Bamboo - New Industry? New Culture? New Career?
Kirsten Daly, founder of The Bello Bamboo Company (bellobamboo.com) is inspired by all the possibilities that Bamboo holds within its amazing plant self. Yet can we - mere mortals - make the most of what this plant has to offer us especially in today's time's when Bamboo can be a key to sustainable building, home-ware, landscape and garden design.
If we are to create a new culture of Bamboo in the west - using it instead of wood, having artisans tinkering on the street, having an amazingly intricate network of locals who grow the bamboo, to harvesting it commercially or for leisure, and accessing bamboo shoots to eat seasonally, WE NEED TO think about 'Trends' and what creates a 'Culture'. In this article Kirsten offers ways of breaking from the current and CREATING the new....
"I never used a tool (hand nor power) until recently - so if I can now carve and shape bamboo to build and create - and have changed my ways to embracing Bamboo as a big part of our family's life - then anyone can. I used to work in Career & Organisational Change - so I try to use this knowledge to help me learn anything. I'm not entering the Bamboo industry as a scientific or technical expert - but as a person who can see the potential... and how we can achieve it together - if we get practical and grow the concept together..."
Let’s think outside the box. In fact – why box our amazing selves in the first place.
This trend of the current work system is over – and we can see what limitations, fear based decisions and boring’ness this causes! 30 years ago we thought we had to leave our person/selves at home and just accept ‘security’ in whatever job we could do - often not liking the job. 20 years ago we got encouraged to climb the ladder to feel successful even though only a small % of people are suited to management or ever achieve it. 10 years ago job titles increased to 10,000 specialty areas yet narrowed our choices into very specific roles. Remember how many IT people were unemployed after the IT boom crashed. Today we see worldwide sustainability issues which create fear, uncertainty and lack, making us think we best get any job while studying in our own time to keep up. Did you ever step back to see this is leading to more stress, less respect for our earth and is not ‘economical’. If you were to take a deep breath, take some contemplative time out, go for a walk in nature and ask yourself a few wise questions, you… like many people will decide, if you haven’t already, not to keep going along this ‘trend’ created by something or someone out there. You are the creator. With practical steps, if you feel inclined, you can take control of your career, work, life and future and say – “Hey I think I am going to create a great future for myself and my family and maybe even this world”! Let’s explore how we can ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ and re-think the way work, career and hobbies are heading.
We all know that the current trends are un-sustainable.
A simple way to review why this is - is that there are only 2 items that create wealth: 1. Natural Resources and 2. People (Labour). Our current economic, capital and materialistic system exploits these 2 items and needs one or both items to increase each year to increase profit. Get the natural resource cheaper and get the people labour cheaper. It’s that simple.
We are encouraged to make everything complex.
We have created our own education system of complexity. We have created a hierarchical system that makes you feel unworthy unless you are ‘somebody’ or are holding some position. Do you notice the trend can change quickly and all of a sudden your job, your industry or your qualifications are not enough? We are forever thinking we lack when we actually have amazing unique potential and attributes, simple intuitive abilities (when released) and energy (thoughts/feelings) that can ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ (or even just our own world). Letting go of complexity and prevalent opinion (current trend) and taking some practical steps towards mapping your own career-work-life can shape an amazing future.
A story of Breaking the Trend, Kirsten Daly
"I often wondered why I got into roles that had peers with PHD’s when I didn’t finish university. I wondered why I started from nothing (a poor family) and had no connections yet got opportunities. I took some time to review why, over the years, and realised 1. No one told me I COULDN’T do something and, 2. I had a stubborn sense of trusting my intuition. 3. Being friendly helped! It could have been from raising myself a lot of the time in a small town, while mostly riding around the country lanes on my bike picking berries, bush adventuring barefoot, climbing cliffs, daring bulls, or just lying in a meadow and looking at the clouds. TV wasn’t that popular and no one seemed to be telling me what to do. My first job was boring but went well when I told the boss I thought I could do something more if given the opportunity. I became self-taught in anything I needed to know and annoyingly asked experts in my interest, as many questions as I could. I asked to learn from them and see them in action. I was curious and got into areas just starting out (such as training, career then talent management) and all of a sudden even though I was young, I knew more than other people by just doing it a little bit longer than them. I did short courses and we had children so I got creative to be able to work part time and avoid qualifications (things that would take me away from the family).
Be self-taught. Trust the Intuition. Be friendly. Have Belief. Be Curious…
These ingredients seemed to really help.
