What's So Great About Bamboo?
Photo credit: FredArmitage
Bamboo has blossomed with the green movement, going from Panda chow to material extraordinaire in a few short years; we've seen it used in just about everything: flooring, anti-microbial bedding, and notebook computers, not too mention more furniture than you can shake a (quickly renewable) stick at and 1000 other things (really). But is it really green? In a two-part series, dealing with its manufacture from round stalk to flat board and trying to figure out what's so good about it, Core77 uncovers some interesting stuff.
The short version: because it grows so quickly, the root system isn't damaged by harvesting and it's so plentiful -- "For a lumber harvester, the yield can be 25 times what you'd get from regular ol' trees" -- growing it is really green, but manufacturing it into useful plywood boards, for anything that the tubular stalks won't do on their own...well, not so much. It's a pretty messy, intensive process; as such, it's important to look for bamboo made with water-based, formaldehyde-free adhesives with low/no-VOC finishes, if you're looking for some grass-based interiors. All bamboo isn't as green as advertised; get down to the nitty-gritty over at ::Core77