Bamboo as an Alternative Fuel Source Developed By Hitachi

bamboo forestHitachi Limited, just the other day announced the development of a new technology that will use bamboo for fuel in biomass power generation and boilers instead of wood fuel. The new technology was triggered into action courtesy of the reduced use and demand of bamboo in japan. In japan, bamboo forests have grown exponentially and now have become a serious problem, case in point the Kyushu region.

But unlike with timber where the by-product is carbon dioxide, bamboo produces very high amounts of potassium and chlorine since they saturate the bamboo plant. The byproducts of burning bamboo would damage the combustion equipment as well as environment when it is burnt.

Hitachi, the leading machinery, and electronics maker, however, with the new technology they have developed have found a way around that – a way to turn bamboo into a harmless fuel like many other biomass fuels. Hitachi will reduce the potassium and chlorine densities by crushing bamboo into tiny particles measuring less than 6 millimeters wide and inserting them in water.

The water in which the bamboo is immersed can then be used as a fertilizer for the plants in the event it is condensed Hitachi says.

In addition to bamboo being in low demand in japan, the other reason the company sort to look for alternative energy sources in bamboo plants is the long life issue of deforestation. Generally, one needs to have about 10 tons of wood to produce just 1 ton of wood charcoal. Clearly, trees are not an efficient source of fuel. The world over, trees are cut every day to provide fuel to run industries and homes as well.

Adding to this, trees take ages to grow. When trees take about 60 years to come to maturity, bamboo plants only need 3 years to mature and be used as a source of fuel. This makes bamboo trees an ideal source of fuel.

The entire bamboo plant, from the tip to the rhizomes can be used to make charcoal making bamboo efficient and with minimal waste.

The project was developed in a two-year project that was led by the Forestry Agency in partnership with the cities of Kitakyushu and Yame both of which are in the Kyushu region. This new technology can be used to other materials that are untapped as well including weeds, cedar bark, and bamboo grass. In future projects, the company promises to consider getting solutions to such fuels.

 

Green Coffee Capsules Created to Rival George Clooney’s Aluminum Capsules

Halo coffee capsules

For all coffee lovers who are coincidentally, activists (even though not proactive ones) of a green world, will love the green coffee capsules that were launched to possibly replace the aluminum Nespresso types that are recommended by the Hollywood actor, George Clooney.

These new capsules, green capsules are a product of Halo, a startup company that is intent on making an impact in the coffee industry. One of the founders of Halo, Nilo Leonard went on record to state that the company, Halo, believes that many of the big league companies in the coffee industry are not doing enough to help fight the waste piling up daily. He went on to say that if they did not do anything, Halo most definitely will.

It is for this very purpose that the company has created green capsules that are compatible with Nespresso machines that are promoted by George Clooney. These green capsules are made from a perfect blend of fibers including paper and bamboo.

Given the ingredients, the capsules biodegrade fast – in 90 days. The aluminum capsules, however, can take anywhere between 150 to 200 years to biodegrade. While the units take eons to biodegrade, the energy that goes into their production and refinement is profound. The aluminum capsules are made from raw bauxite through a process that produces lots of toxic wastes.

And while the aluminum capsules have been designed to be recycled, many use the 3g pods only once and dispose of them. The impact they have on the environment is as such profound and had many individuals including council chiefs in Germany and Hamburg concerned – so much so that they banned the use of aluminum capsules from their offices.

The Halo biodegradable capsules include kop luwak blend, which is the ultra-premium coffee that has been derived from palm civet droppings which feed on the beans.

Three Mountain Special Edition is yet another expresso blend that includes Kilimanjaro, Kenyan, Nepalese Himalayan and Colombian Andean beans perfectly blended together.

According to Halo, 39,000 coffee capsules are produced the world over every 60 seconds and a total of 29,000 are trashed. Doing the math, this is equal to about 20 billion capsules made of either plastic or aluminum produce yearly which is enough to be lined along the circumference of the earth 14 times.

According to Nespresso, the key to having your coffee remain fresh is to ensure that it does not come into contact with oxygen. Having the coffee in an aluminum pod is probably the most effective way of ensuring this.

