For some reason, above and beyond my own personal understanding, climate change is a contentious issue. There is a camp of people who understand that climate change is created by the carbon footprint of human industry; there is a camp of people who believe that while climate change is real, it is part of a natural process; and finally, there are the goobers who believe that climate change isn’t a thing at all.
Whether you believe in human-driven climate change, or if you’re wrong, I think we can all agree that there’s nothing wrong with living in a more eco-friendly and sustainable way. While each person making a change in how they consume is helpful, we won’t see meaningful change until we make changes to how our commodities are produced.
If all of our industries make a commitment to become more sustainable then a huge contributor to climate change will be removed. One of the most effective ways to live up to this commitment would be to exchange the raw materials industry for more sustainable alternatives.
Hemp is a variety of that cannabis plant, it is legal in many countries that cannabis is not due to the fact that it is low in THC; the psychoactive, mind altering chemical that all cannabis fans know and love. Hemp is an incredibly resilient, versatile, and easy to grow material, capable of being turned into a huge range of different products.
Hemp has a long history of use with some of the earliest evidence of hemp has been excavated along the banks of the Yellow River, in China. These artifacts consist of pottery and clothes, but it is thought that hemp was also harvested for its high protein seeds and oils. This is a fantastic example of the versatility of hemp, and all the uses it has been put to throughout history.
The word superfood is somewhat over used these days, but I’m struggling to think of a better description of hemp seeds. They are packed with beneficial acids and fats, including omega 6 and 7. They are packed with protein and fibre, and they can be worked into a whole range of different dishes.
Plastics are for the most part made from petrochemicals derived from fossil fuels. This makes it one of the least sustainable materials we use in manufacturing. Hemp cellulose fibers can be made into a fantastic plastic that can perform many of the roles petrochemical plastics does in our society.
Hemp plastics are so strong that Canadian company Hempearth managed to make an entire plane out of it. The plane has a 36ft wingspan, enough room for a pilot and four passengers. There is a joke here about getting “high’, I’ll let you fill it in.
Biodiesels have been touted as a solution to the emission caused by trains, planes, and pink humvee limos. Hemp biodiesel is especially environmentally friendly when you compare it to other fuels made from things like sugar beet or palm oil. This is because hemp is quick to grow, can be cultivated in nearly any temperate climate, and actually leaves the ground in better shape than it was when the seeds were sown.