We’d like to thank the Environmental Bamboo Foundation for these facts:
The fastest growing woody plant on this planet. It grows one third faster than the fastest growing tree. Some species can grow up to 1 meter per day. One can almost "watch it grow". This growth pattern makes it easily accessible in a minimal amount of time. Size ranges from miniatures to towering culms of 60 meters.
A critical element in the balance of oxygen / carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Bamboo is s the fastest growing canopy for the re-greening of degraded areas and generates more oxygen than equivalent stand of trees. It lowers light intensity and protects against ultraviolet rays and is an atmospheric and soil purifier.
A viable replacement for wood. Bamboo is one of the strongest building materials. Bamboo's tensile strength is 28,000 per square inch versus 23,000 for steel. In the tropics is it possible to plant and grow your own bamboo home. In a plot 20m x 20m2, in the course of 5 years, two 8m x 8m homes can be constructed from the harvest; every year after that, the yield is one additional house per plot.
An enduring natural resource. Bamboo can be selectively harvested annually. Bamboo provided the first re-greening in Hiroshima after the atomic blast in 1945. Thomas Edison successfully used a carbonized bamboo filament in his first experiment with the light bulb.
Versatile with a short growth cycle. There are over 1000 species of bamboo on the earth. The diversity makes bamboo adaptable to many environments. For example; it can be harvested in 3-5 years, versus 10-20 years for most softwood. Bamboo tolerates extremes of precipitation, from 30-250 inches of annual rainfall.
A renewable resource for agro-forestry products. Bamboo is a high-yield renewable natural resource: ply bamboo is now being used for wall paneling, floor tiles; bamboo pulp, for paper making, briquettes for fuel, raw material for housing construction, and rebar for reinforced concrete beams.
A soil conservation tool. Bamboo is exquisite component of landscape design. Its anti-erosion properties create an effective watershed, stitching the soil together along fragile river banks, deforested areas, and in places prone to earthquakes and mud slides. The sum of stem flow rate and canopy intercept of bamboo is 25% which means that bamboo greatly reduces rain run-off, preventing massive soil erosion.
A landscape design element. Bamboo is an exquisite component of landscape design. For the human environment, bamboo provides shade, wind break, acoustical barriers and aesthetic beauty.