At the dawn of the 20th century, cannabis prohibition beckoned. By 1937, the US government implemented the “Marijuana Tax Act”, thus criminalising the entire cannabis species – including hemp. It’s no secret that hemp has had a huge impact on our history and offers a plethora of benefits to our eco-system; with such diverse and resilient characteristics, can hemp save the planet?
Together, let’s explore the top environmental concerns and how hemp can help:
1. Air Pollution
During the latter end of the 18th century, we witnessed the emergence of the industrial revolution. As a result, fossil fuels were emitted on a vast scale. Although technically, the industrial revolution is over, its practices have increased. Additionally, further emissions have been introduced, such as petroleum, which submits the most obvious toxins via motorised vehicles. Furthermore, you can find a cluster of industries such as mining and agriculture which further adds to the problem.
Air pollution is a huge problem; first off, it’s a driving factor to the depletion of the ozone layer – which shields the earth from the sun’s UV rays. Moreover, air pollution destructs forests and crops and is harmful to animals and bodies of water.
How can Hemp Help with Air Pollution?
Each tonne of hemp removes 1.63 tonnes of carbon from the air, making it one of nature’s finest purifiers. Roughly four times the amount of trees.
Additionally, hemp produces much more oxygen per acreage than trees. It is claimed that one acre of hemp produces 25 times more oxygen than a forest.
2. Soil Pollution
Not only have human activities such as mining, deforestation, construction, and littering long plagued our planet, they have also intensified on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, with an increasing population, that trend is set to continue.
Contaminated soil leads to a cluster of consequences, putting the health of plants, mammals, and humans at risk. Moreover, arable land is converting into non-arable land on a yearly basis – that combined with a growing population is a severe cause for concern.
How can Hemp Help with Soil Pollution?
Industrial hemp has a natural ability to remove toxic chemicals from soil. After the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, hemp was used to help clear radiation from the soil, showcasing successful results.
Hemp plants have perfected their technique after years of evolution. Although technically a vegetable, hemp shares a resilient character to that of a weed. Additionally, hemp’s roots can reach up to three feet into the soil, enabling them to further remove heavy metals and be more effective at expelling widespread contamination.
Timber has been an essential tool throughout the history of man, for one thing, its industrial diversity enabled the evolution of the human species altogether.
But with what has become human nature, our craving for excess has transformed an essential act into a ruinous industry.
Deforestation inflicts devastation on our planet, daily. To date, over 20 percent of the Amazon has been depleted, which has accordingly led to the extinction of many animal species. Furthermore, it is estimated that over 18 million acres of forest are transformed for human purposes annually.
Not only are trees our source of oxygen, but they also inhale carbon dioxide (C02) – enabling the planet, and us, to breathe.
How can Hemp Help with Deforestation?
Not only can hemp add to a tree’s oxygen output, but it can also replace it altogether. But this is merely one reason why hemp can help prevent further deforestation.
Industrial hemp is lighter, stronger, and less expensive than wood. Furthermore, per acre, hemp yields four times the amount of paper and wood than trees. And you can produce that annually as hemp stalks fully mature in only four months!
The signs are suggesting that it is quite possible that hemp can save the planet.
4. Household and Industrial Waste
No matter how big or small, we all play a roll in protecting the environment. Each and every one of us has the option to participate, yet most of us don’t. You might think that your individual negligence doesn’t make a difference, but household waste is a real thing, and collectively, we’re a large unit. If we bring industrial waste into the equation, the damage is relentless.
All of this and then there’s plastic. We continue to harm our planet with plastic pollution and the impact that this has on our natural environment creates problems for plants and wildlife.
How can Hemp Help to Reduce Household and Industrial Waste?
The industrial flexibility of hemp continues to impress as it can reduce emissions and toxic chemicals being released into the environment from wood, concrete, and steel production – simply by replacing those tools with a hemp fibre alternative. And then you have Hempcrete, a biocomposite material which is used for construction and insulation.
Plastic pollution needn’t exist. Hemp can replicate plastic and is organic & biodegradable, warranting the need for plastic, obsolete. Imagine the impact that alone would have on the planet!
As hemp fibre is so versatile and an economical alternative, switching to hemp products whenever possible would have an immediate impact.
5. Food Shortage
Globally, over 800 million people do not have enough food to sustain a nutritional diet. As a matter of fact, one in nine people go to bed hungry at night.
The global hunger crisis affects all parts of the world. Food shortage is prolific in parts of Africa, Asia, South America, and the Pacific.
Overpopulation and the local climate are the leading factors behind the global hunger crisis, and with annual growth in the global population now over 80 million per year, the situation is now catastrophic.
How can Hemp Help with the World’s Food Shortage
Hemp can produce so much with so little, and that rule applies with hemp-based-food. Hulled hemp seeds are rich in nutrition and Vitamin B. Moreover, they contain over 30 percent of protein. It also makes an excellent meat substitute in a similar manner to the soybean and can produce anything from hemp seed oil to hemp burgers.
In addition to adding a healthier option to the world’s food supply, one acre of hemp can produce 700 pounds of grain and can produce a consistent supply of soyfoods that can be cultivated in tough climates.
6. Global Warming and Climate Change
It’s no secret that our climate is changing, with global warming at the epicenter of the cause. Furthermore, deforestation and air pollution are also contributing to the problem.
Global warming is a gradual increase in air temperature above the surface of the earth. This process has been accelerated by the already mentioned human activities, thus creating an induced climate change.
The effects of global warming and climate change are extreme and have lead to extreme weather events that have melted ice-caps and forced an unnatural migration throughout the animal kingdom.
With sea-levels already rising, many experts believe that too much damage has already been caused, and the best that we could hope for is to slow down the problem. And that’s if we act now!
How can Hemp Help with Global Warming and Climate Change?
Carbon dioxide is one of the biggest contributors to the greenhouse effect and hemp is one of nature’s greatest antidotes. Not only does hemp absorb the earth’s C02, but it also makes excellent work of containing it.
Hemp’s incredible powers cannot only save the planet but improve it all together. The more that we take advantage of hemp’s plethora of offerings, the more we could potentially reverse existing damage afflicted by global warming and climate change.
By using hemp paper and timber we can put a stop to deforestation and restore the earth’s beauty by replanting forests. As a consequence, more C02 would be absorbed from the air.
The multiple uses of hemp’s resources affect each other, creating a domino effect. It’s quite simple, hemp really can save the planet!
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