A Better Earth with Hemp
With the interest in Hemp growing larger, we are finding more ways that it can help make the Earth cleaner. Google results for even just on December 31, 2018, were 17,400,000. Which yeah that's a lot, but today, it is 159,000,000.
In Tennessee, where recreational weed is not yet medicinal, let alone recreational, there are more than 2,600 farmers licensed to grow hemp. This is going to make for many acres of hemp that will be able to make many things. People are learning more about cannabis and how different parts of it can be used for many things from helping a headache to fueling a car. Here are just a few things that hemp can be used for and how it will lead to a cleaner Earth.
Paper, which we use wasy too much of
In 2016 the world's paper and cardboard production were approximately 411 metric tons. Paper is used for many things documents, toilet paper, wrapping paper, wallpaper, packaging, etc. Hemp is an eco-friendly alternative. Findings dating back more than two thousand years ago show paper being made of hemp. It wasn't until the 19th century when wood pulp paper becomes more common. Before that 75-90% of the world's paper was made of hemp.
A little science here
Hemp contains more cellulose, an important part of making paper. Because of this, it can make four times as much paper per acre than wood pulp paper. It also can be bleached by Hydrogen Peroxide a natural alternative to the toxic bleaching chemicals that are used for wood pulp. Not only is it better for the environment by how it is produced but also, it helps the ecosystem by sterilizing the soil, killing fungi and weeds. After all that it can be recycled seven to eight times, where wood pulp paper can only be recycled around three times.
Which is not great, but whats even worse is
Cotton, even though it is only 2.5% of croplands, and somehow uses 16% of the world's pesticides. Did I mention, hemp does not require the toxic bleaching chemicals that cotton needs. It can be bleached with the natural alternative, hydrogen peroxide. Cotton also accounts for 8% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. That's more than aviation at 2%!
Patagonia has started making more clothing from hemp and is currently working on a deal with one of Kentucky's hemp farmers.
Now some History
At the start of WWII in 1942, the tax on hemp was taken away so that hemp could be used for materials towards the war. This fact alone blows my mind. That they knew hemp was so useful and still after the war, taxes were placed back on, so the hemp industry would collapse. Leading to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, when hemp was lumped together with its free feelin cousin and was made a Schedule 1 drug.
You can find Hemp in almost anything now. Target alone carries toothpaste, lotions, hair products, protein powders, and soaps that contain hemp. Hemp plastic is made from, well, hemp, and is a far superior choice compared to the plastic, so widely used, that is suffocating our planet. It is made from fossil fuels.
These unique things
Fossil fuels, if you didn't know are NOT a renewable source of energy. Or in other words, they are a finite resource, we cannot make more. Fossil fuels harm the earth in every phase of its use. Gathering them can be dangerous, leading to disasters like oil spills. Transporting takes a lot of energy and once in a location, the use of it emits co2 into the atmosphere. Hemp is a plant. It is automatically better for the environment. The production of it isn't harmful to the environment, and it can be grown endlessly outdoors or indoors. Hemp is the past, present, and future.