In the UK, 22% of households have a coffee pod machine. In 2016, upwards of 112 million pounds worth of these coffee pods were sold in the UK which was an increase by 1/3 from the year 2014.

With these projections, by 2020 the sales are believed to skyrocket and be higher than that of tea bags. When the sales increase, the pollution solution will worsen. But Nespresso maintains that they are actually a green option since they are creating products that can be recycled.

You also should note that going green is not cheap. While Nespresso capsules go for either 30p or 40 p each, the green pods from Halo fetch a cool 1 pound.

 

 

What you need to know about Bamboo Bicycles

bamboo-bikeBamboo bikes make an interesting topic, especially now that we know that bamboo is a grass and not a wood. So, you must be thinking “What! Bikes can be made of grass, wow!” well since there are bikes made from bamboo, we can agree that bikes can be made from grass. Bamboo bikes are unique and fun to ride on but they are certainly not made for everyone. In this article, we are going to look deeper at bamboo bikes and help you figure out if a bamboo bike could be a great option for you.

 

So, let me introduce you to bamboo bikes

Why build a bamboo bicycle

A bamboo bicycle is a gift to the environment. Bamboo is a great material, eco-friendly and an incredible material for building bicycles. Bamboo bicycles are also handcrafted and customized to every individual rider’s needs. Bamboo has been used to make a number of popular items in the market and someday, bamboo bicycles will be quite popular as they are an exemplary invention.

What you need to know about Bamboo

  1. Bamboo is a natural and renewable resource.
  2. Due to a distinctive rhizome-dependent system, bamboos are one of the fastest-growing plants in the world and their growth is three times faster than most other species of plants. When you cut a bamboo grass, you are actually aiding to grow wider.
  3. Bamboo as a fiber is very strong and flexible hence, appropriate for all types of buildings and various structures like bicycles.
  4. Bamboo is a light yet strong building material.
  5. The composition of the fibers that make up bamboo make it easy to cut and handle hence, bamboo can be easily modified.

Bamboo Bike Facts

  1. Bamboo bikes are recyclable, organic, sustainable and non-polluting
  2. Bamboo bikes help reduce carbon emission up to 70 percent as well as help the environment avoid the nearly 5kg emission of carbon dioxide (C02) emissions most bicycles with steel frames produce.
  3. Bamboo bicycles have light frames that deepen vibrations much better than carbon frames.

Advantages of Bamboo Bicycles frames

  • Made from renewable and an easily sustainable material
  • They can be lightweight hence easy to ride and go fast with on the road.
  • Bamboo bicycles are an easy Do It Yourself (DIY) project – any skilled craftsman person can customize the diameter of the bamboo tubes to fit the needs of a bike.
  • Bamboo is easier to work in comparison to steel or aluminum
  • Bamboo bikes look good and very stylish plus they are one of a kind
  • Bamboo bikes are great for absorbing road vibrations way better than any other materials
  • Bamboo bicycles have more energy than carbon or steel bikes

What’s stopping the Bamboo Bicycles from Shooting into the Mainstream?

While bamboo bicycles are sustainable, practical and clearly have an array of benefits to them; they may take a long while before they can become the next big thing. The first Bamboo bicycles made its debut in the market in 2007 and were founded by David Ho and John Mutter. Though this has been nearly 10 years ago, bamboo bicycles haven’t yet made a big hit into the world, why?

Bamboo is a very strong material hence ideal for construction. However, it is also very springy this makes bamboo bicycles not very rigid, they may warp and bend when your ride them over time hence, these bikes have a much shorter lifespan that carbon or steel. Other than that, bamboo bikes are fairly expensive this is due to the fact it takes longer to build a bamboo bike than a normal bike (about 35-40 hours).

All in all, bamboo bicycles are a thrilling experience, sure enough, they may not be for everyone but they could be a perfect option for some people. The only way to know for sure is to try riding a bamboo bike and find out for yourself.