Working in business and the city for many years I yearned for nature again, moving to an area that reminded me of my hometown. I had learnt ways to traverse into careers that I loved, and knew I just had to apply similar principles to getting out of the city, while still earning money to traverse into a different way of life. Buying a caravan, learning to garden and build, using the library internet and space and getting an old 4WD were practical choices I made. Even though I didn’t have as much money it was fun to find ways to save. I didn’t feel poor. Why would I if I am drinking ‘living’ water, eating ‘living’ food and breathing in ‘living’ air while viewing the most spectacular nature all around me. Priorities changed! Being near a town like Bellingen (Bello) where self-sufficiency is a culture, really helped me to not feel too different. Sometimes to give up a ‘world’, you need to embrace another ‘world’ that embraces you!"
Choose Doom or Create the Amazing … by learning from Nature
Just following what the TV, your boss, industry or country says is the trend means we stay on a treadmill that is leading to the same. Taking one step to the left or right can change the destination radically. Be careful not to buy into another complex solution offered by the TV, boss, industry or country. It could be just another distraction and make life even more complex (like the hundreds of eco choices being created to sell you something more) On the other hand, directly working or playing with a natural resource that is sustainable (such as Bamboo, a garden, an animal, or knitting with wool - the list is endless…) you learn to understand ‘real simple’ sustainability. Getting to know the natural resource, you get to know the beauty and order of nature. You have to work with it. If you don’t, it becomes really hard! The current system of work sets us up to be as detached from nature and its resources in a long complex line of process so we don’t notice things are really not working that well. We can feel ok that we aren’t the cause of anything bad being so detached. We also become a cog in a bigger machine and the human intuition, vibrancy and ability as a creator gets lazy or dormant. We accept this is reality especially when all around, we have reinforcement that this is so. Yet often something feels missing. And joy lessens. Sometimes to give up a ‘world’, you need to embrace another ‘world’ that embraces you. You and nature (natural resource) are the most valuable assets this world has. Remember as stated above, you are both the two ingredients that creates ‘wealth’ in this world today. If you can create a way to have freedom in your expression of interest by listening to yourself more in what YOU want to get involved in, and by selecting a connection to some sort of natural resource - you connect to the world around you – listening and discoveri
Balance the reason for participating in technology – choose the amazing
Never before have we had the technology we have today. It is very useful if it serves you. It is also an avenue where anyone else can set your trends, impress upon you a product, idea, belief and what IS. Unplugging is something most people feel compelled to do when they take a ‘break’, holiday or are compelled to go for a swim, run or… the list can go on. Trust this feeling is your intuition saying – I need to get my own balance back! Yet be careful on what current trends try to call ‘breaks’ for even the holiday industry encourages us instead to shop, eat, spend in over populated areas only returning to the cog knowing we have even more bills and debt to stay within it. Any other reality becomes a long far away dream. It doesn’t have to be this way. Simply unplugging from the complexity and technology gives you strength and inner wisdom and asl you make nature your best friend – your discover your best assets. Even just planning a dream, knowing you are working towards it – can make you feel like you are the master of your own destiny. You can choose doom (images about the future being uncertain) or you can create the amazing.
Let's look at the basics of work and income...
What was work like long ago?
Long, long ago we lived in pristine, balanced and self-sufficient times. Let’s dream a bit and challenge the commonly taught history image that we were hunters and gathers struggling in some barren desert for a morsel of food while in constant fear that an animal was about to eat us. Let’s instead look at nature and see that it naturally restores itself even when humans have created im-balance. Most countries were abundant. Deserts were a very small % of the earth’s population and the spread is mostly a cause of human intervention (overgrazing, felling trees, nutrients lost through long term chemical use, expansion etc..). We know today that all indigenous cultures were self-sufficient – even the aboriginals who lived in the desert. Did you know they only spent 3 hours a day ‘gathering’ food and the rest of the time was spent in contemplation and connection to all other living beings. Research shows they had amazing intuitive, healing, wise and psychic abilities. Many cultures demonstrate this not too long ago. Nature was their teacher. And being in balance with nature, led to people being in balance with themselves and the impact of their actions were minimal. Low carbon footprint!
Domineering civilizations, ones we encourage our children to think of as ‘great’ were out of balance with nature and that is why there is no grain growing in Egypt anymore! We need to think for ourselves about history as it can create unrealistic images for our childrens future. To sustain this earth and our families, we don’t need another product or industry or ruler. We need to re-think work, income and find ways to be in balance with nature – people and nature – in balance – creating true wealth! We learn balance in ourselves and have a sense of joy and pride in our work and life.
Grass root initiatives are working amazingly
In Russia today, there is a grass root movement of people returning to nature, finding ways to work with nature and their products, (food, artisan abilities) and services (knowledge, education, retreats) are being sought after by many. People are paying more for something home-made and hand-made with love. Check out Canadian herriotgrace.com where a daughter brings her fathers home made woodturning and carving creations to the world with style, charging $100 a wooden spoon! There is a way to become abundant with personal loving connection with nature and co-creating something wonderful with it. Oshima, an elderly Japanese man in America, runs popular courses on the ancient use of bamboo and is near famous for his simple lifestyle. See our page with a short video about him. There are ample examples of people prepared to pay and come enjoy the harvest of our co-creation with nature. Open your mind and heart and come explore what ways you can reconnect with nature – reconnect with your true nature… Create the trend. Create a balanced and sustainable future.
