Bamboo in general is a hearty plant and while it may be beneficial from a susty point of view that it grows back completely in only three years it can be, like some house guests which start to stink after three days, very difficult to get rid of. Some species such as Golden Bamboo are invasive in the U.S. and wind up compromising indigenous species of plants. With the proper precautions, we would hope that in future, locally grown bamboo will become a viable component of our Veneerware.
When your family has an eco-rep (utation), your friends know to not only make it green but in terms of aesthetics to make it good too. So when my wife's friend threw her a baby shower, she ordered Bambu Veneerware from Greenfeet .com to enhance the tasteful and tasty nature of the experience. The plates are as lovely in person as they are in their picture, however they come wrapped in a petroleum-based plastic shrink wrap proclaiming the ubiquitous free-trade factoid "Made in China." We can speculate that the products may even have been shipped on vessels that typically burn bunker fuel, a form of low-grade diesel left over from the refining of gasoline and other diesels -- literally the bottom of the barrel, with sulfur content 3,000 times higher than the fuel used in new diesel trucks. But large-scale commercial bamboo farming in the United States failed to take root even after the years between 1890 and 1960 when the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recognizing the potential particularly of Asian bamboos, paid plant explorers to find, select and import farmable bamboos.
And once that wrapper is off, these plates bring green to your nostrils with the aroma of fresh-cut bamboo -- a truly wonderful experience. And like the old Chinette tv commercial, the food doesn't slip from these hearty plates. The manufacturer recommendation is for single use and as Kara suggested, we attempted washing them for reuse, but however much we tried food odors would not wash out. Worry not, these guys composte to biodegrade in four to six months time, continuing the nutrient cycle of which they are a part. Bambu Venereware made for great green conversation around pending baby's arrival and in general are a great product.