Environmental Benefits of Hemp
How is Hemp Good for the Planet?
Sometimes it feels likes we can hardly move without bumping into words like ethical, sustainable, eco-friendly and green. They’re pretty impressive words – tied up with messages about saving the world and supporting the environment – but what do they actually mean…?
Here at Good Hemp we like to keep things straightforward. From clearing the air to regenerating soil and providing a habitat for wildlife, hemp is good for the planet and has many environmental benefits, plain and simple. And when your friends ask you exactly how or why hemp is saving the world, then you can quote any of the reasons we’ve listed for you here.
1. Hemp Breathes in Co2
Hemp is basically nature’s purifier. The plant rapidly captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and makes what we breathe much cleaner. In fact, for every tonne of hemp produced, 1.63 tonnes of carbon is removed from the air (which makes hemp a much more effective sequester of Carbon Dioxide than trees).
2. Hemp Regenerates the Soil
The stem and leaves of the hemp plant are jam-packed with nutrients. As the plant matures and the seed grows, leaf matter falls to the ground and decomposes replenishing the soil with goodness ready for the next crop. And after harvesting, the remnants of the hemp plant can be returned to the soil to make for a richer yield the following year, making another influential environmental benefit for hemp.
3. Hemp Supports Sustainable Farming
An important aspect Sustainable farming is all about rotating crops according to the season in order to keep soil nutrients up. Because hemp is an annual crop which grows within just four months of being planted, it’s an ideal candidate for rotation and makes for a wonderful environmental benefit for hemp. Farmers all over the world rejoice – this means richer, cleaner soil and a greater crop yield.
4. Help Against Pesticides
Unlike other natural fibres like cotton or flax, another environmental benefit of hemp is that it doesn’t require any pesticides or herbicides to grow. Exposure to these nasties has been proven to cause environmental problems like water contamination, and has also been linked to health issues like cancer. A potential solution? Use hemp all over the world and reduce the amount of toxins and pollutants in our air and water.
5. Hemp Prevents Soil Erosion
The roots of the hemp plant grow strong and up to a whopping nine feet deep! These kinds of root networks can help to hold soil together and prevent erosion, which is one of the greatest problems facing farmers today. In some cases, the environmental benefit of hemp is that it has even restored soil that was already damaged. It’s the real deal.
6. Hemp Needs Little Water
Hemp has the miraculous ability to irrigate itself naturally, which means it requires very little water to grow. This sets hemp apart from other plant-based milk options like soya or almond and other natural fibre plants like cotton which are very thirsty indeed.
7. Nothing goes to waste with Hemp
Did you know that hemp can be used to produce over 25,000 products?! That means that absolutely nothing goes to waste with this plant. Another miraculous environmental benefit of hemp, once harvested the seed is used to produce healthy food products, the flowers are leaves are used to make beauty products and the stalk for natural fibre.
8. Hemp Absorbs toxic Metals
We’ve looked at how hemp can clear the air and replenish soil, but it can also eliminate harmful toxins by absorbing them. Famously, the plant was used following the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl to remove radioactive strontium and cesium, and has even been considered for removing radiation from Fukushima.
9. Hemp Provides a Habitat for Wildlife
Number nine is allll about the birds and the bees. Our second last environmental benefit of hemp is that its plants grow up to three feet tall which makes them an excellent little hiding place for wildlife. Oh and when hemp flowers bloom they’re are good pollen source for bees.
10. Hemp can help in the fight against deforestation
Scientists across the world now believe that within 100 years, there will be no rainforest. But there is hope in hemp. While trees take years to mature, hemp can be grown in just four months. The plant could therefore replace trees as the source of raw material for paper. Hemp is good for the planet, and it might just save it.