Archive for February 2015 | Monthly archive page

Panda Poop Fuel

Here at Bambu Batu, the House of Bamboo, we’re pretty much suckers for anything panda bear related, and we’ve got a really good gut feeling about this one. In an age of economic uncertainty and unsustainable fossil fuel dependency, the idea of relying on Panda Poop Fuel for your energy needs has to make you smile.

Ok, so when we say Panda Poop Fuel, we’re not exactly talking about running your car on panda poop. Actually, it’s the little enzymes that live in the gut of the giant panda bear that we are really interested in. These microbes that populate the G.I. tract of the beloved panda have some powerful properties that could make them very useful in the realm of biofuels.

The average giant panda bear eats about 20 or 30 pounds of bamboo every day, which is a pretty amazing feat if you stop to think about it. For one thing, that means they have to spend almost all of their time foraging and consuming bamboo just to keep up. That’s because bamboo is actually not very nutritious, and since it constitutes 99% of the panda’s intake, they have to ingest some pretty ridiculous quantities of the grass just to meet their dietary needs.

But secondly, and what makes them interesting to the biofuel developers, is that bamboo is incredibly difficult to digest. Have you ever tried to break a bamboo pole over your knee? Now think about trying to break some of that stuff down in you belly. No, it’s not going to happen. Not unless your gut is loaded with the kind of bacteria found in the unusually short intestines of the panda bear. Capable of breaking the obstreperous lignocellulose down into something accessible to the panda bear, these microbes could also have a very useful application in breaking down the difficult-to-process cellulose of corn byproducts and other discarded fibrous plant matter that could potentially be a rich source of biomass for fuel.

And this could all be great news for the endangered panda bears, because in today’s economy they may have just found the perfect niche to make themselves a hot commodity, something that even a heartless Koch Brother might realize is worth protecting.

best bamboo clothing

When Bambu Batu, the House of Bamboo, opened nine years ago (yes, our birthday is coming up on Feb.20), we were the only shop anywhere to offer such a wide variety of bamboo clothing. In 2006, the bamboo clothing industry was still in its earliest stage of infancy. Nobody walking into Bambu Batu had ever seen bamboo clothing before. Seeing the looks on people’s faces when they touched a bamboo towel or a pair of bamboo socks for the first time was truly delightful.

Now it’s 2015, and our selection of bamboo clothing is more impressive than ever, as we continue to offer the widest variety of bamboo products of any store in the land. Those who scoffed at us when we first opened our doors on Grand Avenue in Grover Beach, writing off bamboo sheets and shirts as a passing novelty, have been proven wrong. And conversely, those who love the feeling and wearability of bamboo clothing and clamored for more of it, have all been richly rewarded.

Today the selection of brands and colors and weaves of bamboo fabrics and textiles is more diverse and higher in quality than ever before. But in spite this growth and progress, the mission and purpose here at Bambu Batu has not changed one iota. We remain committed to providing the best quality natural fiber clothing and textiles, made in accordance with the highest standards of fair labor practices, at the most reasonable prices. Unlike a lot of bamboo clothiers who have jumped on the bandwagon in recent years, seeing an opportunity in a growing market, charging prices that keep bamboo clothes out of reach for the average middle class family, Bambu Batu remains a family-owned business that makes the relationships with our customers a top priority.

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