Is the Environment in Trouble? Can Hemp Make A Difference?
We can all agree that Earth is absolutely beautiful and she provides us everything we can ask for from food to shelter, but at what point do we ask ourselves is the environment in trouble? Can hemp make a difference? You bet it can! Do you know that hemp was the first plant to be cultivated by human’s almost ten thousand years ago? Hemp is one of the most versatile and resourceful plants helping produce rope, textile, industrial and construction materials. Hemp also helps produce a range of food items, medicinal products, and paper for commercial use.
Are you aware that hemp apart from offering us valuable resources, can also contribute greatly towards saving the environment? Our lonely planet is already reeling under the devastating and internecine effects of environmental pollution. Polluting fossil fuels, toxic chemicals, and effluents discharged by factories, tons of plastic and unbridled industrialization have made the planet almost inhospitable in some places.
Hemp’s resourcefulness can contribute to a considerable extent in saving the earth from certain degradation and depredation. Extracts from the plant are used for producing various products that can replace numerous substances regarded as polluting and non-biodegradable. Surprisingly enough, hemp could help check and reduce global pollution more effectively than a revolutionary technology or a pioneering formula.
Five effective ways hemp can help save the environment
1. Hemp could help keep deforestation at bay
Is the environment in trouble? well if it is this can make a huge impact in improving the quality of mother earth! As per the WWF’s (World Wildlife Foundation) assertion, continuously rising population creates extra pressure for increasing agricultural produce. This is turn implies that more and more forested area have to be cleared to make extra room for farming. Increasing demand for timber, building materials, and paper are also responsible for causing large-scale deforestation.
Depletion of forest cover leads to faster erosion of the ozone layer that prevents the harmful ultraviolet rays from entering the atmosphere. Increased production of hemp could go a long way in reducing the dependency on conventional forms of wood, paper, and construction materials. Hemp grows to its full size in approximately 4-5 months and can offer wood that can be used for making wooden items closely similar to the existing types.
On the other hand, hemp is extremely prolific, yielding a higher quantity of paper for every acre compared to trees. Additionally, timber from hemp is fully biodegradable and tougher than conventional wood.
2. Can be used in place of traditional construction materials
Hemp comes in thoroughly handy for producing a range of environmental-friendly construction/building materials. For instance, hemp timber can be used in place of traditional wood for constructing floors and roofs of homes. Lumber from hemp can also be used for making insulation materials and numerous building supplies.
Hempcrete, an eco-friendly material made from lime and hemp knives can substitute wadding, drywall, and concrete. Being incredibly lightweight, hempcrete furnishes more effective fire resistance, thermal regulation, and insulation than concrete. You can make houses, buildings, and automobiles from hemp-based products.
Hemp also helps in creating a version of steel that is not only multiple times stronger than conventional alloy but also more pliant. Using hemp steel in place of traditional steel helps reduce the adverse effects of producing steel like toxic emissions, which pollute water and air. The different materials obtained from hemp tend to be more cost-effective and useful than their conventional counterparts.
3. An environmental-friendly alternative to fossil fuels
We still depend heavily on fossil fuels such as petroleum, natural gas, oil, and coal their deleterious effects on the environment notwithstanding. If a report published by the US Department of Energy is to be believed, fossil fuels will contribute towards 77% of the world’s energy consumption by 2040. Hemp can help reduce our excessive dependence on oil and petroleum, thereby reducing the environmental damage caused by fossil fuels.
The National Hemp Association makes it clear that hemp helps in producing two distinct kinds of fuel. Hemp can be used for generating biodiesel, which is obtained and processed from the pressed seeds of hemp. For example; hemp helps produce methanol and ethanol. Hemp-based ethanol and methanol are extracted by fermenting the stalk of hemp.
Older and obsolete diesel engine models can effectively use hemp biodiesel in place of gasoline without further polluting the environment. Mankind is desperately searching for viable alternatives to replace fossil fuels, and hemp can serve as a feasible option. More significantly, hemp is more affordable, effective, and ecologically more sustainable in comparison to fossil fuels.
4. Hemp can effectively replace plastics
When synthetic plastic hit the markets for the first time in the early twentieth century, the material was regarded as extremely versatile. However, with the passage of time, we realized the off-putting and harmful effects of plastics. There are enough statistics to substantiate how plastics are causing irreparable damage to the environment.
Plastic waste weighing nearly 18 billion pounds somehow reaches the coastlines all over the world, polluting the oceans and seas. Countless bottles and containers of plastic sold globally remain in a semi-processed or unprocessed state. According to one estimate, the total quantity of plastics in the oceans will easily exceed the fish quantity by 2050.
Presently, approximately 6.3 billion tons of plastic lying in an unprocessed state throughout the world. Are you aware that it takes more than 400 years for plastics to decompose completely? Is there any way we can reverse or at least lessen the use of plastics? Yes, hemp can come to our rescue- fibers from the plant can be used extensively for obtaining hemp-based plastics.
Though it sounds unbelievable, hemp plastic can replace over 80% of plastic supplies on a worldwide basis. Of all plant species known to human beings, hemp produces the maximum amount of cellulose. The cellulose sourced from hemp plants can come in handy for producing vast quantities of bioplastics, following extensive modifications.
Cellulose extracted from hemp can be processed to create plastic having almost identical capabilities as conventional plastics. What tips the scale in favor of hemp-based plastic is that the material is very eco-friendly making it completely recyclable. I would say when people question is the environment in trouble? This can make the largest impact to improving things.
5. Hemp can help maintain top soil fertility
You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that (if you don’t already) hemp helps clean contaminated soil. Hemp effectively removes heavy metals and radioactive materials from polluted soil by exploiting a technique called phytoremediation. Hemp plants cultivated in the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site in Ukraine decontaminated the polluted soil largely.
Research indicates that hemp effectively absorbs heavy metals including chromium, cadmium, and nickel from the soil. At the same time, hemp helps soak up crude oil, pesticides, toxic solvents, and hydrocarbons that leach into the soil from landfills.
Hemp can save the world, literally!
When we ask ourselves is the environment in trouble? I would say yes if we continue to pollute earth and not care about the long term damage we are doing. Hemp can make a huge difference! With all these benefits we discussed how hemp can significantly help clean up the planet why have we not used it for all it can do? Because until December 2018 when the farm bill was released legalizing hemp; our genius politicians had it banned and listed as a controlled substance when it doesnt have any psychoactive affects.