Bamboo grows in every family compound in Ubud and is often referred to as a “miracle plant”. Though flexible and lightweight, some varieties are stronger than steel, making bamboo one of the strongest building materials in the world. Bamboo releases around 35% more oxygen than trees and is completely renewable too, with some varieties growing over a metre in a day. We aren’t suggesting that you spend your time in Ubud watching bamboo grow, but you could if you wanted to!
Bamboo promises to play a big role in sustainability in Indonesia, preventing the destruction of rainforests. In Ubud, the architectural potential of bamboo has been explored by local residents such as Linda Garland and ex-jewellery designer John Hardy and his daughter Elora. Its versatility can be admired at the Green School, which features the largest bamboo structure in the world (see the listing under Green Education) and also at the newly-built Green Village near the Green School, about 25 minutes from Ubud.
Building isn’t the only thing bamboo is good for. It has over 5,000 useful applications including paper, medicine, food, erosion control, fuel, scaffolding and musical instruments.