Bamboo pillow instructions: How to Fluff and Care for Your Bamboo Pillow

If you are reading this, you have probably entered the world of comfort and blissful sleep. So, first of all, Congratulations on saying goodbye to back pain, neck pain and choosing to better your well-being and sleep better. If you just had your bamboo pillow shipped, you will notice that your pillow arrives compressed and tightly rolled, this idea is meant to make shipping faster for you so you can start the journey of enjoying your bamboo pillow as soon as you order it.

However, you are not going to lie on it while it’s flat right, this ultra-soft, and lavish pillow needs some care and attention. So, in this article, we are going to look at how to activate (fluff) your pillow and how well to take good care of it so that it can serve you well for many years to come.

With that said, let’s get on how to fluff your bamboo pillow.

How to Fluff a Bamboo Pillow and What You Need to Know

fluff pillows

Whether you have purchased your new pillow or you have just washed and dried your pillow or probably you are looking to refresh your current one, here are some steps you need to follow to fluff up your pillow and get the most out of it.

Step 1

Unwrap the rolled up pillow and remove the plastic

Step 2

Grab the pillow and shake up the shredded memory foam inside, with your hands, break up the clumps you might feel in the pillow. Don’t be alarmed by the slight smell, this is certainly normal for any new pillow the smell will disappear in a few days or so.

Step 3

Now it’s time to fluff up your pillow! Place the bamboo pillow into the dryer on low to medium heat for about 10 to 30 minutes to activate the memory foam. (You can add a dryer sheet around the pillow to help get rid of any chemical smell faster) Once the pillow is out of the dryer, you will feel how soft and fluffy it is designed to be.

Step 4

In case you do not have a dryer, you can manually fluff your pillow by gently squeezing the edges of your pillow and pushing them together. Do this a few more times plus incorporate the actions of fluffing a normal pillow and you will see your bamboo fluff up in no time.

How to Adjust an Adjustable Original Bamboo Pillow

If you have just purchased an adjustable bamboo pillow, here are some of the tricks you need to apply

The Adjustable bamboo pillow is truly one of a kind, this pillow is equipped with an adjustable zipper where you can adjust the amount of shredded memory foam in your pillow. If you find your pillow is too fluffy, you can pour some foam out by unzipping the zipper on the edge of the pillow and adjust it to the size you want. However, do not throw the foam away, keep it in a storage bag in case you may need to add it back later to make your pillow fluffier.

Once you have understood how to fluff a bamboo pillow, you can be sure to practice it every six months in order to ensure your bamboo pillows last for many years to come. Whether you choose to buy a memory foam bamboo pillow or an adjustable bamboo pillow, you can rest assured that your bamboo pillow will help you with your alignment and posture not to mention help you with your exhaustion and relieve any sleep related pain plus it is guaranteed to help you with your overall quality of sleep.

8 Ways to sleep better in your bedroom

Sound sleep leads to increased energy and productivity, enhanced heart and immune system health, a better sense of well-being and more so a longer life. And hey, you just feel so much better after a satisfying 8 hours of rest right? But chances are, you’re not getting the much desired good sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, nightmares or restless nights and you would like to change that, start by thinking about all the factors that may interfere with your good sleep.

Good sleep is more in our control than you may actually think, in most cases the reasons that may be hindering your good sleep could be nothing serious but a few bad habits that you can work on yourself and get back the good sleep in your life. In most cases, whether you actually get to sleep and stay asleep is substantial to your surroundings.

Although you might not entirely be able to control all the factors that may hinder a good night’s sleep. By taking care of your surroundings and practicing healthy sleep behaviors, you will be able to take control of your sleep and have ample sleep every night. You can adopt the following easy habits that encourage a better sleep. Start with this simple step to make the sleep of your dreams a nightly reality.

  1. Check your Bedding

Did you know that we spend a third of our lives in a day? Therefore it is paramount we make our bedding com Make sure your bedroom is equipped with the right bedding materials to ensure you have a safe and comfortable bed as possible. The first step to better sleep is a comfortable mattress, pillow, and soft sheets. Luxurious bedding is not only good for our psychological well-being but also, for our physical good. If you are wondering which kind of bedding you should consider buying, you should go for a quality and yet affordable bedding. Bamboo bedding is one of the most popular bedding that takes up a high tier not only in comfortability but in softness and quality and also in being the best for you.

