Can Hemp Save Our Planet?

planet earth

Hemp is the only plant that can feed you, clothe you, house you, and heal you. From purifying the air to regenerating people, animals, and even soil, no one can argue with the fact that hemp is good for the planet.

Hemp can be used to produce more than 25,000 products. It can be used to make everything from hempcrete to hemp plastic. Because of its low lignin content, hemp can be pulped using fewer chemicals than with wood. Its natural brightness can obviate the need to use chlorine bleach which means no toxic dioxin would be dumped into streams.

Here’s just a few more of the ways that hemp is beneficial to the planet.

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Hemp Plastic

Our dependence on plastic has devastating effects on the planet. With more cities starting to ban plastic it’s clear that we use way too much of it, and should be using less. Simply using reusable grocery bags has a significant impact on the environment. Many people are investing in portable metal straws and businesses are banning plastic utensils. While there are many ways we can cut down on plastic use, one great way to cut back on plastic is by using hemp plastic instead.

Hemp is a much better source for making plastic since it contains around 65–70% cellulose. Hemp plastic is an affordable, bio-based, and competes with engineering compounds in properties such as high stiffness and high heat tolerance. It’s are incredibly strong and can even be used in building houses and cars.

Hemp vs cotton

Cotton needs twice as much land as hemp. Hemp produces twice as much fiber per acre. Cotton needs 9.123L to grow and 1kg of fiber while hemp only 2.123 L to grow 1kg of fiber. Cotton pollutes the water and leaves the land charred due to its pesticide and herbicide needs.

Hemp Helps Regenerate Soil

Hemp detoxifies the soil as it grows to remove harmful chemicals and pollutants. The stem and leaves of the hemp plant are full of nutrients like nitrogen and oxygen that break down and enrich the soil. This happens as the plant matures and leaf matter falls to the ground. When it decomposes, it’s replenishing the soil with those valuable nutrients.

Hemp Breathes Co2

Hemp breathes in four times the carbon dioxide of trees. This means it is mother nature’s air purifier. The plant rapidly captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and makes what we breathe much cleaner. One hectare of industrial hemp can absorb 15 tonnes of CO2 per hectare. In comparison, agricultural land use emits approx. 3t CO2 per hectare. Hemp’s rapid growth also makes it one of the fastest CO2-to biomass conversion tools available, more efficient than agro-forestry.

Hemp Doesn’t Need Pesticides

Hemp can be grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides or fungicides. It’s in the top 5 out of 23 crops for biodiversity friendliness, performing better than all major crops such as wheat, maize or rapeseed. Exposure to these nasties has been proven to cause environmental problems like water contamination and has also been linked to health issues like cancer. A potential solution? Use hemp all over the world and reduce the number of toxins and pollutants in our air and water.

Hemp Fights Against Deforestation

At current rates, it is estimated that 55% of the rain forests could be gone by 2030 — But there is hope in hemp! While trees take years to mature, hemp can be grown in just four months.

All of these facts are out there… and supported with research and studies. It makes me wonder why hasn’t hemp already replaced trees as the source of raw material for paper?

Let’s use more hemp — and save the planet!

Published by Alyssha

Alyssha

Alyssha Bal is the editor of Nordic Oil’s blog and wiki page. She’s a Philadelphia native who has a keen interest in alternative and natural medicine, especially the use of cannabis for healing. It is for this reason that she is passionate about helping to spread accurate information about the benefits of cannabis. She reports and educates about cannabis as it relates to policy, politics, science, and culture. Her goal is to be a contributor to a safe, fair, and legal cannabis industry. When she is not writing, Alyssha likes to travel, try new food, and spend time with her husband and Maltese. Currently, she lives in Munich.

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