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  • Rob Elgar

34 Plastic alternative products made from bamboo

Updated: May 29, 2020

The world of sustainability is spreading and plastic use is fading away. Bamboo products have become a major topic in the world of green living and with thousands of plastic-free alternatives, there is no wonder why. This article is a list of some of the coolest bamboo items that you can easily incorporate into your life today! Before we get into the awesome bamboo products, lets first look at what makes bamboo an earth-saving sustainable product.

Why is bamboo sustainable?

Firstly what is sustainability and what does it mean to live a sustainable life?

If we go straight to a dictionary definition of sustainability - In the terms of Environmental Science; "the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance."

In simple terms - a sustainable lifestyle is one that meets all the needs of a current-generation without putting at risk the survivability of generations to come.

Bamboo is considered a sustainable product because when used correctly it meets the parameters of sustainability by:

#1 Bamboo is considered a renewable resource - the world's deforestation rates are increasing drastically year to year and hardwood forests are being destroyed. Bamboo can be harvested in 5-10 years in comparison to a tree that takes 40 years to reach a maturity suited for harvesting.

#2 Fast(est) growing plant in the world - Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on earth ( some would argue that hemp would take its place). Certain species of bamboo can grow up to a meter a day (3 feet). Besides its vertical growing capability, there is no need to replant bamboo once it has been harvested. Due to its extensive rooting system, the plant will sprout new stems after being cut. Bamboo is a grass and acts in a similar manner.

#3 Bamboo grows in most climates - The wonder grass needs very little water to survive and can grow in high cold altitudes or dry humid landscapes. The plant is versatile and grows worldwide.

#4 Greenhouse gas absorber - Bamboo is said to absorb an incredibly high amount of greenhouse gasses while creating 35% more oxygen than a tree of its equivalent size.

#5 Bamboo material can be used for various purposes - Just like permaculture teaches us, everything we grow should have multiple purposes. Bamboo plants can be used for hundreds of things such as Clothing, furniture, building, fencing, rope and fishing materials, body products, scaffolding, tableware, food... the list goes on and on.

Now that we understand what sustainability is and have an idea of why bamboo is a sustainable product, let's move on to 34 bamboo products that aid in our sustainable lifestyle.

Awesome bamboo alternative products

1- Bamboo toothbrush

Some people go through a new toothbrush every 1-2 months. Although this number does not compare to many other plastic problems it is such an easy household item to change. Why not replace it with a bamboo handle toothbrush? With bristles infused with charcoal, it is 99% more decomposable than regular toothbrushes. It is a great everyday Item to swop out.


2- Bamboo straw

No bar is completed without a bamboo straw. They look authentic, can be engraved, and allow your customers the guilt-free option of drinking their cocktail without ruining their lipstick. Not to mention they are cheap as chips! Besides, it's not only bars that use them. Having your own straw in your bag could save you from getting caught out when you need a quick drink on your journey.


3- Bamboo cutlery

Whether we are having a picnic or grabbing a quick snack on the go, the plastic cutlery that we get is always a bit of a downer. Let's admit it, the food never tastes as good when we feel back about the plastic knife or spoon. A washable bamboo cutlery set is the perfect solution to this problem. You can reuse then hundreds of times, and when you no longer want them they can go straight into your compost pile. It's the perfect zero waste item.


4- Bamboo cup

It is hard to stock the house with only glass cups. We all know how destructive kids can be. So what other options are there? Usually, we will go for the non-breakable plastic option but this is no longer necessary. Bamboo cups come in all shapes, sizes, and even colors. Next time you are in search of a non-breakable cup make the choice to go bamboo.


5- Bamboo waterbottle

Plastic bottles have polluted our world for way too long. We all need water, and sometimes our thirst comes upon us without any prewarning. By carrying your own bamboo flask or waterbottle you can help make an impact on the number of plastic bottles found around the globe. It starts small but others will see your effort and do the same!


6- Bamboo cooking utensils

Anyone who loves cooking has run into the problem of their spatula getting melted in the plan. This is firstly annoying because we are usually not done cooking get, but also incredibly unhealthy for us to eat the small pieces of melted plastic now in our food. Bamboo kitchen utensils will not give you this problem. Let alone the guilt of using plastic in the first place.


7- Bamboo cutting board

As mentioned before, hardwood trees take almost 4 times as long to grow than bamboo. So why would you use a beautiful 40-year-old tree to cut your tomatoes on? Bamboo cutting boards are so simple and cheap. Not to mention they will last for just about ever. No plastic, no glass, and no waste.


8- Plates and bowls made from bamboo

Whether you are going for a nice authentic look in your house and restaurant, or you are trying to protect your valuable tableware for when you have guests over. Bamboo plates and bowls are an excellent alternative. Non-toxic and zero waste these items are perfect for your high energy kids that are prone to break up the house.


9- Bamboo chopsticks

We all love to each Sushi and noodle soup sometimes but it just doesn't feel the same when there is plastic in our mouths. Bamboo chopsticks are easier to use as they are not as slippery and - of course, a more authentic way of eating your Asian cuisine.