  1. Bamboo Sheets

If you are looking for high-quality sheets that are very comfortable and feel great on your skin, bamboo sheets are the answer. These sheets have a natural thermoregulation feature with exceptionally incredible wicking properties which means that you will be kept warm in winter and cool in summer. These sheets are made from quality bamboo fiber, therefore, last long and can withstand regular washing, they are also hypoallergenic, chemical free and antibacterial thus, ideal for anyone with a history of allergies. You can rest assured of utmost comfort and a peaceful night use if you use this sheets. Learn more about choosing the best bamboo sheets in our bamboo sheets guide.

  1. Bamboo Mattress

In order to get the utmost sleep, you need more than a good mattress to lie on. You need a Bamboo mattress. A bamboo mattress is exceptional because it will help naturally regulate the temperature of your body, this mattress also has the ability to firmly support your back helping you wake up feeling refreshed and not tired plus it is also free of chemicals hence, ideal for people with allergies. Keep in mind that if doctors recommend that you use your mattress for not more than 10 years so that you don’t experience back pains as a result of a poor mattress.

  1. Bamboo Pillow

Are you tossing too much at night and having trouble sleeping at night? You may be suffering as a result of a bad pillow. A bad pillow can cause neck pains and also make you restless at night. A good pillow, on the other hand, can offer excellent back and neck support as well as alleviating any neck pains. A good bamboo pillow can offer you this and much more. Learn more about choosing the best bamboo pillows in our bamboo pillow guide.

  1. Turn down the Temperature

Have you ever felt like you are too cold or too hot and are finding it hard to fall asleep? Having a ceiling fan or an air conditioner in your bedroom can prove to be quite invaluable. This is helpful because, in order for you to have a euphoric sleep or at least a peaceful sleep, you need to have your body temperature lowered. Other than temperature, humidity may also be a reason as to why you find it hard to fall asleep. Having a dehumidifier in your room can help regulate the humidity in your room and as a result, good sleep is guaranteed.

  1. Stop Screening

With the advent of technological world we live in today, there is a myriad of electronic devices that can serve as a distraction but also pose a hazard for good sleep. First of all, avoid using any electronic gadgets while in bed, moreover try to avoid having devices in your room because let’s face it, they can be quite tempting.  Also, if you feel that you need to read as a way of easing you into sleep, opt for a ‘real book’ as opposed to an e-book reader or a tablet. For the times you need to work late because it can happen, dim the lights on your computer screen to minimize the blue light or even better, use a program such as such as f.lux to decrease the light from your screen. If you want a more permanent solution, though, invest in a pair of amber-tinted glasses that will prove more invaluable.

  1. Adjust your Lights

Most times it can be ambitious to fall right into sleep immediately you turn off the lights. If you have trouble falling asleep, you should consider investing in some low wattage bulbs that can help you ease into a sleeping mode as you can unwind from the activities of the day and prepare for sleep. Other than that, use blackout shades or heavy curtains to keep the outside light at bay such as the moonlight, streetlights and passing cars not to mention they reduce noise especially if you live in an urban area. Note to self too that you should avoid the light given off by electronic devices or by screens because they count as light too.

  1. Calming Colors

A dark, quiet and cool environment can help you achieve a good slumber. To achieve such an ambiance in your bedroom, opt for space creating natural hues colors such as white, beige or cream or more calming colors such as blue and/or green. According to medical studies, people who sleep in blue or green rooms, sleep an average of 7hours and 52 minutes a day. Adding colors in your room that resemble the colors depicted in nature such as blue or green are proven not only to help you sleep better but also perform better during the day.

Practicing the above habits can help you achieve a blissful sleep and help you feeling refreshed, happy and feeling energetic. Other than that, it can help you be more productive and generally improve your overall well-being. By making better decisions and improving your surroundings, you can expect a euphoric sleep every night.

