Hemp is one of the most versatile plants known to man, but it’s only in recent decades that hemp has been truly rediscovered. Hemp was made illegal in the United States in 1937 by the Marijuana Tax Act, but has slowly regained its footing as a legitimate crop. Most of the world has made hemp legal to grow again, including 16 American states. With the opportunity to study the plant presenting itself again, let’s talk about the 10 ways hemp is saving the world.
Hemp removes pollution from the air
Airborne pollution is one of the most devastating types of pollution for human (and animal) health. But hemp is here to save the day! Hemp absorbs an incredible amount of carbon dioxide and can also remove other pollutants from the air. Countries like China and the United States release a great deal of carbon dioxide, and fortunately, hemp markets are beginning to explode there!
Hemp conserves water
When it comes to comparing cotton and hemp, there really is no contest. Just two and a half pounds of cotton requires more than 5,000 gallons of water to grow. Cotton is one of the most common fabrics in the world, and it’s also one of the most water intensive. The same amount of hemp, on the other hand, uses about a tenth of the amount of water that cotton does. Choosing hemp over cotton means choosing smarter allocation of water resources.
Hemp is building inexpensive and durable homes
You have undoubtedly heard about concrete, but have you ever heard of hempcrete? When developed into fiberboards, hemp is actually lighter and stronger than wood as a building material. Hempcrete does a better job of soundproofing walls and ceilings and actually absorbs more carbon dioxide as it hardens. How long does hempcrete last? The oldest known hempcrete home is more than 300 years old! Impressive.
Growing hemp means less pesticide use
Cotton isn’t just a water intensive crop, but it is also extremely susceptible to damage from insects. Because of that, cotton consumes half of the world’s pesticides produced every year. These petrochemical pest killers seep into soil and water tables which can impact the health of the natural environment and also your health! Researchers believe that some terrible diseases, like cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease, can be linked to commonly used pesticides.
Hemp repairs damaged soil
When soil has been abused through unsustainable farming practices, it can be hard to repair it. Fortunately, hemp can actually repair soil by returning vital nutrients. The roots of the plant help keep the soil together, which prevents erosion, and provides a source of food for important microbial life forms. Pieces of stem left behind from the previous harvest are filled with nutrients and rebuild the soil slowly over time.
Two words: biodegradable plastics
Plastic has become one of the greatest scourges on our planet, and it’s entirely our fault. Fortunately, plastic doesn’t have to be made from oil, it can be made from hemp! And because these plastics are made from hemp, they are totally non-toxic and biodegradable. Could you imagine what our oceans would be like without all the plastic floating around in it? We can. And hemp plays a key role in fixing the problem.
Forget oil, try hemp fuel
Picture a fuel source that doesn’t create pollution or put toxic nasty business into the environment. Now picture the hemp plant! Hemp can create highly efficient biodiesel that burns at a lower temperature than other biofuels and eradicates much of the air pollution of oil-based fuels.
Hemp clothes are awesome
Perhaps one of our favorite uses for hemp is in clothing. That’s why we almost always carry hemp-based gear in our store! It’s a sustainable material that’s becoming easier and easier to source. It’s also anti-microbial, meaning that your clothes stink less often, and it gets so much softer the more you wash it. Try out some of the hemp gear in our store! You won’t be disappointed.