10- Reusable bamboo kitchen towels

Paper towels are a must-have item for many people in the kitchen, but what a waste! If only there was an alternative. Well, there is. Paper towels made from bamboo look and work the same as the paper towels you know, but are reusable and more absorbent. Just give them a wash, dry them and they are good to go!


11- Lunchboxes made from bamboo

Having a problem buying your children lunchboxes because you are trying to stay away from plastic? Don't worry, once again bamboo has got you covered! Lunch boxes break, but at least this time it will decompose instead of going into the bin.


12- Bamboo storage jars

Whether it is a glass jar with a bamboo lid or a bamboo storage box, Keeping our herbs, cereals, and spices in jars is a great way to keep them fresh. Not to mention the many zero-waste stores where you can take your jar and full it up, completely avoiding the plastic.


13- Bamboo swimwear

We like to look nice, especially when it comes to summertime. We also know that the fashion industry is a major contributor to global pollution. Besides this, synthetic materials like nylon are poisonous to our health, rough and fragile. Bamboo swimwear will last a lifetime and help you look prouder than everyone else on the beach.


14- Everyday bamboo clothing

Like mentioned before, synthetic materials, dyes and the industry itself is a major problem to our earth. When we buy bamboo clothing it lasts longer, which means less buying, and therefore less waste.


15- Bamboo makeup removal pads

Once again synthetic materials are never the ideal. Although the first choice might be to not wear makeup, there are some amazing non-toxic and animal-free variety. Don't waste the effort with synthetics when bamboo makeup removers are so easily accessible.


16- Reusable bamboo shaving razors

Safety razors aren't cheap, but they are definitely the better choice than disposable ones. These bamboo razors take the plastic waste reduction a step further by removing ALL plastic from the razor and still leaving you with that nice clean shave you are looking for.


17- Hairbrushes made from bamboo

Another simple replacement for everyday use. There is no need to buy a plastic hairbrush when there is a bamboo option. It is a simple choice that makes a difference.


18- Decomposable bamboo ear swabs

Doctors recommend not to use ear swabs, but we still do! Whether it is for our ears or our make up these plastic sticks become a daily product. Instead of adding hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic into the world each day, why don't you try bamboo swabs? They are decomposable, and some are even reusable.


19- Bamboo washcloths

If you don't want to wear fake materials and put poisonous dyes on ourselves, then we shouldn't be washing with them either. Bamboo washcloths are softer than synthetics and dry in half the time. Not to mention the dyes do not leak and are non-toxic.


20 - Bamboo speakers

Although not entirely plastic-free as there are still wires and other speaker components, these bamboo speakers will add an authentic look to the room. Bamboo is also more flexible which allows for sound to travel in a clear and crisp manner. They also just look really cool!


21- Bamboo watches

Although watches are not a product that we usually think of as a high waste item - due to the fact that we keep them for life, bamboo watches will give off a calm grounding vibe and are more durable than their plastic versions.


22- Sunglasses with bamboo frames

Sometimes we wear sunglasses for protection and sometimes it is just for the look. Whatever your reason is, these bamboo sunglasses will fit the part. Stronger than plastic and (in my opinion) look way better, they will change the way you see the world.


23- Bamboo laptops

Asus has developed a laptop that uses bamboo for major parts of the body. They did this in a means to show their support for green living. Whether this is just a marketing scheme or if they really care, this is definitely the next computer I'll be buying.


24- iPod docking station made from bamboo

Another cool little gadget designed for Apple. This iPhone/ iPod docking station has a natural look and will play your music loud and clear.


25- Bamboo made Bluetooth computer keyboard

Not a necessary item but it definitely points out how versatile bamboo can be. A Bluetooth bamboo keyboard with a mouse shows that we could probably make EVERYTHING out of this material - well, almost everything.


26- Bamboo rimed headphones

Stylish and comfortable. Bamboo headphones will help complete your 'zero-waste look'.


27- iPhone bamboo phone case

A reason bamboo is so awesome is that it is easy to laser engrave just about anything onto it. These iPhone 4 cases show just how unique your phone cover can be. All the looks with none of the waste.


28- Bamboo flash drive

This is another awesome gift for your customers or friends. Full engravable with names or your company logo, these bamboo memory sticks will help spread the word about your companies environmental views.


30- Bamboo shampoo

Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial and cleansing. This makes bamboo shampoo the perfect organic hair product that is not harsh on the skin but leaves your hair silky smooth.


A few more uses for bamboo:

29- Bamboo flooring

31- Bamboo bricks

32- Screens made from bamboo

33- Bamboo fencing

34- Bamboo framed solar panels

BONUS ITEM - Bamboo Bicycle

Imagine your first bicycle was made from bamboo. You would definitely be the coolest kid on the block. With bamboo frames, seats, and handles these eco-bikes bring it all. The perfect gift for a perfect child (or yourself).


Endnotes and bamboo quotes

As promised the list of available products made from bamboo goes on and on. It truly is a wonder product stretching its sustainable uses far beyond what could be imagined from any one persons mind. Who knew we would be making computers out of bamboo! It just makes you think, why do we even need plastic?

“The first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, the third year it leaps.”
“Better to have a meal without meat than a house without bamboo.”
“Be like bamboo. The higher you grow, the deeper you bow.”

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