The making of bamboo fabric from bamboo fiber

What do most conventional fashion designers have in common? Bamboo. Yes, most designers are choosing to make their garments from bamboo. From a designer’s viewpoint, bamboo is an excellent fabric. Thanks to its plush softness, gentle drape, and smooth hand flowing, yet affordable – somewhat compared with cashmere and silk as well as an eco-friendly cachet, bamboo has taken the world by a storm and its popularity into the fashion industry is growing immensely.

Bamboo is botanically categorized as a grass and not a tree and is probably the world’s most sustainable resource. Bamboo textile fiber is made from bamboo timber which is harvested from the Bamboo grass which reaches maturity quickly and is ready for harvesting in a mere 4 years’ time. Bamboo is every easy to recycle in fact, once harvested, it does not require re-planting since its mammoth root system that continually sprouts new shoots, and keeps growing to their full height of 20 meters in an amusing 3 months only; however, the height depends on the variety of the bamboo plant.

When mature, the bamboo timber is exceptionally strong and resilient, as a matter of fact, its strength and tensile is much similar to that of steel.

Bamboo Fiber

Bamboo fiber is basically a cellulose fiber extracted and made into the fabric from natural bamboo and perhaps other additives and is usually made from the pulp of bamboo plants. Bamboo fiber is usually a very high-quality product – strong and resilient.

How is Bamboo Manufactured into Bamboo fabric?

Am glad you asked, there are two main ways to process bamboo fabric from the bamboo fiber: Chemically and mechanically. Below, we look at both of these processes.

Mechanical Manufacture

When the bamboo is harvested, it is taken to mills where the woody parts of the plant are crushed mechanically and then a natural enzyme is used to break the bamboo walls into a mushy mass which allows for the fibers to be mechanically combined out and spun into yarn. This yarn usually has a silky touch. This mechanical manufacturing process is the same eco-friendly manufacturing process used to outturn linen fabrics from hemp or flax.

The natural processing of the bamboo plant allows the fiber to remain strong and resilient not to mention an incredibly high-quality product. The bamboo fabric made from this mechanical process is sometimes referred to as bamboo linen. Unfortunately, a very scant amount of bamboo linen is used to make clothing since the process is more labor intensive and costly. The preferred method for commercial production is the chemical manufacture which we will be looking at next.

Chemical Manufacture

Chemically manufactured bamboo is silky and has a smooth hand feel similar to modal or rayon. Rayon is basically a regenerated cellulose fiber which means that a natural raw material in this case bamboo is converted through a chemical process into a fiber that lies between synthetics and natural.

Chemically, bamboo fabric is manufactured from bamboo fiber through the viscose process.

The Viscose Process/ Hydrolysis Alkalization

When bamboo is harvested, it is first crushed and then submerged into a strong solvent (solution of sodium hydroxide) which dissolves the bamboo cellulose to make a thick, viscous solution of the cellulose. With the addition of carbon disulfide, this viscous solution is then forced through a spinneret into a quenching solution where strands solidify into the fiber. These fibers are then drawn off washed and bleached to a bright white color and then dried. This fiber is then spun into yarn ready to be made into fabric. Bamboo fiber is endowed with higher tensile strength than any other textile fiber yet it is soft and tough – which makes it less susceptible to wearing and fraying in comparison to other yarns. This trait is what makes the bamboo fiber so exemplary durability.

The hollowness of the bamboo fiber contributes to its very high level of absorbency which allows it to hold dyes and pigments more readily and permanently, thus making it much more colorfast. On the other hand, this high level of absorbency makes bamboo fabrics take longer to dry on a clothesline. Additionally, Bamboo fiber usually has a very soft and silky feel, and some people often describe the feeling as cashmere. The softness usually comes from the bamboo fiber itself because it is naturally smooth, round and soft without any chemical treatment.

There are many bamboo textiles coming into the market because of a new commercial processing technology developed and patented in 2003 by a group of chemists with the Hebei Jigao Chemical Fiber Co. in Shijiazhuang, China. Most of the bamboo garments in the market today are made from the Hebei Jigao factory using certified, organic bamboo fiber.

Why are bamboo pillows good for you?

