Building Bridges: A Global Shift One Bamboo Tree At A Time
By Anthony Nguyen
It was only a couple decades ago when I was born into the world and my parents gave me a middle name who’s Vietnamese to English translation meant “little bamboo.” I had been puzzled with why they chose such a name, but I eventually grew into it as my interest in bamboo was sparked a year and a half ago. It was then I ran across a video on CNN featuring a lady from Bali, named Linda Garland. She was convinced bamboo will play a big role in saving the planet. Since, I have discovered many of the applications for perhaps the most versatile and resilient plant in the world and how it fits into my life and the legacy I’d like to leave behind.
Bamboo is used for food, medicine, construction, textiles, musical instruments, arts & crafts, water processing, irrigation, transportation (bamboo bicycles & trailers). It can replace wood in any application including paper & charcoal. It prevents soil erosion, has higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel, rapidly regenerates after being cut in a matter of 3-5 years (unlike trees which can take more than 30), and has a higher CO2 intake/oxygen output per unit of mass than trees’ per unit of equal mass.
The Person and The Action Plan
As an Economics major, environmentalist, and a business minded person, I immediately started to think of how to apply these uses/benefits to a Western world facing a plethora of challenges. My primary goal has been to implement bamboo propagation into my real estate business. Then for the future, my aspirations are to create other businesses that promote further bulk growth and sale of bamboo for construction purposes as a substitute for the wood harvested from our precious rain forests. These businesses would address the challenges we face with our depleting resources and the global climate crisis.
These ideas, of course, are a picture slowly being pieced together by an idealist. The realization of my dream is contingent upon many things working out favorably for a number of years. However, part of the philosophy behind 4YG is to take action NOW. Even though I don’t currently own acres upon acres of land, I know what little steps I can take in the present so that together we can head in the right direction. Some of which include: germinating/planting seedlings of timber bamboo in pots and gifting them to family & friends to increase their level of consciousness on environmental sustainability, propagating more mature bamboo and planting on my company’s investment properties, and happily sharing my story with the great people at 4YG. Small things really do all add up, more than you could ever imagine.
To Make Change Happen
Our society throughout history has proven to advance itself leaps and bounds when we inspire dreamers bold enough to formulate a seemingly out of reach vision to solve massive problems. Each leader had enough patience to approach the journey ahead: left foot…right foot…left foot…right foot. The momentum was then fueled with the immense passion and motivation put forth in his or her convictions to make the vision a reality. Finally, support was rallied and the faith that doing the right thing would ultimately pay good dividends for their fellow man was never lost. I am affirmed every day that it’s my destiny to fulfill my mission to better this world to the best of my ability. Each person ultimately creates his or her own path. But it takes us collectively walking in the same direction to be able to live in harmony with the world and one another.
Anthony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit his blog at http://supercrunkalated.blogspot.com
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