamboo roots enrich the soil by drawing up heavy metals from the ground
The roots holds the soil together and draws the water closer to the surface which can benefit other nearby plants
Bamboo is planted on steep slopes or riverbanks to help prevent erosion and mudslides
Bamboo shoots are planted as boundary markers to help support banana trees
Charcoal is made from the pyroligneous acid extracted from the bamboo which is then used in insecticides
Article by Lynette