Using bamboo for bikes, playgrounds, housing material and other products is not just a novel idea but one that makes a statement for the environment.  Bamboo is a beautiful construction material, it makes products and homes look great.   What was good news to me was that aside from its aesthetic value, bamboo is a sturdy and long-lasting material that won’t just disintegrate in time.  According to Bambike founder and president, Bryan Benitez McClelland, bamboo can compete with the strength of steel and other hardwoods.

So what makes bamboo so great?: Well according to Wikipedia and Calibamboo:

  1. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth. Unlike trees, individual bamboo stems emerge from the ground at their full diameter and grow to their full height in three to four months. It can be continually re-harvested every 3 years without damage to the plant system and surrounding environment.

Trees used for conventional wood takes about 30-50 years to regenerate to their full mass, with less oxygen produced, less carbon monoxide consumed, and more soil displacement when harvested —all contributing to  harmful environment effects.

  1. Bamboo is good housing material, In structural engineering tests, bamboo has shown to have higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel and higher compressive strength than many mixtures of concrete. The high silica content in bamboo fibers means the material cannot be ingested by termites, clearly the bamboo is naturally designed for strength.

 In the Philippines, the nipa hut is a  typical example of the most basic sort of housing where bamboo is used; the walls are split and woven bamboo, and bamboo slats and poles may be used as its support. In Japanese architecture, bamboo is used primarily as a supplemental and/or decorative element in buildings such as fencing, fountains, grates and gutters, largely due to the ready abundance of quality timber.

  1. Bamboo’s thick root system helps soil integrity and prevents landslide and soil erosion.
  1. Being a flexible material, bamboo can withstand earthquakes making your home a safe haven from this natural calamity.

Biking is a zero-pollution and health-friendly activity and using bamboo for its construction further highlights its environment-friendliness. ” Bamboo is one of the greenest building materials on earth, so bicycles built out of bamboo are, more or less, the greenest way to get around, “ says McClelland who realized his pro-environment vision when he was 6 years in a summer camp.  His mother further encouraged him to be active in supporting Gawad Kalinga when he arrived from the US 5 years ealier.

BAMBIKE (Bamb EcoLogical Technology Inc.) is a socio-ecological enterprise that hand-makes bamboo bicycles with fair-trade labor and sustainable building practices. Bambike builders come from Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine based community development organization for the poor, working to bring an end to poverty. The company is currently developing a bamboo nursery for reforestation and plans for a reef rehabilitation project. Bambike is a company that aims to help out people and the planet, dedicated to social and environmental stewardship. Their  goal is to do better business and to make the greenest bikes on the planet.  For more information, check out their website at http://www.bambike.com.

 

Advertisements