Bamboo is a naturally superior product because of its strength, versatility and regenerative properties. A native plant to India, it has a higher tensile strength than steel. Plus, bamboo produces 35% more oxygen than trees and it binds the soil to prevent erosion.
Bamboo is a fast growing plant, which means that when it is cut down for use, new plants will quickly grow to maturity (some estimates put bamboo growth at more than 100 cm a day!). Not only is it strong, but it’s also flexible, making it a perfect material for building.
The practical applications for bamboo are vast—you can build with it, eat it, and wear it. Consider that bamboo is often found in baskets, bicycle frames, bird cages, blinds, boats, bridges, brushes, buckets, canoes, carts, charcoal, chopsticks, clothing, cooking utensils, cutting boards, diapers, fans, fences, firewood, fishing rods, food steamers, furniture, garden tools, handicrafts, hats, incense, musical instruments, paper, particle board, pens, pipes, ply, roofing, scaffold, tableware, toilets, toothpicks, toys, umbrellas, and walking sticks. The list could go on and on.
Additionally, bamboo shoots make a fine ingredient in great tasting culinary dishes and it is often found in traditional medicines and perfumes.
While India contains 30% of the world’s bamboo forests, it has thus far only captured 4% of global markets. Auroville, with its international presence and a healthy history of eco-friendly practices, is a perfect place for the ABRC to call home. With no other institutions in south India/Tamil Nadu dedicated to bamboo, the importance the ARBC continues to grow in this part of the world.
Did you know?
• Used in ladders, scaffolding or fencing, bamboo is twice as stable as oak, and harder than walnut and teak.
1. "The Book of Bamboo" by David Farrelly