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Natural Bamboo - The Best Environmentally Friendly Utensils and Kitchenware

Taking care of the environment is more important than ever. A great way to help the environment and promote conservationist efforts is by using environmentally friendly materials like bamboo. What you purchase and use affects resources across the planet. The best way to help is to consider what you buy and whether items are from renewable sources. Renewable sources typically have less of an impact on the environment because of various reasons such as causing less waste if thrown out or broken. Plastic cutting board can take many years to break down even a little. Plastics break down slowly, even in the harshness of the salty ocean.

Advantages of Using Bamboo

However, what if you were to try something different? What about instead of plastic, you use wooden bamboo products? For example, out Machika Bamboo Cutting Board is made of natural bamboo that is non-toxic and natural. Compared to a plastic cutting board, it can be both healthier for you (reduce your ingestion of microplastics) while also being better for the environment. Unlike plastic, bamboo deteriorates safely into the environment without leaving behind toxic materials.

Bamboo has uses for scenarios like construction and cooking utensils because it is durable, non-toxic, renewable, and grows easily. You can buy everything from bamboo flooring, bamboo pillows, bamboo toothbrushes, to bamboo sheets! The plant can even make a great addition to a garden which some bamboo lovers growing gardens full of only types of bamboo. Bamboo gardens are extremely popular in Asia and even parts of the United States where the plant grows easily. To summarize, you should use natural bamboo utensil and kitchenware because they are:

  • Non-toxic and free of microplastics
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Long-lasting and durable when cared for
  • Inexpensive

Non-Toxic

Bamboo forest with path barriers made of dried bamboo wood in Japan.

If you are not a fan of supporting potentially toxic cooking equipment, then going for bamboo can be a great alternative. Even cookware that are considered safe, can still leech compounds into your food. For example, plastic utensils and containers are safe to use. However, research shows that even things like plastic takeout containers can contain large amounts of microplastics! Bamboo, when grown and treated properly, is free of toxins so perfect for cookware and kitchenware. Instead of using plastic bowls and containers, you will be better off and healthier relying on natural bamboo products. Before becoming popular worldwide around the early 1900s, bamboo was popular for many things from health benefits to textiles. Truly, it is a wonder plant that can provide people with scaffolding for construction, fibers for clothing, and kitchenware like food containers.

Though, you should be careful if you are thinking of eating bamboo for its nutritional benefits. The plant, while not outright toxic, has compounds that can break down to chemicals toxic to humans when ingested. There are also lots of unknown toxins and microplastics in cheaper plastic kitchenware. While regulation means many of these toxins like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are restricted because of verifiable issues like being carcinogenic, it does not mean everything is safe. The dangers of certain materials are often unknown until years or decades after. Unlike these relatively new “safe” plastic compounds, various cultures have used bamboo for thousands of years! Today, they construct everything from music equipment to housing to scaffolding using bamboo. It is a safe and easy to manage alternative to materials like concrete, metal, and other types of wood.

Environmentally Friendly

Another significant benefit of bamboo products is that they are environmentally friendly. Unlike plastics that are non-biodegradable and can spread microplastics to animals and environment, bamboo is 100% biodegradable. It does not leech harmful chemicals into the environment and is fully recyclable. Most bamboo is treated with Borax, a naturally occurring compound that is a natural insect repellent and preservative. Other plastics and metals require different chemicals that can leave behind hazardous compounds.

The other environmental advantage of bamboo is that it does not require a lot of resources to grow. Certain natural and renewable materials take longer than others to replace. Trees that take decades to reach their full size in forests are difficult and time-consuming to replace. Many animals have made forested areas their home. However, farming trees is possible when using bamboo. Since it only takes a couple of years to get bamboo to their max height, it is easy to replace. Rather than having to go out and deplete wild bamboo forests, it is easier to farm the plant. Unlike other trees, bamboo stalks can grow rapidly once established in the soil and survive in both cold and tropical environments. A single acre of land could produce tens of thousands of plants worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Long-lasting and Durable Bamboo

Dessert on bamboo wood cutting board.

One knock against bamboo that you may have heard is that they are not as durable. However, that is usually because they are not taken care of properly. Bamboo equipment should last you a long time with no issues if treated right. For example, bamboo should not be put in the dishwater. The moisture and water can seep into the wood and damage it. It is best to keep your bamboo products dry. Rather than placing it in the dishwater, wash them by hand and dry them with a towel. The longer your bamboo products are wet, the more likely they may get damaged. For example, bamboo chopping boards can split overtime as the wood expands and absorbs water. The heat from the drying cycle of dishwasher can also damage the wood. A great rule of thumb for making bamboo last is to wash with cold or warm water and dry with a cloth.

However, some bamboo is treated with another compound you may have seen abbreviated before, HDPE. HDPE stands for high-density polyethylene. This type of plastic is safe for drinking and eating and does not leach any compounds. However, microplastics are still present. It is important to note that even with treatments with HDPE, you are using much less resources and plastic to construct your kitchenware and utensils. 

Inexpensive

Metal and plastics can be affordable but are often have a higher price compared to bamboo. Metals require refinement and processes that can require more time and effort to get to you. Bamboo is extremely easy to grow. The plant can also grow drastically different environments. This is because the plant is very hardy. That means it can grow year-round and is not seasonal. Bamboo plants will not die off during certain times of the year and spread seed to repopulate at a alter season. Bamboo plants also grow amazingly fast compared to trees. A bamboo plant can reach its max height in only 3 to 4 years.

Instead, given enough care and a suitable temperament, will spread at certain times of the year and grow taller and more leaves during other times. After it has grown a certain height, it will stop growing and instead produce leaves in a cycle. A typical stalk can live for around a decade! The plant is inexpensive to grow and harvest because of how durable, long-lasting bamboo is, and rapid growth.

Buy Bamboo Kitchenware, Accessories, and More at Machika!

If you are looking for some great and interesting articles to satisfy your kitchen and cooking interests, then read some more Machika articles today! At Machika, we love to provide cooks, families, and readers with interesting topics relating to the kitchen. If you would like to learn how to pick the right paella pan or learn a new paella recipe to cook at home, visit the Machika blog page today!

 

Maria Perez, author for Machika blurb and information.
Mikey
Mikey 12/11/2020

Great article! People should definitely look to add more bamboo products to their kitchen. Enormous benefit, bamboo utensils don’t scratch non-stick pans!

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