Where Does It Come From? The Origins of Bamboo

Where Does It Come From? The Origins of Bamboo

An evergreen, perennial, flowering grass, bamboo is known to be hundreds of centuries old and one of the most important plants in the world. Used throughout human history for a variety of products, bamboo has been a prime source of both food and life sustaining items. “The species of bamboo that we know today evolved from prehistoric grasses between thirty and forty million years ago, long after the extinction of the dinosaurs. It then became the major food source for herbivorous animals, eventually becoming a food source for the modern human being as well.” Bamboo Grove The word “bamboo” is believed to come from the Malay word “Mambu” or “Bambu,” depending on who you ask (Malay is the national language of Malaysia and Indonesia). In the late 16th century the Dutch named it “Bamboes” after which it got its Neo-Latin name “Bambusa“. (source)  Bamboo is so connected to life that several Asian cultures even have stories and ancient beliefs of humanity emerging from bamboo. Map of the “bamboo belt”; the growing around the world where bamboo thrives (source) Found growing natively on five continents, bamboo’s earliest known uses were for chopsticks and other eating utensils while also being an integral part of the human diet. According to China Today, the oldest archaeological finds of bamboo articles in China were unearthed from the remains of a primitive society that existed some 7,000 years ago in what is now Hemudu, Yuyao County, Zhejiang Province. In the Neolithic time, ancient Chinese people were using it for arrow making, construction, weaving, books, and paper.  “Archeologists working in the ruins of the Neolithic village...
Zero Waste Manufacturing: How Greenington Does It

Zero Waste Manufacturing: How Greenington Does It

As a company committed to caring for the planet, we pay attention to how all aspects of our process relate to the environment. Having sustainable and renewable source materials is one important part of that. Using every part of those materials is another.Our hand finished furniture is made of Moso bamboo, one of the planet’s superstar plants. Moso bamboo grows to full maturity in under 5 years, is able to be harvested without harming the mother root, and absorbs more carbon dioxide and puts out more oxygen than almost any other plant. In addition to using one of the most renewable resources there is, we are proud to say that we use every part of every bamboo stalk that enters our factory – creating a zero waste manufacturing process.Here’s how we do it: When the harvested bamboo arrives in our factory, our furniture makers begin the process of cutting the culms into the sizes we need. The Greenington factory uses the bottom of the culm for our furniture. We send the rest of the culm parts to other bamboo factories to make mat, basket or other bamboo products. Our furniture makers cut the selected bamboo culm into strips for our classic finish items or shred the fibers for our exotic finish items. During this process, there is some bamboo by-product that doesn’t make it into the pressed pieces and panels that we use to make our furniture. There are also pieces that are then trimmed in the crafting process that are remainders, as well. As part of our unique factory partnerships, Greenington delivers all of this by-product to other...
Protecting Pandas: Facts About Their Habitat and Moso Bamboo

Protecting Pandas: Facts About Their Habitat and Moso Bamboo

We often get asked about whether our bamboo furniture is part of the decline in panda habitat, declining food sources, and their endangerment. Proudly, we can say, “No, it is not.” Here’s why: Fact 1: Not All Types of Bamboo are Eaten by Pandas When most of us think of pandas, the image of one happily eating bamboo comes to mind. Bamboo is the main food source for Giant Pandas. Bamboo is “99 percent of their food—one reason they are relatively low-energy animals. To derive enough nutrients, pandas eat 20 to 40 pounds of plant material a day.” [source: National Geographic] There are many different types of bamboo, however, and not all of it is eaten by pandas. “Pandas like eating arrow bamboo, black bamboo, and ‘water bamboo’, along with about 20 other species.”  Greenington’s products are made of Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens), which is not one of the types of bamboo that pandas eat and live in.   Fact 2: Location Matters While they used to live “throughout southern and eastern China, as well as neighboring Myanmar and northern Vietnam… most of the remaining wild pandas now live in the Minshan and Qinling mountains” in South Central China. Moso bamboo – the only kind we use in our products – grows in the lower elevations, far from panda mountain habitat. Pandas neither eat it nor use it for making their homes.   Fact 3: Certified Safe While we are grateful to know pandas were deemed no longer endangered in 2016, they are far from in the clear as a species; industrialization and hunting/poaching continue to threaten their survival. As...
The Environmental Benefits of Bamboo Furniture

The Environmental Benefits of Bamboo Furniture

For most of history, furniture has been made from a variety of hardwoods that come from trees and forests around the world. While formerly in abundance, as time has shown, the energy it takes to grow and maintain hardwood forests is a major factor in the increasing negative impact humans are having on our planet’s climate. As scientists look at how to reverse this impact, the need to restore the balance of the plant/CO2/oxygen relationship in our atmosphere has become a central focus for many.  In recent decades, people around the world have been looking for better alternatives to wood to have more sustainable and responsible choices in the furniture they buy and live with. A closer look at bamboo has revealed it to be one of civilization’s best options for reducing carbon emissions worldwide. “‘This is a truly remarkable plant,’ said Director General of INBAR Dr. Hans Friederich, encouraging the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to explicitly recognize bamboo as a strategic resource in combating climate change…” (source) With over 20 years in creating high-quality bamboo products, Greenington’s founder, Yang Lin, knew the benefits and potential uses of bamboo were exactly what the furniture market was looking for in sustainable living.  Why Bamboo? The short answer: it’s a grass, not a tree. This means it grows faster and with more benefits to the environment than any hardwood around the world: As a species, bamboo is fast growing; returning to full maturity in less than 5 years. As a plant, bamboo requires minimal water to grow and no additional chemicals to cultivate. As a part of...

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