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Greenlife Organics

environmental benefits of industrial hemp

The Top 25 Environmental Benefits of Industrial Hemp

Did you know 75% to 90% of all paper was made from Hemp until the late 1800’s? That’s amazing! These are the Top 25 Environmental Benefits of Industrial Hemp:

#1. Cleans soil of heavy metals

Perhaps the greatest of the environmental benefits of industrial Hemp is its ability to absorb heavy metals from contaminated soil. According to the Nova Institute, Hemp cleans soil by absorbing toxins, metals and pests like fungi and nematodes.

#2. Decontaminates radioactive soil

Hemp is reducing soil toxicity in radioactive Chernobyl soil. Because it absorbs impurities from any kind of soil, Hemp is being considered to clean up radiation in soil from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster.

#3. Hemp cloth is stronger than cotton

Not only is Hemp Cloth stronger than cotton, it is a warmer and higher absorbing material. Hence why my next winter jacket will be this Hemp jacket from Patagonia.

#4. End our dependency on fossil fuels

Hemp can be used to make “Biomass Fuels” which is a viable replacement for gas, oil and coal energy. Lynn Osburn, Biomass Energy Expert, claims “1.5 to 3.5 million acres of Hemp can replace all of Canada’s fossil field demands.”

#5. Net 0 C02 Emissions

Because Hemp Biomass Fuels create a “closed CO2 System,” they do not release sulphur oxides into the atmosphere. There is real hope is Hemp!

#6. High heating value with no sulphur

The heating value of Biomass Fuels can offer up to 8,000 BTU/lb. with zero residual sulplur and ash during combustion.

#7. Greater crop yields

Hemp increases crop yields by creating optimal conditions for growth. In fact, a 1998 study showed that following Hemp cultivation, wheat crop yield was as much as 20 percent higher.

#8. Repairs damaged ecosystems

Hemp can play a role in the repair of damaged ecosystems, as it is considered a pioneer plant. Hemp can restore contaminated land by pulling toxins out of the soil.

#9. Removes impurities from water

This effect also extends to water, as a 2016 study indicated that Hemp could remove Zinc from water.

#10. Hemp does not need pesticides in order to grow

Hemp is a disease-resistant plant, so it does not require pesticides in order to grow and thrive. Farmers can also safely grow hemp near water, since there is no risk of pesticides being transferred into nearby surface water. 

#11. Promotion of Agrobiodiversity 

According to this study, Hemp is among the top five best crops in terms of Agrobiodiversity. This is important, as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has explained that agrobiodiversity contributes to sustainable farming, disease management, and efficient use of the environment and its resources. Agrobiodiversity is also economically beneficial and improves productivity, nutrition, and food security.

#12. Environmental friendliness of Hemp plastics

Research from the Nova Institute has found that Hemp-based plastic products are more energy-efficient and result in reduced greenhouse gases when compared to conventional products. Hemp therefore provides a method of producing materials that are less harmful to the environment.

#13. Non-toxic paper production 

According to the Reason Foundation, producing paper from trees involves the use of toxic sulfur compounds, which are not required to make paper from hemp.

#14. Reduced nitrogen fertilizer use 

In addition to reducing damage from toxins like sulfur, one of the key environmental benefits of Hemp is that it requires less nitrogen fertilizer when compared to crops such as cotton, per the Reason Foundation. This is critical, because nitrogen damages the environment by polluting water and eroding the soil. It is for this reason that hemp can be seen as an eco-friendly alternative to cotton.

#15. Hemp paper can be recycled 7 to 8 times

Beyond its numerous other environmental benefits, Hemp can preserve resources through increased recycling. According to scientists at McGill University, paper produced from hemp can be recycled 7 to 8 times, whereas the typical paper made from wood can be recycled just 3 times. Hemp makes the concept of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” more possible.

#16. Hemp paper does not require bleach

Hemp-based paper does not require Chlorine Bleach to make Paper. This is a HUGE plus because Chlorine Bleach releases dioxins into the environment.

#17. Produces 1,000 lbs. of fiber per acre

1 Acre of Hemp will produce 2 to 3 times more fiber than cotton. This factors out to almost 1,000 pounds of fiber per acre.

#18. Ending deforestation

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, about one-tenth of deforestation is a result of the production of wood products, including paper. Hemp-based paper can be made for less than 3% of the price compared wood-based paper pulp AND paper mills can immediately begin to produce Hemp-based paper because they need very little to convert to Hemp.

#19. Hemp requires less acres for producing paper

Where it takes 4 acres of trees to create enough pulp to make paper over a 20 year period, it only takes 1 acre of Hemp.

#20. Hemp Fiber is natural and organic

Unlike petroleum-based synthetic fibers, Hemp Fiber used to make clothing is highly recyclable and is most importantly natural and organic.

#21. Uses 85% less acid to make paper

Paper mills can use up to 85% less Sulphur-based acid to make paper compared to wood.

#22. Sustainable fabrics and textiles

80% of all fabrics and textiles for clothes, canvas, cordage and linens were made from Hemp until the 1820’s when it was deemed illegal.

#23. Hemp seeds can feed farm animals

Hemp Seeds are the 2nd highest protein source compared to Soya Beans. Because a Hemp Plant contains 1/2 of it’s dry weight in seeds, Hemp Seeds could be a sustainable way to feed farm animals.

#24. Hempcrete has impressive benefits compared to concrete

Hempcrete is a better insulator and moisture regulator than traditional lime concrete. It is also carbon neutral. The major downfall of Hempcrete is it is considered strong enough to be structural, not yet at least. Hempcrete blocks may “pave” the way for Hempcrete to be used in general construction.

#25. New agriculture jobs

50% of all pesticides used in the United States are for cotton. Hemp provides a natural path to reduce pollution while providing an extensive use of recyclable products. Shifting from cotton to Hemp could provide new jobs for rural America.

Conclusion

Regardless of the controversy surrounding the hemp plant, this crop is necessary for sustainable farming. If you are interested in finding new solutions to end the environmental crisis, now is the time to become a Hemp advocate. Our future may depend on it.

Thank you for taking the time to read the 25 Environmental Benefits of Industrial Hemp! My passion is to raise awareness of Hemp and Hemp-based health products that add wellness to people’s lives.

To your health,

Jess Etchemendy

Have questions? Email me at jess@greenlifeorganics.com



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