As American consumers and homeowners have grown more environmentally conscious over the last few years, the popularity of eco-friendly alternatives to traditional building materials has grown. Bamboo is one such green alternative that has become more and more common. Using bamboo helps reduce consumption of hardwood materials.

Bamboo fencing and bamboo yard furniture as well as indoor furniture can give a house a relaxed, cool tropical feel as well as naturally elegant aesthetic. So if thinking of giving ones home a green make over, definitely consider bamboo. Along with solar panels, energy efficient appliances and LED lighting, opting for bamboo to replace an old fence or purchase new patio furniture is an excellent way to help reduce our negative effects on the environment. Here are just some of the reasons why bamboo is good for consumers and the environment.

Growing Bamboo vs. Hardwood Forests

Hardwood has long been the standard building material for fences and backyard furniture in American homes. The most commonly used types of woods are pine, red cedar, spruce, white cedar, redwood and fir, with pine and cedar being the most popular ones. Most consumers continued to buy up these materials from companies responsible for over-logging in some of the world's most endangered rainforests. In the last several years, however, an increased awareness of environmental dangers has led to an increased focus on the very real problem of over-logging.

There are precious few forests in the world today that have not felt the effects of over-logging, and every major forest has suffered because of it. After it has been decimated, a hardwood forest can take many, many years to grow back to its original state. Rainforests, for example, can take up to 4000 years to return to their normal, balanced state after being cut down. In the mean time, hundreds of animal species are left without their natural habitat and the delicate balance of the surrounding ecosystems is severely damaged.

Bamboo - A Renewable Resource

Unlike hardwood trees, however bamboo trees can grow back very, very fast. This is because bamboo is not a type of wood at all; it is a very resilient type of grass. Bamboo can be safely harvested at regular intervals without doing any damage to the plant's root system. Replanting of bamboo forests is usually never necessary. In addition to that, bamboo poles can be incredibly sturdy, even two or three times harder than timber wood. A bamboo forest can yield over 20 times more high quality raw material than any kind of hardwood forest at several times the rate. If performed with controlled care, a bamboo harvest will result in not damage to the local ecosystems.

So rather than consuming hardwood products that result from the massive over-logging of many of the world's most precious forests, why not opt for a material of equal or higher quality that is also an eco-friendly alternative? If installing a new fence or want to build a backyard gazebo, choose bamboo instead of hardwood. There are many decorative styles of bamboo fencing available as well as great backyard tiki bars made from bamboo to add that bit of flare to your property. Bamboo looks great and is yet another way of contributing to a more sustainable way of living.