Hemp is an ancient crop that has become increasingly popular in the modern world for its health and environmental benefits. This popularity has a direct correlation to the crops versatility and ability to produce a range of products. Some of these include: food, textiles, paper, clothing, cosmetics, supplements and medicinal preparations. The environmental benefits of hemp are profound which attests to this recent popularity.
Environmental benefits of hemp
Hemp plays a crucial role in the development of a sustainable environment. There are many environmental benefits that hemp provides such as the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the absence of waste and necessary pesticides, the promotion of healthy soils and a home to essential pollinators.
How does hemp reduce CO2?
Hemp is a crop known for its carbon sequestration abilities. This means that it can rapidly absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gases. In fact, hemp is more effective at absorbing CO2 than a tree. Every tonne of hemp produced, approximately 1.6 tonnes of CO2 is removed from the atmosphere. Pretty impressive right?
What about waste products?
In the race to being the most waste free plant, hemp wins the gold. The stalk, seeds, flowers, and leaves can all be used in various products. This not only means that there is an absence of waste; hemp is the better alternative in many instances. For example, hemp is a stronger, more durable and cost-effective plant when compared to cotton. It also uses less than a third of the water needed to grow cotton.
Pesticides? No need
There is no need for pesticides and herbicides when growing a hemp crop because it has its own natural resistance to insects and weeds. Why does this matter? Harmful chemicals used in farming crops cause soil degradation and is harmful to waterways after chemical runoff has taken place.
How does hemp improve soil quality?
Hemp uses the process of phytoremediation to remove toxic contaminants in the soil, thus improving soil quality. Phytoremediation is a natural, cost-effective environmental restoration technology used to improve soil quality. The crop is particularly favourable for this process due to its deep root system which is also a protective factor in soil erosion.
With the aim to improve the environment, reduce greenhouse gases, improve soil quality and effectively re route climate change; hemp is a cost-effective contender. The economic and environmental impacts are evident, and more and more companies are choosing hemp.
As consumers, we vote for what we believe is best for the environment with our money. Choose products made from hemp where you can. Educate others, and stay sustainable.
Greipsson, S. (2011). Phytoremediation | Learn Science at Scitable. Retrieved 14 October 2021, from https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/phytoremediation-17359669/
Kowalski, K. (2021). Exploring the Environmental Benefits of Hemp – Volteface. Retrieved 14 October 2021, from https://volteface.me/environmental-benefits-hemp/
The Environmental Impact of Hemp – Is Hemp Sustainable? – Get Green Now. (2020). Retrieved 14 October 2021, from https://get-green-now.com/environmental-impact-of-hemp/