We are building an accelerated pathway to 'Bamboo excellence'. We have a strong focus on tours and programs - check out our upcoming 'Bamboo Future - Bali - Thailand' tour and program on our website.
You will also find there lot's of ideas and tips. We encourage people to join as Members for $20 a year - accessing in one portal your own bamboo university. You can choose what topics you are interested in, gain a summary or read each topic in detail by scrolling down. Videos, DIY (do it yourself ideas and videos) and many research articles are linked or submitted in our member site - from guest bamboo experts around the world. Members receive installments each month and a master directory to navigate these information pages. In the future, competency assessment tools will be developed if you want to apply for certificate levels. This will require attendance at some programs.
Writer: Founder, Kirsten Daly
Today Kirsten spends most of her time in the garden, on the land with the family and horses, learning self-sufficiency skills in the barn while using the library for most of her internet work & downloads (its free!). Not too recently she was a Career & Talent Coach in Sydney CBD (private and corporate) and over 15 years has worked with over 5000 in this area while also designing career pathway mapping and technology. When involved in ‘career transition’ (or outplacement) services with major redundancies of large government or corporate organisations – she helped 100’s of people transition from a job they no longer had or no longer liked – to studying and working (or a hobby at least) in what they liked and were most suited to. She has presented and facilitated at retreats and conferences since leaving the city as ‘Career Girl Gone Bush’ sharing humour and tips for transition. Here is an article on ideas to ‘set your own trend’ when it comes to career, work and the future.
The “Eco-Friendly Pro-Poor Bamboo Production” project is co-financed by the European commission and implemented by INBAR (the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan) and 3 partners, SFD (Sichuan Forestry Department), EUPIC (European Project Innovation Centre Chengdu) and BenCham.
The overall aim of the “Eco-Friendly Pro-Poor Bamboo Production” project is sustainable revival of livelihoods in post-disaster Sichuan, China. One of the objectives is the promotion of economic sustainable and eco-friendly consumer goods and construction materials. Furthermore, by enhancing the bamboo industry, the project wants to create employment and enhance the livelihood opportunities of the less fortuned in society. Moreover, due to its exceptional strength and its shock resistant characteristic, our aim is to promote the use of bamboo instead of timber and other non-renewable building materials in the reconstruction of Sichuan.
In recent years, the popularity of bamboo flooring has gained momentum because of its ECO-Friendly nature and low maintenance requirements. In addition, bamboo is a sustainable material and regenerates itself very quickly. It provides the hardness and strength of a hardwood material and its added durable nature makes bamboo an ideal choice to be used in the manufacturing of bamboo floors and other building materials.
Before you choose bamboo as your next flooring option, it is important to understand why you might see a wide range of prices for bamboo floors. There is usually a reason why the price of one bamboo floor is lower than the price of another bamboo floor, especially if it is by a wide margin. The cost of the bamboo flooring is determined by many factors and in this article, we will discuss those factors, so they can help to maintain your budget by keeping you well informed about the cost of the bamboo flooring.
First of all, the grade of the bamboo flooring should be considered before buying it. The grade of bamboo flooring describes the overall quality of the bamboo material and the grades are labeled as Grade “A” and Grade “B”. Grade “A” bamboo flooring is made of higher quality flooring material and it uses the fully mature bamboo plants of 5-7 years of age. Grade”A” bamboo flooring maintains a consistent color, is durable, and is resistant to fungi and mold growth. Grade “B” bamboo flooring, on the other hand, is made of bamboo that hasn’t fully matured. It is weaker than Grade A, and may have uneven color. Moreover, it is more susceptible to mold and fungi growth and can chip or dent more easily. Grade “A” bamboo flooring is more durable and more resilient than Grade “B” bamboo flooring. Consequently, Grade”A” bamboo flooring is expensive than Grade “B” bamboo flooring and if you are looking for the quality product, see a reliable manufacturer to get you Grade “A” bamboo flooring.
The quality and type of adhesive used in the manufacturing of the bamboo floors directly impacts the price of bamboo flooring. Low quality adhesives often make use of a chemical compound know as “Formaldehyde” which can induce allergy like symptoms and can cause serious illness. Flooring adhesives or glues containing little or no formaldehyde content are more expensive than those glues with higher levels of formaldehyde.
