The “beauty” and benefit of fabulous bamboo!

bmboo III’m excited (and a bit relieved) to see more and more products popping up that use that fabulous, sustainable grass… bamboo! (Yes! It’s actually a grass!)

It no longer takes a trip to a specialty shop or expensive eco-boutique to find much of what you’re looking for.  In fact, even my local grocery store carries a line of bamboo kitchen towels.

And why do I think bamboo is so fabulous? Well, it just so happens bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet and its uses are vast.  It’s naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and hypo-allergenic, can be grown without herbicides and pesticides and is a critical element in the production of oxygen. (See why I have “the love”?!?)

Bamboo products include: fabrics/clothing, furniture, building materials, flooring, housewares/tableware & utensils, medicine, paper, food… on and on!  Now is the time to start reading product labels closer than ever and make a fabulous, sustainable choice.bmboo III

Oh, and one other thing… this fact: “It is believed, if bamboo were planted on a mass basis, it could completely reverse the effects of global warming in just six years and provide a renewable source of food, building materials and erosion prevention.”

You just fell in love too, didn’t you?

Simple buying tip: Choose natural fabrics…(and WHY!)

grn teeSooo many green rules… and (for me, especially!)… only so much “brain space”!  Honestly.  Remembering and retaining all of the rules can be mind boggling.

Sometimes we may even waiver on a choice simply because it seems like it can’t possibly make that much of a difference.

Fabric choice is one of those, but think about this the next time you have a choice of clothing and fabrics:

  • Conventionally grown cotton involves fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, genetically modified seeds and approximately 25%(!) of the insecticides used on ALL crops WORLDWIDE! (yes… you heard it right… 25%!).  This should be especially disturbing when you consider that (because of the vastness of these crops) most of these chemicals are applied aerially (so no… don’t take any deep breaths if you’re in the vicinity either.)
  • Bamboo and hemp fabrics are a great alternative too.  They are sustainable and grow rapidly.
  • Organic wool means that the sheep have been raised by organic standards…. a plus for animal lovers too!
  • Dyes contain harsh chemicals so look for fabrics that have been colored with non-toxic vegetable dyes instead of those chemically tinted.

Maybe your “color chart” says that green “isn’t for you”, but when it comes to fabric choices, green is for everyone!

Gift giving CAN be eco-friendly!

I recently had occasion to purchase a wedding shower gift for our neighbor’s daughter.  Many of us have been there… that occasion where we labor over 12 pages of “wishes” and try to find something that you honestly feel wasn’t a “whim wish” and an item that won’t actually find itself shoved in a corner closet after the bride realizes it wasn’t really something she needed.

bamboo-crt1While we certainly can’t control what the bride selected, we can certainly choose how to spend our money.  And as I poured over the list, one item caught my eye immediately:  Bamboo Kitchen Cart with Wine Rack.  I was thrilled to know that I could actually buy something useful, as well as something “sustainable”!

I need to remind myself that I do have choices every time I purchase a gift.  A few extra minutes with a list or some special attention and you can be pleased that the gift suits you too!  Look for the bamboo cutting board or cutlery.  Look for the organic cotton towels or sheets.  And whoever said you HAVE TO buy off the list?!  Buy something that you’ll be happy to give.  Just be sure that your gift is useful.  Remember this: An used gift amounts to house clutter that will eventually be cast off.

Other ideas to keep your gift greener:

  • Consider a reusable bag instead of wrapping paper.wrap-raf
  • Simply wrap things (like towels) in themselves.
  • Scraps of fabric lying around after crafty endeavors? Wrap the gift in it!
  • A bamboo kitchen towel or two would even do the trick for any gift. For bigger gifts, a table cloth will cover it!
  • Use biodegradable raffia instead of ribbon or reuse ribbons you’ve salvaged.
  • Use a photo or image from a card you received to make a gift tag.
  • Skip the bow and use a pretty flower from your garden instead.  Even twigs, berries or pinecones make great toppers with simple brown craft paper for the wrap.

My big thing has always been that “it’s about choices”.  And even if the bride’s choices leave you rolling your eyes, your gift can keep your eyes sparkling “green”!

Bamboo, bamboo, bamboo….

I have this tremendously long list of words that I absolutely hate saying. Not because they are taboo words or have a bad connotation, but because they sound ridiculous when you SAY them. (Try sounding smart while you say the word “doily”… serious, it should be followed with a “duhhhh”!)

Okay, so this is just one of my little “issues”, but one word that I love to say is bamboo! Isn’t it just a fun word?!?!? But more than that, it is an amazing resource. I’m discovering more and more about this fabulous grass (yes, it’s a woody grass).

There are some incredible facts about bamboo, but I was amazed to learn that it is literally the fastest growing plant on earth – on average, six inches a day, but in some climates… 4 FEET in 24-hours! That is amazing. Plus, it is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and hypo-allergenic, can be grown without herbicides and pesticides and is a critical element in the production of oxygen. It sounds like nature’s most environmental offering to all of us.

Bamboo products include: fabrics/clothing, furniture, building materials, flooring, housewares/tableware & utensils, medicine, paper, food… and the list goes on. And keep in mind these are really, really broad categories. I recently bought some kitchen towels made of bamboo and I think they’re great. They don’t get stinky and smelly, they dry faster than cotton towels and even hold more water. Add to it the anti-bacterial qualities and I think I’m in love!…

And get a load of this fact: “It is believed, if bamboo were planted on a mass basis, it could completely reverse the effects of global warming in just six years and provide a renewable source of food, building materials and erosion prevention.”  Wow.

My point is simply to say “give ‘bamboo’ a chance!” It’s readily renewable, sustainable and has a lot less impact on the environment.  

Bamboo, bamboo, bamboo…. what a smooth and (undeniably) environmental word… rolls off the tongue…. unless it’s turned into a doily (sheesh!).