31 Pieces of Bold Bamboo Furniture

By: Tana Makmanee

Source: http://www.trendhunter.com/slideshow/bamboo-furniture#2

From Sustainable Social Seating to Blow Up Bamboo Furniture

Integrating eco-friendly decor into your household is a great way to become more environmentally conscious about your products, and these bold bamboo furniture designs will provide both style and sustainability for your home.

Bamboo is a very unique type of plant that can often be found in certain Asian countries. Their ability to grow at a fast rate as well as being very strong and sturdy has made this plant a very sought-after source of building material. And these bamboo furniture designs are showcasing that this raw and natural product can create visually stunning furnishings that would rival any other type of high-end decor.

From stylish wooden seats to peaceful solitude chairs, these bold bamboo furniture designs are showcasing that utilizing such green materials as bamboo can still create a visually stunning product.

Slightly Asymmetrical Workstations

#1 Slightly Asymmetrical Workstations

Upcycled Bamboo Trapeze Lamps

#2 Upcycled Bamboo Trapeze Lamps

Arching Wooden Seats

#3 Arching Wooden Seats

Exotic Eco Illuminators

#4 Exotic Eco Illuminators

Curvilinear Wood Strip Seating

#5 Curvilinear Wood Strip Seating

Donut-shaped Seating

#6 Donut-shaped Seating

Alpha Chair

#7 Alpha Chair

Shape-Mimicking Furniture Sets

#8 Shape-Mimicking Furniture Sets

Leggy Notched Furniture

#9 Leggy Notched Furniture

Lumberific Furniture

#10 Lumberific Furniture

Green Spirited Seating

#11 Green Spirited Seating

Interlocking Furniture Bases

#12 Interlocking Furniture Bases

Concrete-Bamboo Lamps

#13 Concrete-Bamboo Lamps

Oversized Eco Rocking Horses

#14 Oversized Eco Rocking Horses

Bamboozled Beverage Chillers

#15 Bamboozled Beverage Chillers

Sustainable Social Seating

#16 Sustainable Social Seating

Steam Vessel Counters

#17 Steam Vessel Counters

Jenga-Inspired Furniture

#18 Jenga-Inspired Furniture

Brilliant Bamboo Lighting

#19 Brilliant Bamboo Lighting

Bamboo Pods for the Bashful

#20 Bamboo Pods for the Bashful

Lopsided Storage Systems

#21 Lopsided Storage Systems

Log Ride Seating

#22 Log Ride Seating

Slotted Multifunctional Furniture

#23 Slotted Multi-functional Furniture

Blow Up Bamboo Furniture

#24 Blow Up Bamboo Furniture

Minimalist Bamboo Seating

#25 Minimalist Bamboo Seating

Multimedia Massage Recliners

#26 Multimedia Massage Recliners

Plumber-Inspired Chandeliers

#27 Plumber-Inspired Chandeliers

Peaceful Solitude Seats

#28 Peaceful Solitude Seats

Bamboo Birdhouse Lamps

#29 Bamboo Birdhouse Lamps

Bamboo-Inspired Furniture

#30 Bamboo-Inspired Furniture

Curvilinear Poolside Chaises

#31 Curvilinear Poolside Chaises

Bamboo Architecture By Vo Trong Nghia

By: Tuoi Tre

Source: http://tuoitrenews.vn/business/7042/bamboo-architecture-by-vo-trong-nghia

Architect Vo Trong Nghia received 11 international architecture awards of various categories in 2012 with the latest one being ‘the vanguard designer’ by the US Architectural Record for his bamboo works.

He was named one of the top 21 architects of the 21st century by World Architecture News in the same year for well-known bamboo constructions including Wind and Water Cafe, Wind and Water Bar, Eco-resort Pavilion in Viet Nam and Hill Restaurant in Mexico.

Bamboo makes people think about Vietnam’s traditional culture. However, does bamboo material show images of Vietnam and Vietnamese as expected?

Bamboo is planted or naturally grown in any tropical country. It is an important material for many industries. In Vietnam, bamboo appears in the history of struggles against aggressors and in daily activities. Vietnamese use bamboo to make things like chopsticks, baskets and beds.

bamboo

An artist’s impression of the Hill Restaurant in Mexico.

