Bamboo's popularity as a sustainable, renewable resource is unquestionable. Bamboo's qualities -- remarkable strength, rapid growth and regeneration, low carbon dioxide output and fashion quotient have earned it a considerable reputation as a sustainable building product.
Bamboo, essentially a large grass, is native to temperate climates, not California's. With enough water, many species of timber bamboo can be grown in California, yet even where certified as sustainably harvested, most bamboo sold for use in California today comes from half a world away -- China -- where environmental regulations are tenuous and certifications can be fabricated.
Albeit less than carpet, as flooring, bamboo requires a glue containing formaldehyde, .Existing forests are replaced with bamboo, causing erosion; fertilizers are employed to increase yield. Mature in 5 years, bamboo is often harvested after 3, requiring additional procedures to harden and to darken it.
Without careful tracking from its source and through its process, bamboo, unless grown locally, is hard to consider sustainable for California. Stay tuned as Green Life Studios exploring sustainable alternatives to bamboo, and heritage oak, for California.