At Natural Home & Garden, we believe bamboo is one of the most environmentally friendly alternatives to hardwood, which is why we chose it for our kitchenware line. Bamboo is stronger than oak and reaches maturity in just four years—without pesticides. It grows, literally, like a weed. But because we wanted to be absolutely certain that our bamboo is being grown and manufactured in the most conscientious manner, we sent our representatives to China (where it was unseasonably cold) last month. They’re back now, and they have encouraging reports.
Though used like timber, bamboo is a grass that self-propagates as it spreads underground via a network of rhizomes. A white oak tree takes 120 years to grow to maturity; bamboo takes three-and-a-half to seven years. Our bamboo is grown without pesticides and needs very little water to grow more than a foot a day. Because of its fast growth rate, bamboo sequesters carbon dioxide at faster rates than hardwood trees—another bonus for the environment.
We chose bamboo grown in China because it minimizes the shipping footprint from plantation to manufacturing plant. Some of the world’s fastest growing and most efficient strains are cultivated in China, and bamboo’s extensive root system acts as a natural erosion-control measure. Our bamboo, sourced from the Fuzhou province, is a fibrous strain that isn’t palatable to pandas, who eat the type that grows wild just south of the plantation.Chinese factories are raising their environmental standards, and we’re pleased to help move them in a green direction.