- Politics and Social Issues
Open the door to amazing Bamboo and it's popular use as an eco-friendly textile
Organic bamboo fabric, specifically, organic bamboo clothing is becoming a much sought after apparel option. As we increase our awareness of environmental stewardship and begin to realize the impact our eating and drinking habits have on our planet and our bodies, we continue to seek alternatives that are good for all concerned.
This extends to the fabrics we wear and the bathing towels we choose. We've heard of the negative effects of drinking (most municipalities') tap water and have been warned about chlorine being absorbed by our skin when showering without special filters. These concerns are proving to be increasingly valid as news of the chemicals used to process clothing are showing up in high levels in our bodies. (See Module below titled "NEW PRODUCTS and vital Information.") Read on to learn more about bamboo, it's environmental importance and it's place in the green-living movement.
We're all familiar with the Giant Pandas, aren't we? Can you visualize the familiar sight of a panda chomping on their favorite food --bamboo? (I'll show you a picture of this delightful sight later on..)
Some us us may have used bamboo placemats; maybe you've played a bamboo flute. (Bamboo has long been a part of the shopping experience at Pier One Imports - though I'm not sure of their stand on sustainability.) Bamboo as an attractive, eco-friendly flooring has become a popular choice, as well.
Bamboo is a highly sustainable grass that can grow to over 100 feet in many different climates. My research indicates there are 1000 to 2000 diverse species of bamboo. (While we're on the subject, let's clarify here and now that the widely popular "Lucky Bamboo" sold in the U.S. is not actually bamboo at all. These are attractive little green stems in small vases with rocks and a little water, sometimes with a ribbon tied around the stalks. They are associated with the practice of Feng Shui -- bringing the natural elements into balance. These small stems belong to Dracaena family, often D. sanderana.)
Bamboo is an amazing environmental choice because it looks like wood, it matures in three years, requires minimal fertilization, regenerates itself through it's own net-like root structure, and is naturally pest resistant and anti-bacterial.
As a fabric, bamboo is incredibly luxurious; very soft, very smooth. It absorbs and evaporates perspiration so it doesn't stick to the skin like many synthetic fabrics do. It is breathable in a hot climate and keeps the body comfortably warm in winter.
Ed Mass, of Yes It's Organic is a huge fan of bamboo. His interest in green living and alternative health are well known. Check out his article "Making the progression from organic food to fiber." in the November/December 2008 issue of Natural Life Magazine (right hand side of page, scroll if necessary) here: http://www.naturallifemagazine.com/
Bamboo is grown all over the world though there are a few major areas where there is no native bamboo. These include Europe, North Africa, Canada, Western Asia and large portions of Australia & Antarctica. Many of these areas grow bamboo, just the same.
Growing conditions vary per species but with the exception of water grown plants, good earth is still a requisite to healthy growth. Microrganisms, like earthworms play a vital role in a healthy ecosystem. They live below the soil surface, burrowing through and aerating the soil, increasing organic matter in their wake. This helps prevent compaction of the soil and provides successful aeration. Bamboo soil requires nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, iron and oxygen, among other nutrients.
Bamboo's unparalleled growth has been clocked at growing 2" per hour! It can withstand unbelievable extremes of precipitation and can be harvested in 3 to 5 years. (Most softwoods have a harvest period of 10 - 20 years.)
Bamboo's adaptability to many different environments, it's astounding growth and renewability, make it a major player in protecting our planet.
Busy Little Guy - Hard At Work
Just look at that rich soil! Can't say where this particular piece of land is located but this adult earthworm has apparently come up for food. Wherever it is, this dirt sure looks healthy!
The culture of earthworms is called "vermaculture." For more information on their critical contribution to healthy soils, check out vermaculture under the products section of this site:
It looks to me like these folks have a lot of fun playing in the dirt!
Eco-friendly Bamboo Clothing at Yes It's Organic
Bamboo clothing is anti-bacterial, anti-static, anti-fungal, hypoallergenic and much more
Add to this list: beautiful, vibrant colors, feels absolutely scrumptious against the skin, is easy to launder, and is 100% biodegradable.
Bamboo textiles have been used to make scarves, corsets, purses, hats and shoes. Developments in recent years led to bamboo being processed into yarn.
What makes bamboo an eco-friendly textile? It grows rapidly without the need for any chemical additives like pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers.
Bamboo's complex root system holds soil together, preventing soil erosion.
Bamboo forests provide 35% more oxygen than a comparable grove of trees and plants absorb almost five times the carbon dioxide.
Progress is being made to address the concerns of processing bamboo into clothing, towels, bedding and more. It isn't enough that bamboo is an environmentally advantageous choice. It's imperative that the manufacturing process be Fair Labor, as well.
Yes It's Organic's Bamboo Products
The Beginning of a Line of Bamboo Products
Yes Its Organic.com is an online store offering a wide range of eco-friendly clothing for men, women, and children as well as home furnishings. The product line is expanding but they are dedicated to providing Organic, Fair Trade and Eco-friendly goods. They are committed to our planet.
Bamboo is an eco-friendly textile because bamboo grows fast, can be grown organically and is naturally pest resistent. This eliminates the need for pesticides and other damaging chemicals. Bamboo doesn't need to be replanted because it is harvested by cutting close to the ground, leaving the stalks to grow new plants.
Bamboo is usually not certified organic due to the expense in doing so. Hopefully, demand by an eco-conscious population demanding certification will change this.