Why did you choose bamboo to build Wind and Water Cafe in the southern province of Binh Duong or Bamboo-Wings restaurant in the northern province of Vinh Phuc?

Bamboo is very readily available and close to the human being. It has been used for making small items and works with simple structure. I have been reckless to choose bamboo as the main material for large and complicated constructions. Things that you see now are just final results after several failures I have had.

Why have your bamboo works caused such an impression to the world of architecture?
Bamboo has, in fact, been a building material in some countries. They use metal joints to connect bamboo stalks together. However this method increases construction costs and is hard to do because it constrains the strengths of bamboo including cheapness and flexibility.

In comparison, my coworkers and I use bamboo nails and bolts as joints, which link the bamboo stalks flexibly and smoothly.

bamboo

Wind and Water Cafe in the southern province of Binh Duong.

Besides bamboo architecture, are other types of architecture considered Vietnamese architecture?

Absolutely yes, if we can build works suitable with the ground and people in a certain area, it will become the character. Introduction of those works to the world means introduction of our country’s character to the world no matter what the materials are.
Vietnam is an agricultural country. Architects should show the agricultural culture in their works to teach people about agriculture. For instance, we can grow plants on buildings to broaden farming area which has been shrunk.

bamboo

Bamboo-Wings restaurant in the northern province of Vinh Phuc.

Thus, your norms on green architecture do not stop at bamboo?

That’s right. Bamboo is readily available but difficult to use. At present, there are few large architectural works made from bamboo. There are two reasons for this. The first is due to habit. Investors, architects and contractors are rather hesitant to use bamboo because they have been familiar with steel, iron and concrete for larger structures.

Second is the way of thinking that bamboo must be cheaper than steel and iron.
My thinking is quite different. Bamboo is a material which has several good features like steel and iron. However, we must have an appropriate investment to exploit these strengths and ensure esthetic requirements.

I hope to understand more about bamboo to make it the main material in the so-called green architecture. If this comes true, it will promote the development of the afforesting industry to benefit both the economy and environment.

Do you have any plan for 2013?

I will continue to introduce Vietnam’s green architecture including bamboo structures to the world.

Do you think that your knowledge of bamboo will become habit or a way of thinking, which someone might want to break down someday?

t is necessity. Everything has to move and change, our habit and thinking too. My coworkers and I are not confident enough to affirm that we completely understand the bamboo. However, we are still conducting unceasing studies about this material.

Wind and Water or Bamboo-Wings are just one out of numberless forms of green architecture. I will not be surprised if people build a skyscraper from bamboo someday.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Bamboo Furniture

By: Craig Blake

Source: http://www.overstock.com/guides/top-5-reasons-to-choose-bamboo-furniture

Natural resources are being depleted, so what makes bamboo furniture a “green,” eco-friendly furniture choice? Some bamboo species grow, well, like weeds! They grow quickly and are known for spreading into other areas. Bamboo grows over 10 times faster than most hardwoods, making bamboo furniture a great way to furnish your home and help keep forests intact. Aside from the fact that bamboo furniture is sustainable, there are plenty of other reasons why bamboo furniture is a great fit for your home.

Forest of renewable bamboo

Reasons to Choose Bamboo:

  1. Durability: Bamboo furniture can withstand everyday use. It is far more resistant to damage than traditional hardwoods. Bamboo is even used in cutting boards for this reason; it can take the beating of repeated knife use and still remain beautiful, and bamboo is gentler on knife blades than other woods. This comes in handy if you are plan on giving a bamboo chair a good deal of use.

  2. Resistance to swelling and shrinking: Bamboo furniture won’t swell or shrink due to atmospheric changes. For this reason, outdoor bamboo furniture withstands the change from humid to dry air and changes in temperature.

