Hemp for the Environment
The medicinal, commercial and industrial benefits of hemp have been well documented for a very long time, however the environmental benefits have come to light more in recent times as the human population has grown at an exponential rate over the last 100 years and brought with it some heavy environmental costs. Hemp is being sought more and more as many industries are looking to find environmentally friendly and sustainable processes. Hemp can be grown in all parts of the world due to its durability and lack of a need for very particular climates and soil conditions. Hemp can provide a more efficient alternative to current energy sources and is going to be one of our heavy hitters in the battle against human environmental damage.
The hemp plant, after a quick drying process, produces methanol, while the waste products from hemp oil are a good source of ethanol. One acre of hemp yields around 1000 gallons of fuel, which can be used in place of non-renewable fossil fuels.
Hemp paper has many benefits over wood paper and is the clear winner in an environmentally friendly check list. It is turned to pulp much faster and easier than wood. It is naturally bright so doesn’t require the bleaching process of wood paper, which releases the toxic substance dioxin into the environment. The quality of hemp paper is far more durable and can be recycled 7 or 8 times compared to only 3 for wood based paper. Hemp is also fast growing and can be harvested multiple times per year. Just 1 acre of hemp annually produces as much paper as 4 acres of trees. This contributes to massive global deforestation which is undoubtedly one of the greatest environmental catastrophes of our time.
Fibreboard made from hemp is stronger and lighter than those made from wood. Mixing hemp fibre and lime makes hempcrete which is stronger, lighter and more insulating than concrete. Homes built using hemp have better thermal insulation, which in turn means that less fuel is required for heating the interior. Fibreglass alternatives can also be constructed from hemp fibres.
Hemp is fast growing, soil and air cleaning, 100% biodegradable and completely recyclable. It is naturally resistant to pests so requires no pesticides or herbicides. Switching to hemp is a must to ensure the prosperity of our environment for future generations to come.