Bamboo is a wonderful plant with many applications such as protection against erosion, protection of water-collection areas, recovery of the ground and natural overgrowth for the surroundings. Besides, as building material it is suitable as substitute for wood. Furthermore, it has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration for almost all cultures in South-east Asia, Africa, Australia and South-America for ages. In these countries it is the cheapest raw material for household goods, furniture, musical instruments, houses, bridges and thousands of other applications. It is a natural resource for poor people.
During the last decades bamboo has however also started to conquer the rich West. Initially as winter-hardy garden plant, but with the help of the modern technology also as wood substitute for serious industrial exploitation with environment-friendly aspects. Bamboo panels, parquet floors and furniture are used nowadays for the decoration of luxurious houses, trendy offices and chic yacht boats. With expensive bamboo you don't only show your wealth, you also show your commitment to the environment.
The most important characteristics of bamboo are:
- Bamboo grows faster than trees and you can therefore already reap it after 3-5 years.
- Bamboo can be reaped each year without damaging the parent plant irreparably.
- In order to set up a bamboo plantation you only need few capital investments and you can make use of the local knowledge of farmers and foresters.
- Bamboo is extremely suitable to repair the impoverished ground and to protect it against further erosion
- Bamboo can be planted well between other plants
- Bamboo plants can be used completely:
- The posts are suitable as construction material
- The young bamboo sprouts can be eaten,
- The leaves can be used as feed for animals,
- The side branches are suitable for usage according to traditional methods.
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