  3. Strength: Here’s a cool fact: Bamboo’s tensile strength is 28,000 per square inch versus 23,000 for steel. Bamboo fibers are also used to strengthen composite materials. What is the key to bamboo’s strength? Bamboo grows straight; no other trees grow as straight as bamboo. There are “knuckles,” but these variances are consistent and dense and don’t weaken the bamboo’s structure. When laminated, bamboo’s strength is enhanced, and the lamination provides another layer against the wear and tear of use. Bamboo furniture is stronger than most furniture than you have in your home. Instead of feeling that you are settling on furniture for a good cause, remember that you are actually getting more resilient furniture when you choose bamboo furniture.

  4. Selection: Bamboo home furniture comes in more varieties of styles and finishes than before. Furniture designers are using bamboo in innovative designs, either in all-bamboo or composite materials. You can find bamboo chairs, bamboo beds, bamboo bar stools, bamboo headboards and bamboo flooring, just to start. They even make bamboo shirts and bamboo sheets.

  5. Appearance: Bamboo furniture has a fine grain and is available in many stains and finishes. Your style doesn’t need to be compromised when you add fashionable bamboo furniture and accessories to your home.

Bamboo Creations And Innovations

By: Bamboo Botanicals

Source: http://www.bamboobotanicals.ca/html/about-bamboo/bamboo-creations-innovations.html

Bamboo has increasingly become one of the top engineering materials used in the manufacture of everyday items. Bamboo is a readily available resource that has many sustainable and versatile benefits.

Bamboo Is A Renewable Resource – When bamboo is harvested, it will continue to grow new shoots from its amazing root system. There is no additional planting or cultivation. Bamboo requires no chemicals, pesticides or fertilizer to grow and thrive. It’s very own fallen leaves provide the necessary nutrients that get recycled back into the soil.

Every part of the plant can be utilized in one way or another with zero waste. After the bamboo material has reached it’s life span, it can be recycled back into our good earth.

Bamboos Versatility In Building Material – The tensile strength of bamboo is one of mother nature’s most intriguing phenomenon’s. Tensile strength of steel is 24,000 PSI. Tensile strength of bamboo … 28,000 PSI (yes, you are reading that correct!). Bamboo is intrinsically strong in its molecular structure and has been used as a standard building material for the majority of the world for thousands of years.

Bamboo can replace the use of wood for any application from hardwood floors, furniture, utensils, bike frames, phone cases to almost anything imaginable.

Bamboo Ipad Case

Bamboo Keyboard

Bamboo Android Case

Bamboo Iphone Case

Bamboo Calculator

Bamboo Speakers

Bamboo Flash Drive

Bamboo Luxury Watches

Bamboo Eyeglasses Frames

Bamboo Radio

Bamboo Clock Radio

Bamboo Sunglasses

Tang Palace

By:  FCJZ

Source: http://www.dezeen.com/2011/04/28/tang-palace-by-fcjz/

Tang Palace by FCJZ

A woven net of bamboo creates a curved suspended ceiling inside this restaurant in Hangzhou, China by architects FCJZ.

Tang Palace by FCJZ

The internal spaces of Tang Palace are defined by linear bamboo screens and the central concrete core is wrapped in back-lit bamboo sheets, creating a light-box effect.

Tang Palace by FCJZ

Private rooms are located on the upper levels, suspended above and visible through the restaurant ceiling.

Tang Palace by FCJZ

Photographs are by Shu He.

Tang Palace by FCJZ

The restaurant is located on the top floor of a superstore in the new town area of Hangzhou, with 9-meter high story height and a broad view to the south. Composite bamboo boards are selected as the main material, conveying the design theme of combining tradition and modernity.

Tang Palace by FCJZ

In the hall, to take advantage of the story height, some of the private rooms are suspended from the roof and creating an interactive atmosphere between the upper and lower levels, thus enriching the visual enjoyments.

 

Tang Palace by FCJZ

The original building condition has a core column and several semi-oval blocks which essentially disorganised the space. Hence, our design wants to reshape the space with a large hollowed-out ceiling which is made from interweaved thin bamboo boards; and extending from the wall to the ceiling.

Tang Palace by FCJZ

The waved ceiling creates a dramatic visual expression within the hall. The hollowed-out bamboo net maintains the original story height and thereby creates an interactive relation between the levels. We also wrapped the core column with light-transmitting bamboo boards to form a light-box, which transforms the previously heavy concrete block into a light and lively focus object.

