The concept of sustainability is not new to us. It effects every aspect of our lives as more and more individuals, communities, and businesses understand its importance to the environment. There is a growing trend toward the use of bamboo and rattan in a variety of industries. While it’s in the nascent stages as a resource here in the US, China is the world leader in bamboo use. The bamboo industry in China employs over 10 million people and is valued at over $30 billion. Once considered the “poor man’s lumber,” it is now being hailed as a valuable and viable alternative to traditional materials that are less eco-friendly.
At the recent Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress in Bejing, government and industry leaders, entrepreneurs and scientists from all over the world gathered, not only to learn about the possibilities and benefits of these natural materials, but to build alliances and begin business projects. Part of their plans include cultivating large areas of bamboo in places like Africa and South America. These new forests will replenish the supply of bamboo and keep it close to the area where it’s needed. Both bamboo and rattan are native in all parts of the world except Antarctica and Europe.
Bamboo is used to make clothing, rugs, furniture, flooring, and blades for wind turbines. In the construction industry, it is being used for flooring, exterior siding, cabinetry, and even house pipes. It’s incredible, but bamboo is stronger than steel or concrete. It is more resistant to being pulled apart than steel, and can stand higher levels of compression than concrete. Among its other beneficial properties, bamboo, which is actually a type of grass, grows faster than many other grasses, up to a meter a day. In addition, it produces 35% more oxygen than trees and is a food source for many types of wildlife.
Bamboo isn’t the answer to all the world’s problems but it is an underutilized source of materials which benefit the environment and improve the quality of life. Midatlantic Sales Group is proud to be the Maryland, DC, and Virginia area representative for companies all over the world engaged in the use of sustainable materials including Hunter Douglas by CertainTeed and ACGI. Contact us online or call 410-224-5665.