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Now, NBC 7/39 News at Five. (Consumer Bob) Going green, from tiki huts to living room floors. How bamboo is helping homeowners join the green movement. I’m Consumer Bob. I’ll show you what it’s all about, coming up in just a few minutes. (Anchor) It grows like a weed in some parts of the world, including Southern California, and a local company wants to put it in your home. The future of bamboo is very green. (Susan Taylor) That’s tonight’s story. As part of NBC 7/39’s Green Week, Consumer Bob shows us how bamboo may actually save trees while decorating your home. (Consumer Bob) Yeah, there’s no lack of bamboo around the world, but we don’t often use it the way some people think we should. Now, you know, when I first thought about bamboo, again I thought about tiki rooms and Hawaiian atmospheres. Well you’ll be surprised how mainstream this tropical plant is getting, and how it’s offering a renewable alternative to traditional hardwood. (Jeff Goldberg) Bamboo essentially, is the most renewable resource in the world. (Bob) And Jeff Goldberg thinks the world oughta know about it. Just step inside his Cali Bamboo warehouse in Mira Mesa. (Jeff) You know, we’re doing everything we can to show that not only is it functional and green, but it can actually be better and replace traditional building products. (Cali Bamboo sales rep, Eric Freitag) It’s no longer a “tiki” more Hawaiian feel to it. It’s becoming an everyday use. (Bob) And how is it being used? There’s bamboo flooring, bamboo fences, bamboo cabinets, even bamboo lumber. The flooring is the most popular for Jeff, sold in different colors and grains. (Eric Freitag) You can see here – which is referred to as a horizontal grain – which is a bit of a wider striping pattern. And then if they take the raw material and flip it on edge, you get a thinner grain. (Bob) Some of the canes are left in their natural state. Others are crushed and compressed, but either way, they offer a green alternative to traditional hardware. (Jeff Goldberg) You can harvest bamboo every three to five years, depending on what you’re going to use it for. When you cut it down it’s still alive. It’s a plant under the ground. It stays alive and keeps everything around it still alive. If you cut a tree down, which takes 50 years to grow, it’s dead. It’s done. (Bob) But Jeff is convinced there is life in bamboo – both in the forests of the world and in his San Diego warehouse. Now Jeff has other warehouses around the country. As for the price, he says bamboo flooring is competitive with other woods, sometimes cheaper. Now, some of the other bamboo products are more expensive, but coming down in price as more and more people are turning to bamboo to build or remodel their homes. To find out more about bamboo and the local company I told you about, you can go to our website at and search the word – what do you think? Bamboo. And it was an eye-opener for me, you know. I thought everything had to look like the bamboo, but it fact their able to sometimes cut it in slats, they’re able to crush it and make composite out of it, so really, it’s another usable lumber. (Susan Taylor) It’s versatile. (Anchor) And once you’ve planted it, good luck getting rid of it. It’s astounding. (Bob) He’s not suggesting you plant it in your yard. (Anchor) Right, right, right.

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