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Bamboo — The Green Gold

By Fredrica Syren:

We recently replaced plastic in our kitchen with bamboo. So now we have kids’ spoons and baby spoons, cutting boards, slotted spoons and spatulas all made bamboo baby spponsfrom bamboo. Why, you might wonder? Because bamboo is a green alternative to plastic and woody raw materials. With increased knowledge about sustainability, there is more demand for eco-friendly options, so bamboo products are becoming more popular.

Able to grow up to 39 inches (100 cm) or more in a single day, bamboo is one of the world’s fastest growing plants. It reaches full size within 3 to 4 months, and within 3 to 7 years, the stalk hardens enough for use in construction. Growing bamboo does not require a huge amount of land because, with only one, you can grow and harvest up to 60 tons of bamboo. Compare this to trees that take decades to reach their full size and yield only 20 tons per hectare.

giant-bambooBamboo is sustainable because it requires no pesticides, irrigation or fertilizers, so growing organic bamboo is cheap and easy. Furthermore, bamboo also absorbs large quantities of carbon dioxide emissions (more than trees do) and generates up to 35 percent more oxygen, making bamboo important in light of global deforestation.

There is a catch, however. Lots of commercially raised bamboo is grown in Asia, where there are few regulations to preserve their forests, so an increased demand could cause growers to use more land to grow more bamboo. This then may threaten an already endangered habitat and species, such as the panda bear. The panda bear’s main diet is bamboo and their natural habitat is in the mountains of China, the same area where bamboo is being harvested for commercial use, so harvesting too much bamboo would cut down on their food source.

Now, the good news is that there is bamboo being grown in the U.S. So when you buy bamboo, make sure it’s organic and U.S. grown. Keep it sustainable and make sure to support the panda bears.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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