Tang Palace by FCJZ

The entrance hall also follows the theme of bamboo. The wall is covered with bamboo material which follows the original outline of the wall, turning it into a wavy surface. In this way, the surface echoes the hall ceiling as well as performs a guiding function for customers.

Tang Palace by FCJZ

The design of private rooms embraces different characteristics. The rooms on the first level are relatively bigger and share the features of expanded bamboo net from the wall to ceiling and ornamentally engraved wall surfaces. Meanwhile, the different folding angles and engraved patterns make each room different from one another. The rooms above on the south are smaller and feature a special waved ceiling pattern and simple bamboo wall surface, which creates interesting and spacious room features.

Tang Palace by FCJZ

The key design concept of the space is that the suspended rooms are connected with suspended bridges and sideway aisles. The semi-transparent wall provides a subtle relationship between the inner and outer spaces, bestowing people with a special spatial experience.

Tang Palace by FCJZ

In this design, we hope to create diversified and yet an interrelated interior spaces through the different usages of the new bamboo material, responding to the local culture while seeking intriguing spatial effects.

Tang Palace by FCJZ

Project: Tang Palace, Hangzhou, China
Location: 6th Floor of MixC, No. 701, Fuchun Road, Jianggan District, Hangzhou, China
Client: HongKong Tang Palace Food&Beverage Group Co., LTD.
Area: 2460 ㎡
Materials: Bamboo, Composite Panel, Rubbed Concrete

Tang Palace by FCJZ

Designer: Atelier Feichang Jianzhu
Principal Designer: Chang Yung Ho
Project Architect: Lin Yihsuan
Design Team: Yu Yue, Wu Xia, Suiming Wang
Construction Period: February 2010 – July 2010
General Contractor: Shenzhen C.S.C. Decoration Design Engineering CO., LTD Beijing Branch
Finish material: Wall – bamboo(1f), marble(2f)/ Flooring – terrazzo(1f), carpet(2f) / Ceiling – bamboo net(1f), painting(2f)

 

 

 

This Is Not Just A Little Cabin

This Looks Like A Charming Little Cabin. And It Is… But It’s So Much More Than That. Trust Me.

By: Canoe Bay Escape

Source: http://www.weallbleedthesamecolor.com/looks-like-charming-little-cabin-much-trust/

If you think that what you see below is just an adorable log cabin, you’d be dead wrong. Sure, it looks like a quaint cabin (in almost every way) but thanks to some sneaky architecture that’s just a disguise. Kelly Davis, the architect who created this faux-cabin, is a visual trickster (and quite possibly a magician).

It may look like a cabin, but this is actually an RV (no joke).

1

This “cabin” is only 400 square feet, which doesn’t sound like much.

2

But it’s actually bigger than some 1 bedroom apartments.

3

The ESCAPE cabin was originally conceived as a high quality cabin, NOT an RV.

4Canoe Bay Escape

Now, ESCAPE is part of the tiny house movement. This movement, which is growing in popularity, has focuses on living with a smaller financial, environmental and physical footprint.5

It doesn’t look like most other RVs, but it fits the standard of the Park Model RV, which can be up to 400 square feet.6

Not only is the cabin made of extremely high quality materials (featuring cedar lap siding, LED lighting, Energy Star appliances and much more), but you never know how small it is thanks to the brilliant design.

7

Compromises must be made when creating a tiny home. There’s no room for a full kitchen or bathroom, but one look at ESCAPE and I would completely forget about that.

8

The cabin/RV is settled at Canoe Bay Escape, surrounded by gorgeous views on all sides.

9

More and more people will follow in the footsteps of these incredible tiny homes, both saving their own money and the environment.

10

 

Tiny Wooden USB Drive

By: Offseid

Source: http: http://www.instructables.com/id/Tiny-Wooden-USB-Drive/

Picture of Tiny Wooden USB Drive

I have been wanting to make a wooden USB drive ever since seeing this great Instructable on it. Recently the plastic housing on one of my USB drives got bent, rendering it hard to use. So I tore it apart and got to work. The thing that appealed to me about this one was that the critical component didn’t have the metal sleeve around it so it started out super tiny. I could have made this even smaller than it is, but kept some length for a keyring hole.You don’t need many tools to do this, so have fun!

