Bamboozled or biodegradable?

I keep seeing products made from bamboo. Why is bamboo the new green material?

Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, regenerating through a complex root structure that doesn’t require pesticides to grow. Bamboo grows in thick forests that absorb greenhouse gasses. And products made from bamboo have their own perks: Fabric made from the fiber is incredibly soft and silky. Kitchenware made from bamboo is biodegradable. But as organic-cotton company points out on its blog, there are eco-friendly and eco-harmful ways to process raw bamboo. If it’s processed mechanically, natural enzymes break down the woody bamboo to produce fibers—similar to the eco-friendly way hemp or flax is processed. But the process is time-consuming. The time-efficient alternative is to process bamboo chemically, heating it in a liquid solvent that is environmentally harmful. The Web site reports that newer facilities for chemically processing bamboo are working toward developing more eco-friendly ways to do so. For more information, visit