Why Hemp is Climbing the Charts as a Sustainable Alternative
October 2, 2020
The number of virgin forests in the world is quickly being depleted. The United States alone uses one third of the world’s paper supply. On top of this statistic, American paper mills are the third worst polluters and third greatest energy consumers in the world. We can’t sustain life this way for much longer.
Hemp presents an extremely viable alternative to these harmful methods. Not only does hemp take a fraction of the time to grow (maturing in just 20 weeks versus 20 years), just one acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fiber as four acres of trees. Because more hemp can be produced on less land, soil erosion in regions that opt for hemp over wood pulp experience reduced soil erosion.
For farmers, hemp is among the easiest crops to grow. It also has the potential to create jobs for tens of thousands of unemployed, reduce imports, and increase exports.
The hemp plant has long roots that penetrate deep into the soil, breaking it up and creating ideal conditions for next year’s crop. Its height and dense foliage enable the hemp plant to choke out weeds and thrive almost anywhere. Not only does hemp create ideal growing conditions for a successive hemp crop, it can also help regenerate the soil for other crops to be planted.
Virtually every part of the plant can be used. The stalk’s outer bast fiber makes textiles, canvas and rope while its woody core (hurd) is used in paper, construction and animal bedding. The edible seeds are high in protein, fiber, omega-3 fats and other nutrients. Hemp oil can be used in the production of paints, adhesives, cooking and plastics while leaves can be eaten and are often used to make juice.
Did you know the very first paper in the world was made partly from hemp? As a plant, hemp is more suitable for paper with its higher cellulose and lower lignin content.
Harsh chemicals like bleach and chlorine are necessary to lighten the color of wood pulp to a consumer-friendly shade. Consequently, these chemicals leach into the water supply and beyond, making us sick. With hemp, however, a harmless blend of hydrogen peroxide can be used for lightening or even nothing at all (it’s naturally quite light without any treatment).
Hemp was forgotten in the 1900s when large synthetic textile companies and newspapers lobbied to prohibit the cultivation of hemp in America. Ironically, the laws were enacted a few short months after hemp was deemed to be on the verge of becoming a “billion dollar crop.” Hemp is finally recovering from this prohibition and we are seeing it make a comeback in all kinds of goods.
To celebrate the miracle of hemp and its growing popularity in consumer goods, we’ve released two new hemp products for you to get your logo on. Check out the latest additions hemp toilet tissue and hemp toe socks by perusing the product pages below.
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