No longer simply known as the staple diet of pandas, bamboo is the new wonder material and the latest trend on the summer party scene. Before we explore the wonders of bamboo, let's take a glance into the sordid world of its not so fashionable counterpart - plastic.

Plastic Fork and his friends - plate, cup and spoon, have a nasty habit of gate-crashing summer parties. After Plastic Fork has completed his job of shovelling potato salad into your belly, he is resigned to an eternal life in landfill. He never, ever, breaks down. He just sits there feeling dirty and contributing to the heavy loads of methane that are emitted daily by landfills. (Methane of course is a greenhouse gas, more potent than CO2 - all the stuff we can't afford to be pumping into the atmosphere.)

Enter Bamboo, to save the day!

Bamboo is compostable and biodegradable - what's more, it looks kinda great. These disposable bamboo plates from BioPlates are just the ticket to add a little pizzaz to your picnic. They're made from fronds of the Arcea Nut Palm, which fall naturally from the tree.

Personally, I try to use reusable picnic and dinnerware wherever possible. The less of a disposable culture we have, the better. The less things we produce, the better, as all production generally = emissions. Still, if push comes to shove, these bamboo picnic cups from Ecolifestyle are a good alternative.

It's not all about disposables in the world of Bamboo, though. You don't make friends with salad, but I could make a pretty good go of it with this red lacquered bamboo salad bowl from Sunnylife.

Before you run off to pack your picnic basket, I have one last treasure to show you. Why, it's bamboo nappies of course! A super eco-friendly alternative to regular nappies from Natural Baby - if anything is going to score you points with Mother Earth, guaranteed this will do it!

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