Bamboo bath towels are soft, luxurious and provide the sensuous feel of cashmere- yet absorb moisture far better than cotton.
Bamboo - a Super Absorbant Textile YouTube - OK, the video isn't a work of art BUT it does a great job of getting the point across
Someone else has taken this video & put classical music to it BUT I decided to give credit to the one that has been viewed more than twice (as of this writing!)
Bamboo textile is on the left.
Bamboo has excellent absorbancy, as demonstrated here.
Our Planet Needs Us - Support WWF, NWF, NRDC and other important environmental causes
It's up to us to protect our spectacular planet. We have to respect our natural resources, do what we can to minimize our individual carbon footprints, and embrace all of the eco-friendly products and services we possibly can. Do it for the children, our children's children and for the wildlife who need our protection.
In 2004, I walked a 1/2 marathon (yes, I'd like to say I ran it but, NOT..) for the American Stroke Association's Train to End Stroke program. I spent some time looking for a quotation to use on the Thank You cards I made to send to the people and organizations who supported me. I found this one, by Nelson Henderson that I think is fitting here:
"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."
I hope you like it, too.
Giant Pandas & Bamboo
I Told You I'd Get To This!
The Giant Panda has been around for 2 to 3 million years. Panda's were once widespread in southern and eastern China, North Vietnam and nearby regions. Sadly, they are now an endangered species found only in the forests of southwestern China. The 6 regions in which they currently live is only about 5500 square miles.
Giant Panda's actually belong to the bear family; the carnivora order. However, they have evolved into vegetarians and have a rather complex digestive system. They have well developed muscles and appropriately flat, broad molars adapted for chewing bamboo. The linings of their esophagus and stomach have developed accordingly to protect them from the sharp vegetation they consume.
Talk about consuming! In order to receive the amount of nutrients needed, an adult panda's daily diet of bamboo stems & leaves is up to 40 pounds. This amount doubles if the panda is eating fresh bamboo shoots.
The Giant Panda lives in a cold, damp, coniferous forest at an elevation of 4000 to 12,000 feet. An adult weighs from 160 to 350 pounds, with males being slightly larger. A panda's sense of smell is keen but their vision is poor.
Long thought to be a solitary animal, recent research suggests they are actually social animals, traveling in groups of 2 to 28.
Below are a couple of bookmarks to interesting articles from World Wildlife Fund, whose Giant Panda logo is well known. Enjoy!
Panda Evaluating the Earth
Challenges Face Everyone on the Planet
In addition to human population growth, agricultural needs, development of roads, the dangers of poaching, etc., the Giant panda faces a natural occuring dilemma in their very own food source, known as bamboo's flowering cycle. From ten to one hundred years (contigent on the species) bamboo plants flower over a broad area and die. The panda then has to move on to an area where flowering hasn't taken place. Bamboo seeds do regenerate but it can take up to two decades to be able to maintain a panda population.
Super-baby-skin deserves the very coziest materials
Vital Information from Yes Its Organic
An Important CNN Report: Children's Health Being Jeopardized by Conventional Clothing
A CNN report from October 22, 2007, "Tests Reveal High Chemical Levels In Kids' Bodies" was an alarming eye-opener for many of us. Whether you're a parent, an uncle, or a grandmother -- we all know and care about the welfare of the children in our lives. As our collective consciousness has been raised about organic food, safe drinking and bathing water, etc., most of us never considered that chemicals could leach from the clothing we (and our children) wear. Click the link below:
Glorious, Renewable Resource - Beautiful Bamboo
Bamboo, the BAND - Bamboo Music
Bamboo is everywhere.
It's been used for utensils in food preparation for many years. In fact, bamboo has a number of culinary uses such as pickled bamboo- a condiment made from the pith of a young shoot. Indonesians make a dish called gulai rebung out of thinly sliced bamboo shoots boiled with a thick coconut milk (santan) and spices. Please note that shoots of some species contain toxins so, don't try this at home until you've done your research!
Bamboo is used for musical instruments, medicines, furniture and toys. In some climates, bamboo is used in the construction of homes, bridges, canoes, etc.
The list is endless or, as I've learned, at least 5000 items long.
As I was doing research for this lens, I came upon this band. Here's an excerpt from their home page:
"No band since the Beatles has generated as much recent interest as Bamboo. The winner of 2004 MTV Philippines Best New Artist, Best Group and Favorite Song for "Noypi," Bamboo is named after the frontman of the band, Bamboo Manalac from the Philippines. The guitarist Ira Cruz goes on to say the name of the band has a deeper meaning, because the word "bamboo" also relates to strength and durability with an island feel to it." These are not "affiliate links."
Here's a couple of Bamboo's CD's:
2007 Release by the band Bamboo
2004 CD by Bamboo with a 2nd Video disc
Another Fan of Bamboo
Just Taking a Rest
This little frog is nearly camouflaged! Just another species living on and around bamboo.
Organic is the Way to Go! - For exceptional health & well-being
As we become more aware of how our diet and our apparel directly affects our overall well-being, we will choose the wiser, organic route. Spend a little more today for a lifetime of savings in medical costs down the road.
When you first sample organic vegetables or eat free range chicken or enjoy beef that was not fed hormones & other chemicals, you'll be impressed.
The difference in taste is unmistakable.
When you wear organic clothing or step out of the shower into the sheer luxurious softness of bamboo towels, the difference in how these textiles make you feel is memorable.
What is your experience buying or wearing organic clothing? Personally, I'm a HUGE fan of organic cotton but I'd love to hear from you!