National Geographic:

Bamboo is among the fastest growing and most adaptable materials on the planet. It can grow up to two inches per hour and matures in about five years, providing a constant and never-ending supply to the marketplace without endangerment to countless species (as long as native forests aren’t mowed down to make way for bamboo plantations, which isn’t common because bamboo can be grown on marginal and already worked-over lands). Compare that to hardwoods such as oak, which can grow about 12 inches per year and takes up to 120 years to mature.

Another possible cause for the dominating positive buzz for bamboo products is the fact that it is so versatile and can be used and made into almost anything, from flooring and paper to clothing and building materials. It’s soft and durable when woven, is extremely durable when made into clothes and boasts anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Since it also has a tensile strength stronger than steel, bamboo is popular in building materials. Essentially, you can build your house, your office, your décor and your wardrobe entirely from bamboo.

Photo by mattscoggin.