Earlier today, I visited my local Bed, Bath, and Beyond and was pleasantly reminded of one of my favorite green plays on the market right now – Bamboo. That’s right, once just a desktop ornament, bamboo is used in literally thousands of ways and is providing a better, renewable alternative to oak, pine, or any other typical tree used for anything made from wood. Now I know that many have been conscious for years of the massive environmental benefits of bamboo products but I was introduced to them about 2 years ago through a friend while condo hunting downtown Chicago, IL.
We were looking at a pre-construction model of a 20-story high rise known as Emerald, an “eco-friendly and ultra-stylish condominium building” located in the bustling West Loop of Chicago. The development offered various earth-friendly alternatives to traditional condo choices such as recycled glass counter tops, low VOC paint, recycled fabrics, and my personal favorite – bamboo flooring!
When we stepped into the demo model which was fully equipped with bamboo flooring, wall accents, and other items throughout, my first thought, simply “wow!” Not only was it a refreshing and hip change from traditional wood styles but the textures and colors were simply marvelous. All aesthetics aside, what an incredible way to reduce one’s envirohuman impact!
Fast forward now to my trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond – I already owned bamboo cutting boards of various sizes but the number of bamboo alternatives seems to have vastly increased since my last trip. In fact, an entire section of the store was dedicated to bamboo based products. We’re talking cutting boards, utensils, bowls, serving dishes, racks, shelving, and much more.
What’s even more exciting to me than just being able to purchase these items locally and easily is the fact that with environmentally conscious products being adopted and promoted by such a significant retailer, it exposes a huge portion of the general public to something that they may have never known of before. In fact, in purchasing a bamboo product, they might not even realize the significance or importance of their latest purchase that to them was merely an attractive and stylish household item.
No longer must we sacrifice style, price, or functionality to reduce our envirohuman impact! Bamboo is more sustainable than wood because it regrows after being cut very quickly (according to Wikipedia, for some species, growth rates can reach three to four feet per day!).
Compared to wood, bamboo often makes more sense from an economic standpoint: it’s usually cheaper than wood. From an envirohuman impact standpoint, it regrows faster than wood, meaning fewer carbon-trapping trees are used for timber. Finally, from a utility standpoint, bamboo looks great, holds up well, and can be used for many applications. Look for bamboo product reviews in the future here on EnviroHumanImpact or try a new bamboo cutting board or shelf today!