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No longer reserved for panda bears and landscape paintings, bamboo seems to be sprouting up everywhere. It’s versatile and decorative, and can be used in place of wood. The best part is that it’s extremely eco-friendly because it grows so quickly; most plants reach maturity in just five years. Even beyond its building uses, it’s appearing in an ever-increasing variety of forms.

Bamboo forest

Photo: Joi

There’s bamboo paper, bamboo fly fishing rods, and bamboo skin exfoliator. You can even ride your bamboo car to work. Or, if you want to be even nicer to Mother Earth, you could take your bamboo bicycle. And then pull out your bamboo-covered laptop. Only to return home and kick back while drinking bamboo beer and then whipping up some bamboo soup using your bamboo ktichenware. While listening to a CD of bamboo flute music on your bamboo speakers. Check out some pictures of our bamboo obsession!

Bamboo car

But maybe you’re having second thoughts about trading in your car for a bamboo one and want to stick to writing on paper made from good old fashioned trees. If so, we’ve got some more ideas on how to get bamboo-zled.

Bamboo Bedding Keeps You Cool and Comfy

Who knew making bedding out of bamboo out of could be so luxurious? Getting into bed is like slipping in between two cool sheets of silk. The textiles are flexible by nature and will only get softer with time. Bamboo also has anti-bacterial qualities, meaning that they last longer and stay fresh even after a long night’s sleep.

Its natural wicking and absorption properties helps to reduce sweating and heat discomfort, helping you make the most of your zzz’s. At the same time, it also offers insulation during the winter. The only downside is that the price is a little steeper–but for a good night’s rest and its long-lasting and eco-friendly benefits, it’s well worth the cost. Sleepbamboo.com will get you hooked, offering bed sheets, pillow cases, and towels.

Bamboo bedding

Photo: Mickipedia

Wear Bamboo Clothes (or Knit Your Own)

Just like the bedding, clothes made from bamboo will wick off sweat and also help to insulate you at the same time. It’s the perfect workout material, making temperature changes comfortable (it also has deodorizing properties). IveeStyle has a collection of workout clothes in addition to a range of sweet wraps, sweaters, and skirts with a flowing Grecian vibe. Lululemon offers some lightweight wraps that look great both in and out of a yoga studio.

Grab a bamboo yoga block (more flexible and durable  than cork or foam) to help you channel good energy and perfect that Downward Dog and Mountain pose.

Photo: Adria Richards

Or, why not grab your bamboo knitting needles and some bamboo yarn and make a wrap or sweater of your own?

Bamboo yarn

Photo:moria

Grow a Bamboo Plant to Decorate an Empty Corner

Fill a lonely corner of your bedroom or office with these serene sprouts. Some say it’s good for you feng shui, encouraging flexibility and openness (the hollow spaces in their stalks allow for good energy flow). Depending on how much of a fan you are, you might consider anything from a small potted plant for your desk to a full blown floor to ceiling plant. Completebamboo.com offers advice on how to grow bamboo indoors, whether your plant is big or small .

Bamboo potted plant

Photo: grodesh

 

Bamboo Plants growing inside a house

Photo: Coolshare

Try a Mouthful with these Bamboo Recipes

If still can’t get enough, give one of these recipes a go. Bamboo adds interesting texture and flavour to every thing from ramen to stir-fry. Even better, eating bamboo shoots helps lower cholesteral, aids digestion, and offers cancer-preventing properties. Be warned: if you buy the bamboo shoots raw, be sure to parboil them or they can be toxic.

Thai Chicken Curry with Bamboo Shoots

Thai Lao Bamboo Soup

Pork and Bamboo

Spinach With Bamboo Shoots

Grilled Bamboo Shoots

Grilled bamboo shoots

Photo:Gandhu & Sarah

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is the new hardwood. It looks and acts like hardwood, but lasts longer and is better for the environment. We’re seeing bamboo flooring trend towards darker stains–shades like ebony and russet offer a subtly sophisticated look to any room.

Bamboo flooring dark stained strand-woven

Yanchi 'Espresso' bamboo flooring

To get super durable and scratch-resistant floors, try strand woven bamboo. It’s heat-compressed, making it even harder than oak.  Some are even stained to resemble wood: the only difference is that it will last longer and wear better. It’s an easy way to modernize any space–easy do-it-yourself click-lock models don’t require glue, making installation a breeze.

…and more

If you still can’t get enough, check out Bamboo Inspiration for more ideas.

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Alexandra Wong

Alexandra Wong is interested in design and home decor. She has lived and studied in Canada, England (Oxford, no less), and the United States. She writes pieces on art and lifestyle that reflect her passions.