Bamboo is an eco-friendly alternative to many of the materials used in building and furnishing homes. This quick-growing grass reaches its full height within just two to three months and spreads out during the summer and fall, replenishing itself throughout any available growing space. As bamboo groves are harvested, new growth quickly takes over. This means that the hardy plant can be harvested every three to five years.
Global Use of Bamboo
Quick growth isn’t the only reason bamboo is popular with environmentalists and eco-responsible consumers. Other benefits to using this natural resource include:
- Growth without chemical pesticides and fertilizers
- No need for irrigation
- Production of more oxygen than from an equivalent area of trees
- Propagation is possible in many environments
- Production into wood or fabric items has a low environmental impact
Today, parts of the plant are used in building homes, schools, roads, and furniture. It is used to create clothing, bedding, rugs, diapers, and paper. Many homes have bamboo utensils, toothbrushes, and fuel. In some countries, the plant is used in cooking or as medicines. The sustainability and eco-friendly attributes may have prompted the use of the material, but there are even more reasons to make the switch from traditional products.
Bamboo as Bedding
Bedding and clothing offer great examples of the value of this natural alternative. Sleep experts have traditionally recommended cotton sheets for a good night’s rest, but bamboo is giving this traditional favorite some serious competition. For example, Cariloha Bamboo carries lines of bedding, clothing, and bath goods, all made from the renewable plant.
Types of Bamboo Sheets
These products are made from the plant fibers through a few different processes. One of the most common of these is the creation of rayon or viscose fabrics that results in soft, comfortable sheets; however, this process does leave behind some chemical residue. Tencel bamboo is an up-and-coming result from a procedure without chemical residues. Finally, bamboo linens aren’t as soft as the other options, but the process of creating the fabrics doesn’t leave behind any residual chemicals. It’s best to research these manufacturing processes to determine personal preferences.
Compared to Cotton
Why are bamboo sheets and clothing so popular? In general, these fabrics are softer than cotton, tend to be more durable, and are easier to care for. One of the most popular reasons consumers switch away from cotton is the breathability of the alternative. Bedding products made from these fibers are more likely to help consumers enjoy a temperature-regulated night. Consumers who tend to “sleep hot” appreciate the cooling quality of these sheets even as their partners stay warm and cozy. Bamboo sheets are naturally antibacterial, absorbent and moisture-wicking, and hypoallergenic.
A Sustainable Favorite
Bamboo also provides distinct advantages when used as a construction material, an alternative medicine, and as a clothing material. Consumers may add the tall grass to their landscaping for the visual beauty of the plant, but all over the world, it is being planted and replanted for its sustainable, versatile properties. As the benefits of bamboo become widely known and accepted, there’s sure to be more products conveniently available. Which products do you already own?