Hemp – a hardy and renewable harvest crop, has become one of the most promising eco-friendly resources since 8000 BCE. With the onset of planting in Jamestown, Virginia, it has been a vital crop in America that people love. Many enjoy CBD vape juice with nicotine to satisfy their hemp-related needs.
The world and its population are currently under intense pressure to adapt to better environmentally sustainable practices.
These practices include biodegradable plastics, cutlery, and reusable shopping bags to minimize their carbon footprints. Several benefits of hemp go hand in hand with the environment. Here are six reasons hemp is eco-friendly.
1. Hemp Conserves Water Usage
Textile crops that include cotton need a considerable amount of water to grow to their full potential. A third of the world’s textiles are from cotton. Even though it is a major commodity, it faces 57% of water stress.
Because of this condition, there’s a massive strain on natural resources. For example, did you know it takes 2,700 liters of water to manufacture one cotton shirt?
Hemp is a less water-intensive plant that significantly uses a little of this resource. This property allows for conservation instead of careless usage.
2. Hemp Reduces Carbon Emissions
Ever since the industrial revolution, there has been a consistent rise in CO2 levels released on the earth’s surface. Currently, the atmospheric quantities of Co2 are higher than it’s naturally supposed to be.
Higher levels of CO2 lead to the greenhouse effect – a natural process that warms the surface of the earth. The climate department of the US government’s official website states that the atmospheric CO2 levels in the atmosphere are higher than it has ever been in the last 800, 000 years.
Hemp solves excessive CO2 emissions.
It has various benefits for humans. And reducing carbon footprints is one of them.
Planting trees is an effective remedy for reducing these emissions. However, hemp’s high-efficiency levels are exceptional.
According to experts, a ton of hemp can sequester 1.62 tons of CO2. Simply put, it’s how much carbon dioxide a ton of hemp can hold and trap.
Also, through bio-sequestration – the capture and storage of greenhouse gas CO2 by enhanced biological processes from the atmosphere, hemp can reintegrate carbon dioxide back into the soil.
3. Hemp Can Make Sustainable Bioplastics
Bio-plastics that include hemp offer a more significant advantage to the environment. After decomposing, they don’t produce CO2 because they’re not from fossil fuels.
Also, most of them are biodegradable. According to Statista, global plastic production rose to 368 million metric tons in 2019 from the previous year. One-half of those discarded plastics come from packaging. Nearly one-third of this packaging gets discarded soon after usage.
When you strip hemp stems of their fibers, 77% of the cellulose remains one of the building blocks of plants, trees, and biodegradable plastics.
It prolifically grows, making it an efficient crop for these sustainable plastics known as bio-plastics. They’re biodegradable, lightweight, and can replace petrochemical (oil-based) plastics.
4. Hemp Produces Cheaper, Durable Building Materials
There’s an expected rise in the demand for cement in 2021, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com. According to the Royal Institute of International Affairs, cement, the chief ingredient of concrete, is the second most-consumed resource and the second largest CO2 emitter in the world.
Currently, people use hempcrete as a substitute for concrete, especially in France. It’s less brittle than concrete. And you can use it simultaneously as an insulator and moisture regulator.
Even though hempcrete isn’t suitable for building foundations, it’s an excellent insulator and load-bearing walls.
5. The Hemp Plant Can Feed the World
One serving of hemp seeds can fulfill human daily protein requirements. It’s an excellent alternative to meat. The seeds are nutrient-rich in magnesium, zinc, and iron that our bodies cannot make independently.
There are high levels of omega-three fatty acids from hemp oil with anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent inflammation-related diseases. And, it has the potential of being a primary food source for the world’s population that faces malnutrition because of lack of food.
You can eat them raw or add them to your routinely eaten meals, including granola or cereals. For the best nutritional value, you can sprout or eat them with sandwiches or salads. You can also add hemp leaves to these.
6. Hemp Helps Slow Down Deforestation
Every year, there’s an estimated loss of 19 million acres of forests. Mainly, forest deforestation continues at an unsustainable level. They often clear these forests for tree harvesting for products like paper or to pave the way for farmland for crops.
You can grow industrial hemp fiber in smaller spaces, and it is more economical than wood fiber for papermaking. An acre of hemp can make four times as much pulp for paper in a shorter period than wood pulp that takes two decades to mature.
And hemp paper has a significant advantage over paper made from tree wood: it’s recyclable for a long time. It is usually possible to recycle wood pulp paper up to three times, whereas we can reuse hemp paper up to seven times. Paper made from hemp pulp is more robust and environmentally friendly than paper made from wood pulp.
The above six reasons illustrate how hemp is eco-friendly to the world. With the 2018 Farm Bill’s passing that removed hemp from the Controlled Substance Act, it’s now a viable and legal crop to grow.
Much of this crop is still unknown, and there’s the need for further research. With the rise in the amount of awareness of the effects of global warming, hemp can lead the pack as one of the sustainable resources for climate change.
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World wildlife staff, “The Impact of a Cotton T-shirt.How smart choices can make a difference in our water and energy footprint” World wildlife, January 16, 2013 https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/the-impact-of-a-cotton-t-shirt