Not all persons who cannot find sleep at night suffer from amnesia. There is a large percentage of people who just do not have the right environment and equipment to facilitate a good night sleep. Lack of enough sleep, whether it is a condition or just lack of the right equipment, can have you feeling fatigued, exhausted and cranky. With all these feelings, it can be difficult to complete your daily tasks. And in the event you manage to complete them, you will notice your efficiency was greatly reduced.

Getting back to the lack of equipment to facilitate sleep, if you have been keen enough, you might have noticed there is too much heat in your room at night, or your mattress feels to push back at you or you just cannot find comfort in your pillow. Simple actions like regulating the temperature, getting a softer mattress and a pillow of high quality will change things up for you.

Speaking of pillows, more and more persons are considering getting pillows made with foam and bamboo. With the increased demand of such pillows, the supply has grown exponentially. In such a short time, these pillows have generated a lot of talk leaving little time for many to understand them fully.

What is a Bamboo sleeping pillow?

A bamboo pillow is a pillow that has been constructed with a bamboo based viscose cover and filled with shredded memory foams for greater comfort and support. Unlike other pillow fabrics the bamboo viscose cover has greater strength than other pillow fabrics. The shredded memory foam pellets conform to your body shape while you sleep providing you with a great sleeping experience. Nights will be far shorter with bamboo sleeping pillows supporting your body.

Benefits of bamboo sleeping pillows

Hypoallergenic

Pillows that have been designed from natural bamboo have hypoallergenic properties. This is more than useful for persons who suffer from different allergies. Dust mites are repelled by the bamboo thus keeping your allergies from acting out.

Breathable

Bamboo as a plant is porous. When used on pillows, it gives pillows delicate, light and breathable properties. This makes the pillows ideal for those hot nights. But what has breathability got to do with the hot nights? Well, with a high level of breathability comes an improved level of air circulation and eventually advanced temperature regulation. Heat does not build up.

Antimicrobial properties

Aside from being hypo allergenic, bamboo sleeping pillows feature antimicrobial properties. This property helps to get rid of bacteria and fungus as well as other microorganisms that might be a hindrance to a comfortable and sound sleep.

Conformity

Bamboo sleeping pillows feature memory foam stuffing. These stuffing are usually threaded to increase the pillow’s conformity to one’s body. With increased conformity, you head and neck will be supported in perfect alignment with your spine leading to a good night sleep free of pain and discomfort.

High absorbency

Bamboo fabric is highly absorbent. It has the ability to wick up moisture and neutralize all unpleasant odors. With this feature, your pillow will smell fresh and clean for longer. In addition to this, bamboo pillow fabrics are machine washable which adds to their clean and fresh state.

Conclusion

If you are having a hard time falling
asleep, it is high time you invest in a bamboo sleeping pillow. This natural and eco-friendly solution will teleport you to dreamland in a matter of minutes.

The benefits of using Bamboo

bedroom From bathrobes to bedsheets, camisoles to towels, dresses to tees and tops, bamboo fabric–reputedly as luxurious as silk, cashmere and Egyptian cotton–is going mainstream. A surprisingly soft fabric-alternative, bamboo, plant of a thousand uses, is changing the way fabric and apparel companies think green.

Bamboo, which resembles wood but actually is a fast-growing supergrass, has been embraced by conventional designers like Diane vonFurstenberg and Oscar de la Renta, along with eco-couturists Amanda Shi, Linda Loudermilk, Katherine Hamnett, Miho Aoki and Thuy Pham. Los Angeles-based designer Kate O’Connor–who typically uses alpaca and other supple yarns for her designs that languidly drape a woman’s curves–discovered bamboo as an inexpensive, environmentally-friendly alternative to silk, an ideal summer fabric.

Linda Loudermilk, another savvy eco-fashion designer, frequently incorporates bamboo into her eco-fashions. Amanda Shi of Avita has some of the most exciting and originally beautiful eco-fashion in bamboo.

