With documentaries like The Inconvenient Truth and all of the talk of global warming, people are now starting to be increasingly more aware of how their habits impact the health of the planet over time. Previously, people had no qualms about driving their gas-guzzling hummers and throwing away bottled water by the pallet full, but now, a massive push for sustainability is on the way.
Deforestation and unsustainable farming practices, in general, have been on the radar for some time now. But then, the problem is that we still need the products these industries provide and we’ve yet to figure out a way to reduce their footprint on the environment. Many industrial hemp farms are now stepping up to the plate to show the world the use of hemp. Hemp is shaping up to be an excellent alternative for paper and textile material due to how versatile the stalky fibers can be used. That’s not all – the hemp plant is staggeringly sustainable and good for the environment in which it’s grown.
Can’t believe it? Here are some things worth knowing about hemp and the environment:
Hemp can stop deforestation.
One of the main applications for hemp is that it can be used in paper and just about every other application that wood fibers are used in, even fiberboard building materials. The beautiful thing about hemp is that the plant only takes three to four months to reach maturity, as opposed to the several yearlong life cycles of trees. A single acre of hemp can produce as much paper as four acres worth of trees and can be regrown every year without worry. This can take the burden off of existing forests and allow us to regrow the ones we’ve cut down, while still enjoying paper products every day.
It can detoxify the environment.
One of the most commonly cited arguments for why we should slow down our logging efforts is because trees are responsible for converting CO2 into usable oxygen, reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, did you know that hemp consumes four times as much CO2 as trees do? Because of the very short time it takes to grow hemp plants, they are incredibly effective at fighting excess CO2 in the air, and the plant can be grown nearly anywhere. Hemp detoxifies not only the air, but also the surrounding soil. The root system of hemp does a fantastic job at eliminating harmful chemicals from the surrounding soil and even has a good effect at removing radioactive elements. This was known after scientists discovered the hemp crop they planted at Chernobyl did wonders for the radioactivity of the soil it was planted in.
In this world that’s increasingly plagued by poor practices and a general disregard for the environment, there’s a significant need for our unsustainable industries to be replaced by ones that help the environment and are easily renewed. Hemp is poised to take over the wood fiber industry because its strong, sturdy stalks can provide the same fibrous materials required, but at a fraction of the price and time commitment. As far as sustainable and useful products go, hemp reigns supreme.