Sustainable Bamboo Time

They’re starting to build with Bamboo again. Edy has built a fence and the crew is discussing making a new roof for the ‘gudang tanki’  from bamboo (storage building for water water tanks). Click this photo and you’ll see a step by step video of our process, building a small bamboo shack built to keep the bibbitts (vegie babies) at Bali Silent Retreat. Our bamboo has not been treated, but just cut fresh from our jungle (with hacking knife, called a gergaji).

We probably would never try to build a permanent structure to sleep in, which is made with bamboo and these are the reasons:

  • None of the Balinese seem to live in bamboo houses . . . mmm? Wonder what that’s about?
  • We listen to chain saws mowing down bamboo in our neighboring jungles, way too often, supplying the current trendy bamboo architecture, which claims to be sustainable building. Bamboo does grow quickly and repeatedly after it’s initial 5-7 years under ground, but is its treatment for insects green?
  • We don’t consider the conventional treatment ‘Green’ by our standards. Unless it’s treated in the old Balinese way; soaking it in mud for 4 -6 months. And it MUST be cut on specific days and in specific ways . . . something to do with the sugar/starch content.Well, that’s what the Balinese say, anyway.
  • The word from bamboo builders is that it’s treated with toxic chemicals or borax under high pressure. Borax is natural but so is salt. If you dump enough of either into the water supply it can’t be good.