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need
You don’t need much! You’ll need a USB drive, obviously; for this Instructable you can see the size of the drive I’m using, sans metal housing. But the steps will be the same no matter how big or small the drive component itself.You’ll also need:

  • a saw (the smaller and finer, the better)
  • a chisel (if it’s not sharp, check out my Instructable on sharpening!)
  • sandpaper
  • drill (optional) – for the keyring hole

Umm…I think that’s it! Let’s get started.

Step 2: Shim It Up

Picture of Shim It Up
IMG_2071.JPG
IMG_2072.JPG
IMG_2074.JPG
[Skip this step if your drive already has the metal sleeve around it.]As I mentioned in one of my comments in the previous step’s picture, the USB drive as it is, in its bare state, is too thin to make contact with the USB port. So you have to glue a shim onto the bottom of the drive in order for it to make contact with the port.

So clamp up a piece of wood and then use your saw to slice off a thin piece for your shim. I use Japanese saws myself, love ’em!, but use whatever works for you. I cut my piece way too thick as you can see in the second picture, so I sanded away, testing in the USB port from time to time until the USB drive + shim fit well.

Step 3: Cutting the Stock

Picture of Cutting the Stock
IMG_2102.JPG
IMG_2105.JPG
IMG_2109.JPG
IMG_2111.JPG
So now you need to prepare the wooden housing for your USB drive. Let’s start with the most delicate part first, the recess for the USB drive. In the other wooden USB drive Instructable, you drill into a wooden block and fit the USB drive into the slot you created from drilling. In this Instructable, you will chisel out a recess in one piece of wood and then glue a second piece on top of it. This will create a tighter, more seamless fit if done correctly.Take your chisel and score your lines for the recess (with hand pressure or a light mallet tap). Be sure you are leaving enough of the USB drive sticking out so that it will go all the way into the computer! Always err on the side of not going far enough out – you can always expand your slot outwards later if it’s not big enough. When checking for depth, try to get the USB drive perfectly flush WITH the shim in place (picture 2).

Next, cut out the block to the desired width. Since this is a tiny USB drive component, I wanted to go as narrow as possible. Be sure to leave a little extra for sanding and rounding off the corners, if desired (picture 3). The advantage with using a thickish piece of wood for your stock is that you can cut the second piece of wood at the same time and you’ll be sure it will be the same width as its mate (picture 4).

Step 4: Shaping and Gluing

Picture of Shaping and Gluing
IMG_2115.JPG
IMG_2117.JPG
IMG_2119.JPG
IMG_2124.JPG
IMG_2126.JPG

IMG_2131.JPG

When you put your two pieces together, the USB drive should be pretty snug. It’s okay if it’s slightly loose as you’ll be gluing it all together, and the glue will be plenty strong enough so don’t worry. In the first picture, you can see that the wooden block is still pretty – ummm – blocky, but I’ll sand that down a bit. But before you reduce the thickness, round off your corners first if that’s the look you want. I broke apart my block (it’s super lightweight wood) on my first attempt because I got it super thin first and then tried to shape it. Lesson learned.After you’ve shaped your wood as desired, now’s a good time to add your keyring hole. I did it pre-glueup but you could do it afterwards too. Then I glued my USB drive to the shim with super glue, and then the drive/shim component into the recess.. Looking back, I’d recommend wood glue for the second glueup, as the super glue discolored the wood slightly where the USB drive comes out. Then use wood glue to join the two pieces of wood together and clamp them together.

After the glue is dry, this is a good time to round off all those sharp edges if you want. Then I cut a thin strip of sandpaper and “flossed” the keyring hole so it had a more rounded-in look. Now you’re ready for the finish!

Step 5: Finished!

Picture of Finished!
Now all that’s left is to add your finish of choice! I went with boiled linseed oil for this one.Thanks for reading, and hope it works out for you!

