Versatile, Sustainable, Influential Bamboo

Image: panda
Image: bamboo bicycle Image: baskets Image: car Image: floor

Did you know that bamboo:

Was the first plant to re-green after the atomic bomb in Hiroshima in 1945?
Is actually a grass that can grow 3-4 feet in 24 hours?
Provides houses for over 1 billion people?
Is a crucial element in the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?
Has the tensile strength of mild steel?
Furnishes 90% of a panda's diet?

No wonder bamboo is considered to be a critical element for lifting thousands of people in developing countries out of poverty. Its fast growth and many options for large uses, such as flooring or building materials, benefit small-scale farmers as well as those employed in the construction industry.

The documentary Trout Grass tracks the 10,000-mile journey of bamboo around the world. From a lush forest in China's Guangdong Province to a rustic workshop in Montana, this film follows the transition of bamboo from a living plant to a finished fly rod.

For a more sinister film about bamboo, don't miss Rat Attack. NOVA teams up with National Geographic to explore why mysterious black rat plagues ravage the bamboo forests of northeast India every 48 years, leaving destruction and famine in their wake. Not for the squeamish.

 

 

Books:

Practical Bamboos: the 50 Best Plants for Screens, Containers and More

New Bamboo: Architecture and Design

The Craft & Art of Bamboo: 30 Eco-friendly Projects to Make for Home & Garden

To see the beauty and functionality of bamboo, visit the Denver Art Museum's Lutz Bamboo Collection, which has woven baskets, carved figures, and everyday tools from the extensive Lutz Bamboo Collection, located in the Walter & Mona Lutz Gallery, a new space designated for bamboo works from China, Japan, and Korea.

Comments

Bamboo is cool -- in clothing, too! -- and the Art Museum's collection is worth checking out.

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