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WNY GOING GREEN: BAMBOO PRODUCTS

Saturday, 04.09.2011 / 12:24 PM / Blue & Gold Make Green
By Michael Jafari  - Graduate Assistant (2010)
Bamboo may be best known as an essential food source in a Panda’s diet, but it also can be a way to save the environment through land and air.

More and more furniture companies are starting to manufacture bamboo products for residential homes and businesses in an effort to reduce the reliance on wooden material. Their mission is simple: The more bamboo furniture that is used, the better the environment will be, while still maintaining the same quality in the products.

Unlike most trees, bamboo grows at a much quicker rate, which means that its use causes little harm when taken out of its environment. In fact, research conducted by David Farelly in his book, The Book of Bamboo, indicates that bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and can grow to maturity within five years or less.

Besides conserving the amount of trees, using bamboo for building can also help clean our air. According to greenington.com, bamboo material is treated and dried to certain moisture content. It is then sent through a special manufacturing process to combine the bamboo material together. The emission of adhesive gas in manufacturing bamboo products is well below US emission standards. In addition, Carbon Sequester-Bamboo releases about 35 percent more oxygen than comparable hardwood trees. By sequestering carbon, it reduces the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, which is the main contributor to global warming.

Because of bamboo’s unique structure, it has been categorized as a true grass in the Poaceae family, and it is most commonly found in the woods of China. Although wood from trees is very strong material, the same can be said for bamboo. The stem is hollow and the vascular bundles in the cross section are scattered throughout the stem rather than a cylindrical arrangement that is present in wood.

Since bamboo has very strong durability, and it is found more frequently in Asia, it has become an important resource in that area. Bamboo has been used for textiles, musical instruments, medicine, landscaping, fishing rods, clothing fabric, building and transportation (bamboo bikes). Asia has the luxury of having bamboo growing in its countries, so the continent can make the most of the hard grass. However, more countries are starting to take notice.

Greenington Fine Bamboo Furniture is a company in Kent, Washington that specializes in the production of bamboo furniture. Although there are over 1,200 species of bamboo, the company uses a maturated Moso bamboo that is at least five-years-old, so the material can be 20% harder than oak. Exotic bamboo is also 100% more solid than red oak.

Some of the products that Greenington produces includes dining tables, consoles, sofas, end tables, coffee tables, chairs, benches, stools, night stands, bedroom sets, dressers, chests, lilac screens and much more. The material is also custom designed so it doesn’t’ take away from the style and texture you get from wooden products.

While the production of bamboo is much slower in the United States than it is in Asia, the environmental benefits of the replacement wood is encouraging for the future. Although bamboo is not as nearly as accessible as oak or other types of wood, it can still be accessed with the power of the internet. The next time you go looking for a new couch, table, chair or whatever it is, consider getting one that is bamboo because you can save trees, clean the air, and not lose any furniture quality in just one purchase.

To learn more about Greenington or to check out their products, you can visit their website at www.greenington.com.

For more tips on helping blue and gold make green or to become a Green Team member, click here.

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