Bamboo: Finding Solutions Where Others Only See Problems


Bamboo grows wild in forest grooves in Asia, shutting out the sunlight and making forest management difficult. Instead of just complaining, some people at a non-profit group called Tojiba started using bamboo as raw material for market tents that are getting popular here in Japan. An old solution perhaps - using bamboo is as ancient as people have shared the land with the fast-growing plants - but the design is nice and the tents feel great.

Using the bamboo tents turns out to be pretty easy. The bamboo poles are more light-weight than ordinary iron poles, and can be transported easily. Assembly is easy, and people using the tents say they like the fact that they help with forest management and feel a connection to farmers in rural areas.


Bamboo is easy to cut, and the design includes a white hemp canvas roof that gives shadow on sunny days, yet allows enough light in when it is overcast.

Tojiba is a group of clever young people who will gather this weekend to plant soy beans, as part of a 10 year project to increase production of this important crop. This weekend they want to gather 1000 people for their summer event in Chiba, east of Tokyo.

They are also one of the leading groups at the Earth Day Market events in Tokyo, giving city consumers a chance to talk to farmers and purchase organic vegetables and other fresh produce. Environmental education is another speciality, with lectures and seminars on current topics.

But most of all, these cool guys and girls seem to love being out in the fields, getting their boots dirty, working with nature - rain or shine!


Brought to you by Martin Frid at

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