Uses of Bamboo - 1000 Things Made from Bamboo
What products can be made from bamboo? Potential investors and clients frequently ask us about the different uses of bamboo. To answer that question, we always like to refer to an Asian saying; "A man is born in a bamboo cradle and goes away in a bamboo coffin. Everything in between is possible with bamboo!"
It's true though, from edible bamboo shoots to construction, medicine, bamboo fabric or biofuel it is all been done before. For the past 10 years, bamboo experts have been experimenting with the multiple uses of bamboo and are still discovering new applications, bamboo fiber for the garment and automotive industries, flooring boards, veneers as thin as 0.2 mm, are just some of many examples.
Bamboo panels, especially floors, are more and more in demand all over the world, because they have the texture of marble and the elegance of wood; in addition, they are strong, durable, smooth, clean, non-sliding and resistant to humidity.
Watch this great video from INBAR about Bamboo uses around the world.
The challenges we face today is to further improve and innovate the uses of bamboo. Since bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth and a sustainable building material, it could easily substitute all known wood applications without having to cut down entire bamboo groves or plantations. Better yet, bamboo continuously grows after harvest without having to re-plant it. Bamboo also converts about 35% more CO2 into oxygen than a regular tree.
The bamboo products we see on the market today, are just the tip of the iceberg, we predict that more and more innovative applications of bamboo will enter the consumer markets rapidly. Therefore it is an exciting era to live in if you are also a firm believer of how bamboo can contribute to a greener and cleaner environment. We can't change our consumption based economy, but we can certainly change the resources we use and the way we manufacture our products!
Below you'll find a list of common uses for bamboo. Please note that not all bamboo species are suited for every single application. Some species are edible while most are not, some can be used as structural timber while other only serve for ornamental use or pulp.
Guadua Bamboo Grove | Photo: Our Nature
2. Wood Industry
Plyboo Bamboo Panels | Photo: University of Texas
3. Pulp and Paper Industry
Bamboo Paper Products | Photo: Frogprint
4. Textile Industry
Bamboo Bath Towel
5. Bioenergy Industry
6. Food and Beverage Industry
7. Automotive Industry
Bamboo Car Interior | Photo: Lexus
8. Sports and Recreation Industry
9. Electronics Industry
Bamboo IPhone Case
10. High Tech Industry
Bamboo Fiber Wind Turbine Blade | Photo: Every China
11. Farming Industry
Bamboo Greenhouse | Photo: Marcelo Villegas
12. And Everything Else...
Bamboo Bathtub | Photo: Nieuwendick
How Farmers Use Bamboo
Throughout history, farmers have used bamboo for a multitude of purposes. From rural housing to water pipes, fences and trellis, props, greenhouses, fertilizer, and the list goes on and on.
Bamboo Polo Balls
Bamboo polo balls where made and used during most of the 20th century. These bamboo rhizome balls originate from India where the sport was introduced by the British in the 1870's.
Wind Powered Bamboo Minesweeper
The Mine Kafon Bamboo Minesweeper is made from inexpensive bamboo sticks, biodegradable plastic plates and metal, and is designed to be blown around in the wind detonating landmines.
Bamboo Tricycle Fights Traffic Congestion
Can this electric powered bamboo tricycle provide solutions to traffic congestion and air pollution in China? British expats Chris Trees and his wife Florence certainly believe so.
Bamboo Construction and Architecture
As a building material, bamboo stands out because of its structural and mechanical properties. Although bamboo has been referred too as the poor man's timber, it is now becoming increasingly popular.
Building Bridges with Bamboo Cables
Marco Polo was the first to reveal the domestic value and importance of bamboo. He described how the Chinese used and manufactured bamboo cables to build bridges and for towing boats.
The Role of Bamboo in Disaster Relief
Managua provides an interesting example of how bamboo can relieve disasters in a tropical climate. In December 1972, the city suffered a terrible earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5.
How Bamboo Becomes Textile
By growing and harvesting bamboo sustainably, and using responsible manufacturing processes, viscose from bamboo could be the fabric of the future.