Another important factor in determining the cost of the bamboo flooring is the way a bamboo floor is constructed. For example, a strand woven bamboo floor undergoes a much lengthier manufacturing process than vertical or horizontal bamboo floors. This leads to the higher production costs which may result in a higher price. Similarly, a vertical bamboo floor is comprised of more bamboo planks than a horizontal bamboo floor. As a result, most of the bamboo manufactures charge a premium for the vertical bamboo floors. The color, age, and type of bamboo plants also decide the price of the bamboo floors. The price of a bamboo floor can also be determined by the flooring top coat finish that is applied in the last step of bamboo floor manufacturing. The poor quality bamboo floor finishes can contain volatile organic compounds which are emitted as gases. Exposures to volatile organic compounds can cause serious health problems including cancer. The bamboo flooring top coat finishes containing little to no volatile organic compounds are more expensive than those finishes with higher levels of VOC’s.
Many manufactures offer discount on bamboo floors and the bamboo flooring cost can be further reduced if you install the bamboo flooring on your own. Another important factor in determining the price of the bamboo floor is the time frame of the warranty. Before purchasing the bamboo floor, make sure that you ask for a warranty and its time frame or length. Brand name also makes a huge difference in determining the cost of bamboo floors. Certain brands that have more recognition are more expensive due to their time in the industry, good reputation, proven quality services and excellent products.
While timber floors have always been popular in Western Australia bamboo floors are now starting to take market share, due to a range of great reasons. Visit Simply Bamboo in Perth – www.simplybamboo.com.au – to learn more.
The house is not just a place where we rest our head after a hard day’s work. It is more than just a place we stay in, the house can also mirror our personality. That is why it is critical to take some time to assess the look of our humble abode when we need to.
When designing a house, we should not just limit our creativeness to the colors that we would like to paint our walls with, to the tiles we wish to install in our bathroom, the furniture that will balance the harmony inside, or the lightning contraption that will set the mood of the room. Small factors must be considered because you may never know how big their effects can be. Now, among those small yet critical factors to take into account is the flooring.
Basically, when it concerns the flooring of your house, there are many factors to consider. The most integral factor to take into account is whether such flooring will suit the overall look of your interior which is why it is always safe to opt for a design that will blend harmoniously to whatever the theme of your room is.
Now deciding, to go for bamboo flooring or the hardwood flooring enters the equation?
It is true that hardwood timber is perfect to use because it is not just elegant but it can further balance the tone of your interior. Though this is one of the traditional options to try, have you ever really considered the benefits of bamboo flooring and thus the rise in curiosity when it concerns bamboo flooring vs hardwood flooring enters the scene.
It is normal to become curious about your options when it comes to the hardwood and the bamboo flooring especially since the latter is growing in popularity.
Bamboo offer lots of benefits that make it as the perfect choice for people who are on the look for a hardwearing flooring option, plus it gives people that wonderful feeling of knowing that they are able to reap its environmental benefits once they decided to install bamboo flooring within their home.
Bamboo is naturally a grass, despite the fact that people live in the urban centres of most cities today, many would think that this tree-like grass can’t possibly be good for flooring. The truth of the matter is that through time and much development, bamboo has been recognized for its qualities not just for its rapid growth as the shoots can grow as much as 3 feet in one day in its peak growing season! Bamboo is available all year round because it can be harvested in less than 7 years. Hardness is guaranteed, which makes it a suitable choice for flooring in the home.
The biggest benefit of using bamboo flooring is the fact that it offers durability which is even better than what the best hardwood can offer. Truth is, the compressed bamboo flooring is considered as one of the hardest floors in the market place today. It has been tested to be 73% harder than traditional Jarrah flooring and harder than Blackbutt and Marri to name a few. For this reason, this compressed bamboo flooring is perfect both for residential and commercial use.
If you have decided to go for bamboo or timber flooring, the possibility is either will look good once installed and you will probably be satisfied with overall look. However there are misconceptions that if you pick bamboo you will be limited to the look of the bamboo flooring and its overall colour. The truth of the matter is that some bamboo can look quite similar in appearance to that of hardwood timber flooring. Bamboo is also available in an array of colours and profiles all looking different in there grain and appearance.
The biggest consideration when picking a bamboo floor is the cost, although the price may be comparable to that of traditional hardwood floor most of the time bamboo is relatively cheaper than traditional hardwood flooring. Weighing up these options, bamboo flooring is the better option to install in your home. Bamboo flooring is not only good to look at but it is easy to care for and hardwearing…..so make bamboo your choice the next time you are either home renovating or newly constructing because you will love the effects that bamboo flooring brings!
Beat the West Australian harsh weather conditions with Simply Bamboo, bamboo floor range. Custom designed to avoid cupping in our tough conditions, Simply Bamboo offer the biggest and best range of bamboo floor coverings in Perth.