Attributes of Bamboo Plants

One of the world’s most sustainable resources, bamboo, which can grow three feet or more a day, has a unique repertoire of natural properties:

  • Bamboo is highly absorbent (hygroscopic), able to take up three times its weight in water.
  • Entirely biodegradable, most bamboo is grown organically and uses fewer resources than cotton, one of the most intensely sprayed crops. That translates into a sustainable fabric source that uses less water, fertilizer, pesticides and labor.
  • It reaches maturity quickly and is ready for harvesting in about four years.
  • Bamboo does not require replanting after harvesting. Its vast root network continually sprouts new shoots naturally, without the need for fuel-guzzling tractors to plant and cultivate.
  • Bamboo plants are seldom eaten by pests or infected by pathogens, because of a natural anti-bacterial agent called “bamboo kun” bound to the plant’s cells. Whether bamboo fabrics retain this antimicrobial property is a matter of dispute.
  • Easily intercropped with vegetables, bamboo restores degraded lands, stabilizes soil and protects against erosion.
  • Bamboo plantations are photosynthesis “factories” that reduce greenhouse gases. Bamboo plants produce 35% more oxygen and absorb about 5 times the amount of carbon dioxide than an equivalent stand of trees.

Properties of Bamboo Fabrics

Bamboo fabrics are made from Bamboo fiber by passing it through various mechanical and chemical processes. Bamboo textiles retain many of the parent plant’s unique properties:

  • Bamboo fiber clothing is often worn next to the skin due to its coolness and excellent wicking ability (3 to 4 times that of cotton) that channels moisture away so that it can evaporate. Bamboo textiles have microgaps and holes that breathe easily and seldom stick to the skin in hot weather. Textiles made from bamboo are naturally thermo-regulating, meaning they also help retain body warmth in winter.
  • Fabrics are soft, antistatic, smooth, soothing and comfortable, and are especially suited to allergy-prone skin. The fiber is naturally round with no sharp spurs to irritate the skin. Many people who experience eczema and allergic reactions to other natural fibers such as wool or hemp do not complain of this issue with hypoallergenic bamboo.
  • Bamboo textiles are more absorbent and produce less lint than cotton, resist wrinkling and need little ironing.
  • Bamboo fabrics are durable, strong and abrasion-resistant.
  • Fabrics are color fast, machine launder well on gentle cycle with minimal shrinking, and don’t pill.

Best of all, bamboo fabrics are far less expensive than the best silks, cashmeres and fine cottons. Diapers made from bamboo are advertised as more absorbent than cotton, without adding bulk, and their soft, smooth texture particularly well-suited to babies’ tender skin.

The Federal Trade Commission warns against accepting all claims of bamboo’s benefits at face value. For example, bamboo yarn often is technically a rayon, i.e., a manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose. Rayon, once called “artificial silk” and today one of the most widely used fabrics, is made by reacting natural cellulose like wood pulp, cotton (and bamboo) with chemicals such as caustic soda and carbon disulfide.

Go Green With Bamboo Wood Flooring

bamboo flooringBamboo is the most environmentally friendly and fastest growing wood in the world. Bamboo floors are beautiful, durable and heat and water resistant.

The growing demand for homes and commercial construction, furniture, plywood, utensils, flooring, and paper has caused forests of trees to be harvested at a rate that is not sustainable for the planet. Logging contributes over 20 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. Chemical processing of wood results in further pollution of air and water supplies.

Other ecological damage due to deforestation includes erosion, loss of human, animal and plant habitats, endangered wildlife and the loss of infinitely valuable plant and animal species.

Bamboo Plants Regenerate and Improve Soil

An alternative wood resource that is environmentally friendly and can be used in many ways to reduce the over-exploitation of rainforests, is bamboo. There are over 80 species of bamboo and it is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, shooting up 30 cm to 100 cm in a single day.

Bamboo can also be commercially harvested in only three to six years and cutting it down does not kill the plant as chopping down a tree does. Bamboo is able to regenerate itself with rhizomes or shoot; this results in virtually no impact on the environment and takes away the cost, time and energy of replanting a harvested bamboo forest. It can also be grown in soil that is rendered infertile due to excess grazing and agriculture and planting a bamboo grove actually helps to replenish the topsoil.

