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Going Green with Bamboo Furniture

Updated on May 17, 2009

If you have considered going green with your home decorating, but you’re not sure where to begin, bamboo is a stylish and affordable choice. Not only is bamboo strong, inexpensive and visually appealing, it’s renewable! Adding bamboo furniture to your home is a simple way to help you become more environmentally friendly.

Why Bamboo?

Bamboo is technically a grass and in many places, it is considered to be a weed. It is a hardy plant that is found on almost all continents and can be grown in many diverse climates and conditions. Bamboo grows quickly and spreads across areas, which is why it is often thought of as a weed. When bamboo is cut, it sends up new shoots to replace those that have been removed and those shoots can mature in just five years. Compared to other hardwood species, which take at least 50 years, bamboo is extremely renewable. An added bonus is that bamboo does not need fertilizers or pesticides to grow, making it an organic product also.

Bamboo has been used to make all kinds of products from food to fabrics to paper and construction materials. It has actually been used longer for making construction materials and furniture than any other hardwood. There are all kinds of different styles of furniture to choose from that are made from bamboo, ensuring you will find something that will match the current decor of your home.

Advantages of Bamboo Furniture

There are many different reasons for choosing bamboo furniture when decorating your home. On top of the obvious environmental advantages, the following is also true of bamboo furniture:

  • It is extremely durable and can withstand damage a lot more than traditional hardwoods. This is why bamboo is often used for cutting boards as it can take a lot more strokes from a knife before becoming scratched and marked.
  • Bamboo grows in a straight line, unlike trees with knuckles that actually strengthen, not weaken, the bamboo shoots. This makes bamboo, and anything made from it, very strong. It is often used to also strengthen other materials.
  • Unlike other types of wood, bamboo furniture is resistant to swelling or shrinking due to climate changes.
  • Bamboo has a very fine grain, allowing it to come in a variety of styles and finishes. Designers use bamboo in all kinds of innovative furniture designs so your personal style does not need to be compromised.
  • Bamboo furniture can be used indoors or outdoors and is very easy to care for. You can clean your bamboo furniture as you would any other hardwood furniture. All you need to pay particular attention to is avoiding prolonged exposure to moisture.

Whether you are buying bamboo furniture for eco-friendly reasons or just for looks and quality, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Check to make sure the furniture is made from real bamboo and is not a look-alike. Some furniture is made to look like bamboo, but actually isn’t. Look for furniture that is made with sustainable bamboo. Sustainable bamboo is grown and harvested naturally in a way that keeps the bamboo crop renewing its growth. Try and choose bamboo furniture with water-based veneers and if it includes a bamboo veneer, make sure the glue is non-toxic. Knowing which pieces to buy isn’t difficult and by keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be pleased with the look, quality and “greenness” of your furniture.

Once you've begun adding the natural beauty of bamboo furniture to your home, your eco-friendly efforts don't need to stop there. You can also include other bamboo accessories, such as rugs, shades and decorative accessories, to add finishing touches that are as beautiful, durable and eco-friendly as your bamboo furniture.

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    • Aussieteacher profile image

      Di 

      8 years ago from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

      Bamboo is a great renewable resource and you can do so much with it.

    working

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