Natural resources form the basis of almost all developments made by human beings. But unfortunately, his greed forced him to over-exploit and destroy these valuable resources. In the rat race, man even forgot the importance of nature. Take the case of forests and trees itself. To meet his selfish requirements, man began cutting trees ruthlessly. All of us know how seriously it has affected our ecosystem and nature. Here comes the importance of Bamboos. This versatile plant has a major role to play. It can serve all the purposes of a tree and even more! Thus our trees can be saved. So bamboo can be considered as tomorrow’s ‘tree’.
Bamboos are found in almost all parts of the world except in Europe. However, it is seen in abundance in South East Asian Countries. As a whole, there are around 1250 different species of bamboos in about 75 categories. Bamboo is actually a type of grass. It comes under the family of Poaceae. The growth rate of bamboo is astonishing. It can even grow at the rate of four centimetres per hour. It gets matured in 3 to 4 years.
Bamboo is one of the most useful plants in the world. Since it grows very fast, it can be easily grown and utilized, comparing to other trees. So other trees can be saved from felling down and thus helps in avoiding deforestation. China is the leading nation in growing and making use of bamboos. They call bamboo as the ‘friend of human’. India, Japan, Vietnam etc are also just behind China in growing and using bamboo effectively.
The main use of bamboo is that it can serve as a building material. It is used for the construction of buildings and even for making long bridges. There is a521 metre long bridge in China, which is made entirely with bamboo. Bamboo can be transformed to a hi-tech building material with the help of modern processing techniques. It can be used in flooring, roofing, building walls etc. It can be used to reinforce concrete replacing steel and iron. Remember that iron mines are fast depleting. If properly treated, it can even replace concrete and will be 5 times stronger than the latter. Such buildings made of bamboos will be earth quake resistant also. The most significant thing to be noted is that it is highly eco- friendly. While other timber trees usually take 20 years, 30 years or even more to get matured, our bamboo will take only 3 or 4 years. That is why it is viewed as tomorrow’s ‘tree’, as mentioned earlier.
Bamboo shoot and bamboo grain are used as food in various parts of the world. Its leaves, roots and bark have high medicinal value. Bamboo has various other uses too . . . It is used in making musical instruments like flute, making furniture, handicrafts, small boats, paper making and so on, which is perhaps uncountable. Even the body of automobiles can be manufactured after proper processing.
So, Bamboo is an “All-Purpose, All-Round Gift” of nature, and we should become more aware of it. Its proper use will be a step towards environment protection also.
Hope that Bamboos help us to move in unison with the Nature.