6 Ways How Hemp Can Save Our Planet
Is hemp able to save our planet? Since the legalization of more and more hemp products, it turns out hemp is useful in many more ways than what you would think.
This made me wonder:
Could hemp be so powerful that it could save our planet?
Yes, hemp can save the planet! Hemp can save the planet in many different ways. Keep on reading if you want to find out how.
Hemp is a super powerful plant with lots of benefits. I have done some research and found out that hemp is capable of saving our planet. It can replace plastic, cotton, oil, air, it can even clean the soil!
Hemp can replace plastic
There are different plastics used on the planet, some of them are Celluloid, Cellophane, and Rayon.
Celluloid is not used so much anymore because it is highly flammable. Cellophane and Rayon are used much more.
Hemp contains 65-70% cellulose that is needed to create an alternative for plastic (Celluloid, Cellophane, and Rayon).
Many companies (Coca Cola for example) already investing heavily in creating an alternative for plastic, and hemp is an excellent alternative, the only downside for the moment is that it’s costly to use hemp as an alternative for plastic.
The main reason the costs are still relatively high compared to fossil fuels is the lack of infrastructure to grow and process hemp. Mainly because of the decades of hemp prohibition only now since the legalization in 2018 companies can research and invest in the hemp industry.
Most plastic items take over 1,000 years to decompose and every year 380 million plastic is made, this means a huge amount of pollution on our planet.
Hemp plastic only takes 3–6 months to decompose, 100% recyclable and cost 45% less energy to produce. Hemp plastic even has the potential to be used in Aerospace because of its strength and lightweight.
BMW is using industrial hemp in its i3 series, to line the door panels with industrial hemp.
In 2007 students from the University of Warwick even developed a race car where the outer shell was made of hemp.
Hemp can replace steel
Well, believe it or not, but it turns out that hemp can replace steel. Hemp is a steel alternative that is 10 times stronger than steel and 6 times more efficient at mending and bending than steel, meaning that hemp fibers have a better strength to weight ratio than steel and it’s also cheaper to produce.
Just think of it for a moment, everywhere you go there is steel. Cars, airplanes, houses, we make everything of steel. Can you imagine how hemp steel will have a tremendous positive impact on the environment because it reduces the negative impacts the steel industry has on the environment? Personally, this blows my mind!
Hemp can replace Graphene
I can imagine you don’t know for what products graphene is used, I also did not know.
They use graphene in lots of products. They use graphene for example in batteries, fuel cells, cancer treatments, bone and teeth implantation, body scans, transistors, wearable electronics like smartphones and smartwatches, hard drives, etc.
You can see there are many uses of graphene.
Now it turns out that scientists say that they can transform the waste fibers of the crop of the hemp plant into high-performance energy storage devices. They “cooked” cannabis bark into carbon nanosheets and built super capacitors. The quality is the same or even better than graphene.
Machines that rely on sharp bursts of power could use this alternative. Think of electric cars, for example. The downside is that we will not see this kind of technology soon on the market because of the high costs of production.
So, how does replacing Graphene helps in saving the planet?
It turns out that Graphene oxide nanoparticles spread quickly through surface water. That could mean that if the substance found its way into a lake or river, it might hurt the ecosystem. The problem is that researchers don’t know for sure.
Hemp is a natural product and would not hurt the ecosystems, preserving the nature and the people in it.
If you ask me, it’s also kind of scary that researchers really don’t have any idea what the results for nature, in the long run, will be. And since graphene is used in lots of products, it could be catastrophic. Let’s just hope the costs will soon drop dramatically for the production of hemp-based capacitors.
Hemp contains up to 90% cotton
Did you know that Giorgio Armani used hemp in an Emporio Armani Collection back in 1995? Or that Burberry designed a hemp suit for actor Woody Harrelson back in 2010?
I believe the fashion industry could benefit quite a lot from hemp. Cotton is a demanding plant that requires much water, chemical fertilizers and because the cotton plant attracts a lot of insects, you would also need to treat it with insecticides. On average, it takes about 5.5 to 6.5 months to grow the cotton plant.
There is hemp, hemp grows quick, it takes only 8–11 weeks to grow. Also, hemp is one of the few crops on this planet that doesn’t need insecticides or chemical fertilizers. When looking at it from the healthy nature point of view this is impressive and will help in reducing poisoning the soils on our planet.
Another thing to think about is that today oil-based synthetics (spandex, polyester, acrylic, and nylon) make up for 62% of the worldwide consumption, cotton accounts for 26% of the fiber market. Other fibers like wood-based fibers account for 6%, wool 1% and last, comes other natural fibers like hemp and linen, 5%. You can see that hemp still only has a small market share for the moment, but that will change for sure in the future.
Although hemp is more difficult to work with Levi’s found a way to make the hemp strings soft.
They make very interesting developments in the fashion industry and I really wonder when this industry will transit to hemp and let the cotton behind them.
Using hemp to clean the soil easily
Hemp is not the only plant that is known for cleaning the soil. There are more plants capable of doing cleaning the soil, the problem is that to clean the soil there is more needed than cleaning only the topsoil. Also, the layer under the topsoil needs to be cleaned.
To clean more than only the topsoil you would need a plant that has tall roots. This is where hemp comes in to play. Hemp has roots that grow in average 1.5ft–3ft (46cm–91cm) in length. This makes it super attractive to use hemp because the roots of the hemp plant can reach deep into the soil and therefore be much more effective at removing widespread contamination.
Lead and nickel, both used heavily in industrial applications can be removed by the hemp plant. The hemp plant can absorb these kinds of metals (and much more).
When using hemp for cleaning the soil, you must know that that hemp cannot be used anymore for food, clothing and medicinal use. The hemp contains too many toxic compounds.
Although you can’t use the hemp anymore for food etc, there are other options to use it for, for example, biofuels. Because hemp can grow very tall, there are a lot of biofuels in it to use.
Besides cleaning the soil, research also showed that hemp could help with cleaning out contaminated water.
I hope you understand that when you want to use CBD, you test it, just to make sure there are no toxins in it.
And this brings us to the next topic, and that is:
Hemp can be used as fuel
Because hemp used for cleaning toxic soil can’t be used for consumption, it can be used for biofuels. Researchers found that even the seeds of Sativa or industrial hemp can be used to create a sustainable diesel fuel.
There was even one researcher who claimed that most hemp farmers today produce enough hemp to create enough fuel to power their farm. If that statement is true, can you imagine how much fuel you have when you used hemp to clean the soil!.
You could also make ethanol and methanol from the toxic hemp plant. Creating methanol from hemp is done through a process of dry distillation.
Hemp has the potential to lead the world from a petroleum-based economy to a hemp-based economy providing a sustainable energy resource that leaves the planet in better condition than it found it.
I have one word and that is “Amazing!”.
Before I wrote this article, I knew that using hemp has some potentials that could help the planet in getting healthier. What I did not expect was that this plant has so many abilities and potential to heal our planet in so many ways! There is just too much to write about in one blog post.
I hoped you liked this post and learned a lot from it. If you are curious, then watch the video below. It’s very interesting, I promise you!