Picnic table

By Drean

Source: http://www.instructables.com/id/picnic-table-1/

Picture of picnic table
This instructable is for a large diy wooden picnic table  which is easy to step in.
The picnic table in the construction pictures is one without the corners under 45 degrees like in the first picture.
It is made completely of two by fours (89×38)

Step 1: The two benches

Picture of the two benches
PICT0017.JPG
PICT0023.JPG
totaal.jpg
I used some m8 threaded rods to connect the leg constructions.
In total is have used 24 each 16 cm and have cut them when the table was ready.
Some coach bolt will even look better.
For the other connections i used wood screws of 80mm.

Step 2: The table

Picture of the table
PICT0015.JPG
PICT0013.JPG
For the legs of the table you need to cut out a piece for each leg.

Step 3: Screw it all together

Picture of screw it all together
PICT0024.JPG
The legs of the table must not be lower than the connection two by fours .
The horizontal connections are 50mm of the floor so it won’t wobble on an uneven surface.

Step 4: In inches

Picture of in inches
2.jpg
3.1.jpg

Cedar Treasure Chest

By station420

Source: http://www.instructables.com/id/Cedar-Treasure-Chest/

 

Picture of Cedar Treasure Chest

This is a simple project that can be completed in an afternoon.  Tools that I used are as follows ( not all are necessary, use what you have available!):
– chisels and mallet
– drill press
– table saw
– sand paper
– wood glue and tack nails
– router ( I did not have one but this tool is a great asset)
– treasure and lots of it to fill your chest
– trust worthy treasure guardian

Step 1: Ripping the lid and marking the template

Picture of Ripping the lid and marking the template
IMG_0762.JPG
To start this project off, I first ripped a 1/2″ inch off my 4×4 piece of cedar using the table saw.  This will act as my lid.  I also marked a square in the center of my soon to be box where I will begin hollowing.  I measured 1 inch in from  the ends and a 1/2 inch in on the sides to give me a nice sized template for where the box will be drilled out.

Step 2: Hollowing the box out

Picture of Hollowing the box out
IMG_0765.JPG
Next we are going to use the drill press and a 1 1/2″  forsner bit to hollow out the inside of the block.  Make sure you set the drill press to drill to a consistent depth, I chose 1 inch depth from the bottom.  Try doing all 4 corners first and then work your way into the middle of the block.

Step 3: Chiseling out the block

Picture of Chiseling out the block
IMG_0767.JPG
Now we must chisel out the inside of the box and make the walls of the box flush.  The sharper your chisels, the better the finished product.  The ends of the box will be the most difficult as you will be chiseling against the grain.  Work slowly and you shall have success!  Try and make the bottom of the box flush as well so when you place the bottom plate in the next step, it sits flush on the bottom.

If you have a router, it would be handy at this point as you could router along the inside edges of the hollowed block to give a nice flush finish.

Step 4: Inserting the bottom and side walls

Picture of Inserting the bottom and side walls
IMG_0772.JPG
Now you will want to rip a couple of 1/8th of an inch slats that will be cut to size to fit into the bottom and and sides of the box.  This will hide your chisel work and drill press marks.  Cut your bottom piece first and place into the box and then cut and place the sides.  Make sure to leave an 1/8th of an inch gap to the top of the box as this is where the lid will fit snugly in.

Use wood glue and clamps to hold the side pieces in place until they dry.  You can get creative at this point and build spacers if you prefer.  I need all the room possible for my treasure so I decided not to insert spacers.

Step 5: Making the lid fit and sanding

Picture of Making the lid fit and sanding
Finally we will glue and tack a piece of 1/8th inch slab onto the bottom of the lid so that it fits snugly into the top of the box.  Make sure to measure the opening precisely and the cut out this piece exactly.  I used sand paper to round the edges so that the lid fits well into the box.  I then used wood glue and small tack nails to hold it in place, the nails add additional strength to the lid.

Finally I sanded the box down starting first with a rough sand paper and moving down the line to a fine sand paper.  You can stain the box if you prefer, I didn’t as I enjoy the smell of the cedar!

Step 6: Filling the box with treasure and finding a gardian

Picture of Filling the box with treasure and finding a gardian
IMG_0786.JPG
IMG_0801.JPG

Of course with every treasure box you’ll need treasure to fill it.  I filled mine with millions in Canadian currency.

