A New Purpose For the Ole Bamboo


We’re all becoming increasingly aware of the horrendous footprint left behind by the technology we use every day. Consider the ubiquitous plastic casing surrounding the ubiquitous iPhone. Pretty, maybe – is yours pink? Electric blue? – and practical, too. But how many of them are out there? And where do these things come from, anyway? Where do they go? There can be no good answers to these questions.

So here’s a new approach: Portland-based design collective Grove is offering a unique and environmentally conscious way to protect and dress up the Apple of your eye – in bamboo.

Bamboo use is on the upswing for a couple of reasons. First, its strength and dimensional stability makes it ideal for a variety of uses that other forms of wood aren’t suited for. It also elegantly takes on a natural oil wax finish (used by Grove) as opposed to industry-standard plastic clear coats, making the material look and feel warm and, well, woody.

Most important, though, is that Bamboo is actually a grass and is the fastest growing plant in the world. It can be harvested for use in as little as four years, thus its increased use reduces our reliance on timber forests. Says Grove: “We are just starting to tap the potential of bamboo as a contemporary building material. ”

All that good stuff aside, these cases are just plain cool. Well, not so plain, really. Choose from one of the collective’s artist designs or upload art of your choice to customize your own. Prices start at around $70.

Scott Adelson

Scott Adelson is EcoSalon's Senior Editor of HyperKulture, a monthly column that explores opening cultural doors to initiate personal change. He is also the author of InPRINT, which reviews and discusses books, new and old. You can reach him at scott@adelson.org.