Bamboo Boom: Is This Material for You?


Scientific American’s Michelle Nijhuis writes about how the the perceived green benefits of designing with this “supergrass” might not out-weigh the sizable carbon footprint of a material grown halfway around the world.

It’s not just for tiki torches anymore, but does this wood substitute really make for greener floors, clothing and other products?

[Read Michelle’s full article]

Contrast her article against Jim Cornfield’s article about the growing popularity of bamboo bikes for manufacturers like Calfee.


California designer-manufacturer Craig Calfee claims his increasingly popular bamboo bikes have β€œthe lowest carbon footprint on the planet.”

[Read Jim’s full article]


6 Responses to “Bamboo Boom: Is This Material for You?”

  1. 1 jonathan August 14, 2009 at 11:36 am

    both articles were pretty interesting. keep up the blog, i read it every morning in an attempt to not do work!

    btw, the picture isn’t of bamboo, but rather Dracaena sanderiana, or lucky bamboo. at least i think so.


    • 2 jonathan August 14, 2009 at 11:40 am

      also, i see you didn’t really pick the photo on your own, but scientific american did, so the shame is really on them.

    • 4 Warren Ginn August 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks Jon, I really appreciate it… It’s been fun so far because it’s really given me an opportunity to share what I feel is interesting to other designers… After the big jump in visits for my “What’s That?” series, I’m feeling a little more pressure to come up with more of that stuff… So stay tuned…



  2. 5 Warren Ginn August 15, 2009 at 1:15 am

    Went ahead and updated the bamboo image… It was bugging me…


  3. 6 Tropical Bamboo August 23, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Well contrary to Michelle’s article bamboo requires alot of water to grow to maximum size in a season. Once the grove is mature enough it becomes self fertilizing as the leaves drop, however, it will benefit from additional fertilizers.

    I grow and propagate over 20 varieties of bamboo, and as much negative information is out there about bamboo, there are many positives. The fact alone that bamboo sequester 4 times more CO2 per acre than an acre of pine trees should make people want to plant more bamboo! If I had 1000 acres I’d plant as much as I could!

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