Hemp is not just one of Earth's oldest crops, but also perhaps the most versatile crop in the world. From plastics to paper, hemp represents a simple approach towards living in harmony with the planet and the biological systems that help sustain it.
Apart from providing wonderful foods and medicines, there’s much more to the cannabis plant. Let’s take a look at how far it can take us with seven ways hemp can help save the world.
#1) Hemp Growth Decreases Pesticides Pollution
You may be surprised to learn that hemp is normally impervious to pests. In contrast to cotton or flax (which are known to expend half of the pesticides sprayed on them), hemp cultivation requires less use of pesticides or herbicides. Pesticides can saturate water sources, such as streams, seas and lakes. When pesticides defile a waterway, it can adversely affect the animals depending upon that water source, alongside anybody ingesting it.
Pesticides have been connected to many different ailments from cancer and birth deformities to ADHD and Alzheimer's Disease to give some examples – indeed, May 2019 saw Monsanto fined a record $2 billion in damages after a Californian jury found that its Roundup weed killer causes cancer. Pesticides are hazardous for the earth, they are likewise a risk to the wellbeing of all living creatures. By growing hemp, we diminish the globe’s exposure to poisons and toxins.
#2) Hemp Can Re-establish Soil Fertility
Hemp is reputed to grow in different territories and soil types – people call it “weed” because it grows like one! Its deep roots hold the dirt together, counteracting soil erosion. Hemp additionally expands the microbial element of dirt. Apart from that, the stem and leaves of the hemp plant are full of nutrients & supplements. As the growing plant sheds its leaves, these nutrients return to the earth, restoring it for better yields in the coming year.
#3) Hemp is Used for Producing Biodegradable Plastic
Australians alone use over 9.7 billion single-use plastic bags annually, and even more shockingly, these and other plastic containers can take up to 1,000 years to decompose completely.
The base material in plastics is cellulose, which is produced from petroleum. It’s news to nobody that industrial petroleum is poisonous, both for people and planet. Hemp, however, happens to be the best cellulose source on the planet and is biodegradable too!
Why not use non-harmful and biodegradable hemp for creating plastics when we can have the same product at the end of the process? Rather than stuffing the landfills with poisonous synthetic compounds, we would simply recycle and reuse common items.
#4) Hemp Plant Absorbs Lethal Metals
Variety is the spice of life, but soil is the basis of life. The plants that are responsible for our food, clothes and housing grow on soil. However, we’re increasingly disconnected from this essential human need and man-made waste has sullied soil over the globe, which is one of the many reasons why preventable diseases are increasing. Both the planet's wellbeing and our own wellbeing are under critical threat, and the need for a change is more urgent than ever before.
Hemp has been proven to reduce the level of poisonous material in soil. It is so successful at retaining harmful metals that it has even been considered for expelling radiation from Fukushima. Even more amazingly, hemp plants which have been grown in contaminated soil can still be used for certain industrial applications!
#5) Hemp is the Best Inexhaustible Biofuel
Imagine there was a safe source of fuel that could be locally delivered and was absolutely inexhaustible. Turns out that there is! Hemp can be made into biodiesel at a 97 percent effectiveness rate. It burns at lower temperatures in comparison to other biofuel options available to humanity. Moreover, when hemp is consumed in a diesel motor, it negates the fumes scent of petroleum with its natural fragrance.
#6) Hemp Reduces Carbon Emission Impacts
Hemp has the ability to not only change the planet but also save it. Hemp is significant given it is one of the rare crops that’s equipped for cutting down carbon emission through fast carbon dioxide take-up. Hemp does this through the procedure of carbon sequestration. When grown on a large scale, the hemp plant absorbs carbon emission from the environment. Basically, hemp sequesters or ‘traps’ carbon from the air into plants. Each ton of hemp output captures around 1.63 tons of carbon from the air.
#7) Hemp Reduces Deforestation
With the increasing rate of urbanisation and industrialisation, deforestation is expanding over the globe at disturbing rates higher than ever before in the history of the Earth. Researchers in 2017 estimated the rate of deforestation to cost us around 48 football fields every minute. Unless action is taken, within the next 100 years there will be no rainforests left at all, which will drastically affect the climate of the Earth. Hemp brings some hope, given it can easily supplant trees as the primary source of raw material for wood and paper. One section of land where hemp is grown can deliver paper equivalent yearly as four sections of trees.
While trees take a very long time to grow and deliver some output in the form of paper or wood, hemp can be developed and quickly processed in a matter of months. Hemp paper is generally of better quality than paper created from trees. Farmers practicing sustainable cultivation methods know the significance of cycling crops each season and research has shown that including hemp in these cycles not only keeps the dirt supplement-rich, but also increases the land’s overall output. Cultivating hemp means the land and air stays healthy for a considerable length of time to come.
We’re at a pivotal time for the future of the planet. If we don’t take action, there may not be a future. That’s why it’s time to make the switch to hemp – don’t just sit there, find out how you can join the industry!
Thank you Gurbaj from SCSA for the guest article.