Bamboo Center by Christopher Hussey

Bamboo is one of the most diversified natural resources in the world. Unbeknownst to us, India also happens to be the second largest natural producer of the grass, overrun just by China. Tamil Nadu once hosted forests of bamboo which were eventually limited through years of colonization and eco-destruction, as discussed with our group by a local expert at the Mohanem Cultural Center and Auroville Bamboo Center. In Auroville, a community of forward-thinking experts of Tamil Nadu ecology and culture are working to bring back bamboo as a key member of the local environment. Through testing various versions of the plant, a specific strain called Beama has been successfully grown to uphold to the climate here and provide a sturdy substance for sustainable architecture, art crafting, and daily use. 

Aurovillians are paving the way for sustainability and their cultivation of bamboo is no different. Through our exploration of the bamboo forests and subsequent shops selling bamboo goods, we came to find that bamboo can be used in myriad ways. The photos below show a collection of bamboo-reinforced home construction, soap, teas, and much more. Additionally, bamboo does not require fertilizer making it eco-friendly and environmentally conscious. As a result, the planting of Aurovillian bamboo forests has also been subsidized by the Tamil Nadu government. Evidently, Auroville is once again lending a shining light on the innovations of sustainable technology with a respect for tradition and consciousness.

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