In April 1970, more than twenty million Americans banded together to start the environmental movement towards cleaner air, water and land. April 22nd is commemorated every year as Earth Day to raise awareness and seek solutions to climate change, global warming and alternative energy resources. This Earth Day, Hemp Bombs is celebrating the Hemp plant which may help combat the growing environmental damage and provide a solution to a range of industries. Hemp benefits not only your health and wellness but it can also be utilized to help move towards a cleaner world this Earth Day.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp has been used as a resource dating back more than 10,000 years. The Hemp plant is extremely resilient, being able to grow in a range of weather conditions without much maintenance. Not to mention, this plant grows extremely fast making it a viable option for many industries in high demand. This diverse crop can yield more than 25,000 different products ranging from food to clothing:
- Building Materials
How Hemp Benefits The Environment
Hemp naturally resists pests, reducing the need for harmful insecticides and pesticides during cultivation. This characteristic lowers the number of chemicals released into the air. Some crops, namely cotton, account for more than 25 percent of the world’s chemical pesticides and insecticides which not only pollutes the air but can also adversely affect your body. Hemp offers an alternative solution to cotton and other textile material because of its stronger fibers, faster growth rate and decreased need for chemicals.
When processed for paper, Hemp does not require bleaching which also decreases the number of chemicals released in the environment. Hemp has naturally low lignin levels, so it’s more pliable and easier to turn into a pulp for paper, whereas wood takes more chemicals and time. This natural crop also uses soy-based binders to form paper instead of formaldehyde (used for wood pulp) which decreases health hazards and air pollution.
The deep taproots of the Hemp plant grow up to three feet long allowing it to reach deep into polluted soil. Hemp absorbs toxins and metals like copper, lead and mercury to keep the earth clean – a process known as ‘phytoremediation.’
Hemp crops planted in this soil should only be used for biofuel due to the toxins stored in it. Hemp used in food, medicine and textiles should be grown in proper soil. That’s why Hemp Bombs only partners with farms that use environmentally friendly methods.
Hemp benefits farmers by preparing the land for the next harvest. The roots aerate the soil which cuts down the time between crop rotation. The taproot absorbs nutrients situated deep in the ground and minimizes the need for excess fertilizer.
One acre of Hemp produces the same amount of paper as one acre of Hemp and in a fraction of the time. As mentioned, converting Hemp to paper proves easier and less hazardous than wood. Hemp can be recycled between 7 to 8 times whereas regular paper maxes out at three times.
4.Clean Energy Source
Fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource, so when it’s gone, it’s gone. Luckily, Hemp produces methanol and ethanol to be used as fuel. One acre of Hemp yields about 1,000 gallons of fuels., The short cultivation time for Hemp allows the crop to meet the high demands of the fuel industry.
5.Keeps Groundwater Clean
Groundwater exists in almost all aspects of life: cooking, drinking, wetland habitats, etc. Hemp helps keep this water safe from contaminates through its roots. Its deep roots can reach the groundwater and remove chemicals and unwanted nutrients from entering groundwater.
6.Reduces Our Carbon Footprint
Hemp plants have a great affinity for carbon dioxide and take in more substantial amounts of the compound per acre as compared to other plants. A study found that about 40 percent of Hemp’s biomass is carbon dioxide. Hemp benefits the environment by reducing the amount of CO2 in the air which lessens the effects of global warming, acid rain and curbs the depletion of the ozone layer.
When processed to make materials, carbon becomes tied up in the Hemp product rather than returning to the ozone. Although burning Hemp crops releases some stored CO2, it merely returns to the next crop of plants in a cycle. Hemp plants don’t just take though, they also contribute higher levels of oxygen than most plants, accounting for about 20 to 40 percent of oxygen in the environment.
Hemp benefits you and the environment in more ways than we can count. The medicinal benefits of this plant are bringing relief to people everywhere. However, we have a long way to go before we maximize Hemp’s potential in our environmental practices. You can do your part this Earth day by decreasing your use of single-use plastics and opting for Hemp-based paper and plastics instead.
Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance – Hemp’s Environmental Impact
United States Environmental Protection Agency – EPA History: Earth Day
The Glory of Hemp – Environmental Benefits of Hemp
Forbes – Industrial Hemp: A Win-Win For The Economy And The Environment