With so much value at stake I needed to find a treasure keeper worthy of protecting my loot.  She does a fine job when she’s not sleeping or outside chasing elk!

Lastly, I didn’t mention this earlier but I built a small hidden compartment in the box where my girlfriend inserted a secret note.  When drilling out the bottom, I drill an 1/8th of an inch lower in one corner and placed the note in this depression.  When I inserted the bottom plate, this covered the secret compartment which has now become part of the box.  Someday many thousands of years from now, some space archeologist will discover this box and the secret it contains and the world will be saved…. maybe.

Are You Unknowingly Feeding Your Child Plastic?

By on February 20, 2014

Source: http://www.bambuhome.com/blogs/blog/12413609-are-you-unknowingly-feeding-your-child-plastic

 

Colorful plastic cups, bowls with cute critters smiling from the bottom, and spoons with those tiny handles “just right for little hands.” You have seen plenty of children’s dining ware and chances are you stopped to take a second look. You might’ve even toyed with the idea of maybe buying one because it was cute or you thought it’ll make your little one smile or eat her whole meal. But food and plastic do not mix well, despite their ubiquitous pairing on food shelves and in homes, especially when it comes to children’s food.

Before plastic was invented, bowls, plates and spoons were made of wood. Clay, porcelain and glass were then added to the list of materials used to make cooking and eating utensils. Some broke occasionally, some collected cracks and some didn’t. Broken or not, they were never a burden to the environment or harmful to human health.

However, enter plastic products. Durable, appealing, manufactured in all shapes and colors, unbreakable, and–most of all–cheap. From cups to utensils and plates to storage containers, plastic appeared as the holy grail of the modern household—especially those with children.

Like many inventions that appear too good to be true, plastic revealed its own dark secrets as time went by. Some of the substances that are used to make plastic escape into our food and our bodies.

The majority of children eating utensils are made of plastic. If you’re tempted to say “but that is safe plastic,” here is some food for thought. Over the last few years, several studies have pointed out to a worrying reality: children have higher concentrations of plasticizers (bisphenol A1 and phthalates) in their blood than adults do2. The reason is: children’s bodies are smaller, they eat more fatty foods, and they often eat them with plastic utensils, plastic bowls, etc. While exposure to indoor air and playing with plastic toys is partly at fault, scientists agree that the majority of the plasticizers present in the bloodstream come from eating3.

 

What's an alternative to a plastic fork?

 

Although plasticizers have been shown to be eliminated from the body a few hours after ingestion, exposure happens constantly, hence the constant stream of these chemicals through the child’s body4.

Studies have now showed that exposure to BPA in children is associated with excess levels of body fat1 and high risk of liver & metabolic disease5. Prenatal exposure seems to be an indicator of obesity later on and it also increases the risk of allergic asthma6.

Yet raising children in a perfect environment is not possible, nor is it desirable. The human body is resilient. Unnecessary exposure on the other hand, should be avoided, especially when children are involved.

A simple rule: no plastic at the dining table, or on the go, or anywhere else. BPA-free utensils are a new and reassuring thing, but the truth is, plastic is plastic and molecules will break free with continuous use. Additionally, chemicals with a bad rep are oftentimes replaced by others with lesser effects and unfortunately these replacements at times do not have enough safety analyses either, so eating out of plastic remains a health gamble.

Once plastic is eliminated from your kitchen, you may want to consider stocking up on bowls, cups, plates and cutlery made from clean, renewable materials such as bamboo or cork*. If you were ever tempted to carve something out of a piece of wood that you stumbled upon, you’ll find that natural products appeal to that deep desire to connect to a healthy environment. You might find that this warm connection is the missing secret ingredient in your meals!

 

Green childrens products

 

*Note: The bamboo and cork used in the bambuhome products are EU and Us Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSF) compliant. They contain no dyes, plastic polymers, bisphenol A or heavy metal residue. The reason is identical to the motivation to manufacture a clean line of eating utensils: Products designed for repeated use should be naturally-sourced, sustainable, with no ill effects on human health. What’s best for people is best for the environment as well. More than a suggestion, that should be how we purchase everything that comes in close contact with our bodies and the developing bodies of our children.