If you haven’t heard, industrial hemp could be one of our most versatile crops.
The National Hemp Association points out some very exciting facts that many people tend to overlook:
- Hemp can grow nearly anywhere in the world, in many types of soil — even in short growing seasons or in dry regions.
- Hemp can grow without pesticides. The crop also kills some weeds, purifies soil, and is suitable for rotation use due to its short harvest cycle (120 days).
- Hemp is also a high-yield crop. One acre of hemp produces twice as much oil as one acre of peanuts, and nearly four times as much fiber pulp (for paper) as an acre of trees.
Hemp is the earth’s most persecuted commodity
Hemp is a sustainable and renewable resource affecting almost every major industry. However, due to decades of propaganda and misinformation, hemp has not received the attention it deserves.
“For 5,900 years, hemp was earth’s most important commodity, and in the last 50 years, it’s been earth’s most persecuted commodity,” said Paul Benhaim, founder of one of the largest Hemp CBD manufacturers – Elixinol.
Fortunately, lawmakers are optimistic that the 2018 Farm Bill – which would federally legalize hemp cultivation in the U.S. – will make it through Congress very soon.
As many as 25,000 different things can be made out of hemp
The world’s resources are limited, and dwindling every day that goes by. We all have a responsibility to better utilize the versatile plant that is hemp and let it help heal the world.
One way we can do this is by replacing products made out of paper or petrochemicals with ones made of hemp.
If you’re hip to this idea, here are 12 things (out of an estimated 25,000!) that should absolutely be made from hemp for the sake of our world.
It is estimated as many as 27.4 billion (that’s with a B) disposable diapers are consumed per year in the U.S. alone.
All of those diapers end up in landfills, where they take a very long time to decompose since many of them are made out of petrochemicals.
Hemp can provide some great alternatives here: cloth diapers can be made from hemp, and don’t end up in landfills at nearly the same rate as disposable diapers, and disposable diapers can be made from hemp too.
I am obviously a male, so I will tread lightly on this subject, as I don’t have any personal experience with tampons.
However, the math behind tampon usage highlights the need to make more tampons out of hemp versus other things.
Estimates are that the average woman will go through 9,600 tampons in her lifetime. Multiply that by how many women there are on the planet, consider that many of those products end up in landfills, and it becomes obvious that making tampons out of hemp versus other things that decompose much slower is a good idea.
My friend Chris from Oregon Hemp Works pointed this one out to me. Over 100 billion petrochemical gloves are thrown away each year.
Think about it – mechanics, doctors, nurses, tattoo artists, janitors, etc. – all use disposable gloves as part of their jobs. Imagine if all of those gloves were made out of hemp!
Hemp is the most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly fuel crop out there.
Hemp can produce two different types of fuel – hemp biodiesel and hemp ethanol/methanol.
Here’s the big question: Could this also help address the global warming challenge?
#5.) Plastic bottles and bags
Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles every year. A lot of those end up in landfills, but a lot of them also end up in oceans. The same goes for plastic bags.
If you want to feel alarmed, just Google ‘Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch.’ All of that plastic is going to take a very long time to decompose, 500 to 1,000 years according to EcoWatch.
If those products were made from hemp, they would have likely already decomposed by now. It’s never too late to change.
In the U.S. many houses are built using wood. Why not save those trees and make the homes out of hemp?
Homes that are built using hempcrete (building material made from hemp) are more durable than houses built out of wood, and actually have a negative carbon footprint, helping to better regulate indoor temperatures.
Houses built out of hempcrete are also more fire and mold resistant.
#7.) Electronic device casings
Look around you; chances are you’re somewhat surrounded by electronic devices with casings made out of plastic made from petrochemicals.
Your laptop, tablet, phone, TV, DVD player, etc., all of it is likely made out of petrochemicals.
Think about how many of those types of items you have thrown away which are now sitting in a landfill. It’s a problem that grows daily.
I can’t hammer home this point enough, as it’s estimated that as much as 180,000 tons worth of batteries is thrown away each year.
Batteries can be particularly toxic. The reduction in environmental impact alone makes producing batteries out of hemp worth it.
#9.) All clothing
Clothing made from hemp is stronger than clothing made from other fibers.
It also does not pollute our water supplies with plastic particles when washing, unlike many other fabrics.
But, here’s something interesting to know: fiber made from hemp can actually stop the spread of some bacteria. This isn’t true for cotton.
Anything wood can do hemp can usually do too. A lot of wood goes into making furniture.
People throw away furniture more often than they realize. Couches, chairs, etc. can all be made, top to bottom, out of hemp.
#11.) Makeup and makeup containers
In not so shocking news, I do not wear makeup and I have never purchased a makeup product. However, there are many, many people out there who do.
The makeup itself is not as big an environmental problem, as is the packaging, which is oftentimes excessive, and once opened, it is thrown away.
The packaging is almost always made out of wood paper products (the box) and petrochemicals (the plastic holder). All of it can be made from hemp to help reduce the impact on our environment.
Plus, my wife tells me, hemp makeup is quality!
#12.) All paper products
Some of the most common things filling up landfills are paper products made from wood: paper towels, toilet paper, bags, newspapers, etc.
All of them could be made from hemp, and while wood paper products decompose faster than plastic, they still take a lot of wood to make, which takes a long time to grow.
Hemp grows much, much faster. And, hemp paper is stronger than wood-based paper and can withstand more folding and wear and tear.
Hemp is the strongest natural fiber of any source available.