x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Bamboo: strong, sleek and renewable

Many homes these days are graced with three lucky green bamboo stalks, which are said to bring happiness, wealth and prosperity as well as combat negative energy for their occupants.

Many homes these days are graced with three lucky green bamboo stalks, which are said to bring happiness, wealth and prosperity as well as combat negative energy for their occupants. But bamboo is increasingly being used to create an assortment of other products such as flooring, bowls, kitchen utensils, placemats, bedding and towels.

The proliferation continues with eclectic items like this nifty-looking wind-up radio and a solar-powered pocket light, each made with bamboo and eco-friendly plastic and available from the Museum of Modern Art in New York's online store (www.momastore.org). Bamboo has become a buzzword in eco-friendly home decor because beside looking sleek and fantastic, it is one of the most sustainable and renewable materials around.

Tough as wood, the strong grass is self-replenishing and can be harvested every three to four years. Its stalks provide natural protection against insects, so crops thrive without the use of pesticides.

Bamboo also has a unique and helpful root system that can prevent soil erosion, and shoots that can absorb toxins and pollutants. But as with any material, there can be issues. The bamboo that makes it into home stores is not always processed or finished in eco-friendly ways. Check to make sure that any flooring is low in volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde to avoid inadvertently polluting your home with a product sold as "green". And know that fabrics made using bamboo - particularly the softer versions - have required a certain amount of chemical processing to get them that way, much the same as cotton does.