Bamboo Flooring Is More Durable Than Hardwood Flooring

Bamboo has been used for centuries in many areas of the world by over 3 billion people, mainly for fiber, food and building material. It has great potential as a renewable building material and even as a biofuel source. However, in the West, it is currently most commonly available as bamboo flooring.

Though bamboo is part of the grass family and has a flimsy cane-like appearance, it has amazing strength and durability. It is 25 percent harder than red oak, a common tree used to make wood flooring and more durable than the rock maple tree. Additionally, bamboo floors expand and contract 50 percent less than the traditional hardwood wood floors.

Renovate With Sustainable and Renewable Building Materials

Bamboo flooring is the best ecologically choice for making a home ‘green’ by helping to sustain the ecosystem. It is also a smart choice for quality and appearance. Bamboo flooring is available in a selection of colors, stains, textures, width and lengths and groove patterns just as traditional wood flooring is.

And it is similarly available in easy to install floating floors or the glued or nailed down variety. Most people will not be able to tell the difference between the wood and bamboo flooring. Visit local construction, home renovation and flooring distributors and stores for more information on bamboo flooring for the next green home renovation project. Government programs in some areas may even subsidize green home renovations, check with local municipal offices.

Bamboo Batting, Fiberfill And Pillow Forms

Fairfield has introduced a new line of bamboo-based craft products called Nature-fil. These include pillow forms, fiberfill, and quilt batting. Labeled as eco-friendly, do these live up to their name?

fairfield bamboo batting

The Qualities of Bamboo Fiber

Though bamboo fiber is naturally antibacterial, this should mean little to the average consumer. However, it could be beneficial if a household member has life threatening or chronic health problems.

Unbelievably soft, bamboo fiber compares with the finest silk or cashmere. For those with sensitive skin, this is a good choice. It is gentle and non-irritating, while polyester can feel abrasive.

Bamboo Batting

Nature-fil bamboo quilt batting is 50% bamboo/50% organic cotton. This only comes in two sizes, which is a real limitation if you need something in between. The art quilt/crib quilt is 60″ x 60″, while the generous queen is 100″ x 116″.

This needlepunched batting is very adaptable. The quilting distance can extend to eight inches—much greater than that for wool, cotton or polyester. Nature-fil batting has a thin scrim and excellent loft. It shrinks slightly—two to three per cent.

Since bamboo fiber responds poorly to heat, the batting should be washed in cold water, and tumble dried. This product isn’t suitable for those allergic to dust mites. All bedding needs to be laundered once a week in hot water to control these pests.

Like cotton, bamboo batting breathes well. Especially suited to machine quilting, Nature-fil feels much softer than 100% cotton.

Bamboo batting isn’t cheap by any means. The queen size sells for around $45 at Hancock’s, while the crib size costs $15. For comparison, a queen size cotton batting is $32.

Bamboo Fiberfill

Nature-fil fiberfill is 100% bamboo. This is available in twelve ounce bags. While polyfil can be irritating to the hands, this is certainly not the case with bamboo fiberfill. It’s as soft as angora. Easy to use, it doesn’t form hard clumps like polyester. This costs twice as much as polyfil.

Bamboo Pillow Forms

The bamboo pillow forms are available in two sizes, 18″ and 24″. Filled with 100% bamboo fiber, these have a 100% cotton cover. Spot cleaning is recommended.

How Green are Nature-fil Products?

Fairfield is donating part of the proceeds from the sale of these items to environmental causes. So far as being green, there are pros and cons for Nature-fil products. By and large, they’re certainly greener than polyester.

Bamboo can limit global warming. It removes much more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than trees. This also releases much more oxygen.

Bamboo is considered renewable. The crop can be harvested year after year without replanting. The fiber is biodegradable.

Questions remain as to whether Chinese growers are using sustainable farming practices. Presently, certified organic bamboo is not available. If left to grow naturally, bamboo requires no water, pesticides, or fertilizers. On the other hand, if deforestation occurs to make way for bamboo farms, this fiber is no longer green. Assuming this is grown sustainably, it is an alternative to conventionally grown cotton.

In conclusion, these are excellent craft products. However, it isn’t clear that they’re 100% green.