Image Magalie L’Abbé / Flickr (Creative Commons License)
Can Hemp Help Save the Earth?
First, Let’s Get the Facts Straight
Industrial hemp is an entirely different strain of hemp to the plant required to produce marijuana. This is despite the fact that many governments make almost no distinction. Crazy, right?
When compared with other well-known plants the multipurpose hemp plant is very simple to grow. There is proof that hemp was among the very first herbs cultivated for human utilization. Plus, the inner fibers of hemp are tough and sometimes used for animal bedding or mulch.
Legislation surrounding hemp cultivation which was actually created long ago now hinders lots of people from making good use of the durable and environmentally friendly plant. Numerous countries, including the US, have strict laws determining hemp production, which is actually thought to have transpired the minute the man-made fibre boom commenced. Competitors in the market urged consumers to count on products constructed from wood pulp and from synthetics. These are actually much less durable compared to hemp and for that reason require us to consume them at a faster rate.
Eco-Friendly, Easy to Grow, and Recyclable
Hemp paper can be recycled many more times compared to wood-pulp paper. It grows back much faster than rain-forests. What’s more, as a result of its durable nature the hemp plant can adapt well to a multitude of growing conditions. Therefore it requires less unnatural intervention, such as pesticides, herbicides and general toil. Unlike other crops such as rice and soy, the hemp plant tolerates difficult weather conditions and can be cultivated in different areas of the world with minimum chemical use.
Prior to paper made of wood pulp being commonly used, we used to write on hemp products, yet the prevalent use of hemp has been almost entirely phased out. We can’t help but question why when the ecological argument for using it is so very strong. As the hemp industry decreased or was wiped out, China ended up being the leading global producer of hemp, and now other countries imports hemp rather than growing it in their own country. So shouldn’t we start growing more hemp?
Reasons to Support Hemp Cultivation
Here are some reasons to believe that growing hemp is a great solution to some of our most challenging environmental problems:
1. Hemp is a Good Food Source including Protein, and all 3 Omegas, Among Other Essential Nutrients.
Hemp powder is without a doubt an outstanding complete protein that naturally comprises of every one of the essential amino acids needed by the human body. It additionally includes each of the three Omegas: Omega-3, -6 and -9, a various vitamins and minerals including the B group and iron. Hemp is an impressive supplement to virtually any eating plan and especially beneficial for many people with allergic reactions given that it is naturally gluten, dairy, nut and egg free.
2. Hemp is far more durable than other crops and does not require heavy chemical usage.
The hemp plant is durable and adapts well to a multitude of growing conditions. It requires less unnatural intervention with toxic pesticides and herbicides, for example. Unlike other crops such as rice and soy, the hemp plant tolerates a wider range of weather conditions. This suits its cultivation in different areas of the world, with minimum chemical usage.
3: We can build with hemp.
Hempcrete is a type of concrete-like material that we can use to build houses and other buildings. It contains a mixture of hemp and lime. The multi-faceted benefits of using hempcrete as cited on their website include:
- Environmentally more friendly with less use of petrochemicals.
- Being low maintenance.
- Exceptionally quiet from exterior and interior noise.
- Cost effective.
- Potential carbon neutral construction.
- Aesthetically pleasing with other materials (stone, wood, tile).
- Thermal mass assists temperature control in low and high temperatures.
- Insect and rat resistant.
- Fireproof and earthquake resistant.
Hemp production is fast and produces a lot of usable resources per hectare. As with most nutrient-rich crops, growing hemp also improves the land, as it improves the soil quality and the nutrients found in the soil. This leads on to reason number 4……
4. Hemp can heal the earth.
As a solution, (here at the Save the Earth Cooperative we like solutions!) hemp can help ameliorate a broad spectrum of environmental problems on the earth. Not only can we use it for building, but also it is useful in replenishing and decontaminating our badly damaged soils. It can even help by detoxifying nuclear waste. Furthermore, we can make hemp into a type of plastic which biodegrades much faster than oil-derived plastic, thereby reducing our dependence on oil and its derivatives. Naturally this also provides a solution to some ocean waste. Millions of tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every year, killing wildlife and destroying the oceans. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has become notorious and for all the wrong reasons. Described as “a floating trash island the size of Russia”, the spiral currents of the North Pacific Gyre creates this massive area of marine waste.
So, by supporting hemp cultivation, you may be fighting for a much greener, safer, healthier world. Of course that doesn’t mean we can carry on consuming stuff at exponential rates. Nor does it mean we can just dump things in the ocean. Humans taking responsibility is always the biggest solution, but we think that hemp is one of our biggest allies. What are your thoughts?
Further Reading: How to Start a Hemp Business in the UK https://sensiseeds.com/en/blog/how-to-start-a-hemp-business-uk/
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