Bamboo is one of the most robust and fastest growing woody plants on earth, with over 1500 species thriving in diverse terrains from sea level to 12,000 feet high, and on every continent bar the north and south poles.
Bamboo also grows the fastest and has been clocked shooting skyward at an incredible 2 inches an hour! There are even species which can grow an unbelievable, one and a half meters a day! Bamboo’s diversity makes it adaptable to many environments. Bamboo can be harvested in 3-5 years versus 10-20 years for most softwoods.
Bamboo is a high-yield renewable resource pioneering plant, its unrivalled utility registers over 5,000 uses including, paper, scaffolding, wall panelling, floor tiles, briquettes for fuel, raw material for housing construction, rebar for reinforced concrete beams, diesel fuel, airplane “skins”, desalination filters, aphrodisiacs, musical instruments, medicine and food!
Bamboo is one of the strongest building materials, its tensile strength is 28,000 pounds per square inch versus 23,000 pounds per square inch for steel! Bamboo’s weight-to-strength ratio also surpasses that of even graphite!
Bamboo even protects the environment and the air we breathe! Using bamboo to replace timber also helps to save the planets critically endangered rainforests. With a 10-30% annual increase in biomass versus 2-5% for trees, bamboo also creates a much greater yield of raw materials, one clump can produce a staggering 200 poles in just three to five years.
Bamboo has the fastest growing canopy for the re-greening of degraded lands, it is capable of releasing 35% more oxygen than the equivalent area of trees! Some bamboo species can sequester a remarkable 12 tons of carbon dioxide from the air per hectare!
Bamboo can tolerate extremes of precipitation, from 30-250 inches of annual rainfall. It can be grown in soil damaged by overgrazing and poor agricultural techniques. Unlike with most trees proper harvesting does not destroy the bamboo plant, so topsoil is held in place.
In the tropics it is even possible to plant and ‘grow your own home’. In Costa Rica, 1000 houses of bamboo are built annually with material coming from a 60-hectare bamboo plantation. If an equivalent project used timber, it would require 500 hectares of our diminishing tropical rainforests!