Sustaining

The Hemp Plant: Sustainable and Oh-So-Versatile

Hemp and its many uses may seem like a new concept, but one of the founding fathers, George Washington, was growing it.

Washington began growing hemp as a cash crop but later decided to utilize it for rope, thread, canvas, and more. It’s been many years, and the uses of hemp have evolved on various levels. Could it be a solution to global warming, used as bioplastics and even bricks to build homes? Let’s talk about it.

Hemp What It Is & What It Isn’t

Hemp is a versatile multipurpose plant; every part can be processed into something valuable and beneficial. Hemp is related to marijuana; I suppose you could say they’re cousins. While marijuana can cause feelings of euphoria when consumed or smoked, hemp won’t have that same effect.

The Many Uses of The Hemp Plant

There are four parts to the hemp plant, similar to many plants; the roots, stalks, leaves, and seeds. The seeds can be used to create eco-friendly fuel, hemp stalks make strong fiber, the leaves are made into medicine, and the roots can heal and repair the soil. Considering the possibilities, hemp could replace things like petrol and cotton.

Believe it or not, there are more than 50,000 known uses for hemp, from paper, bioplastic, or hemp plastic, and clothing to medicine, food, hygiene products like soap, and building materials. Hemp is a renewable resource of raw materials. It can replace many everyday items like plastic which wreak havoc on our planet.

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 allows us to grow hemp as a rotational crop in America. This is a pivotal move that can pave the way to a sustainable life in the midst of this climate crisis we face. Greenhouse gases, carbon, plastic, and oil harm the environment.

Imagine an existence where durable and eco-friendly products are readily available, renewable energy that doesn’t harm the ecosystem, and cleaner air. That, my friends, could be a reality! Hemp plants can literally revolutionize our way of life significantly, all while reducing our massive carbon footprint along the way.

Hemp and Climate Change

Out with the old and in with the new. However, with hemp, it’s more like out with the old and in with the older. While hemp can’t completely solve our global warming issues, it can definitely curb them. The more hemp takes over, the better things can become.

The leading cause of global warming is the greenhouse effect, an atmospheric imbalance intimately tied to excessive carbon emissions. Farmers and scientists have been working closely together to develop a practice known as Carbon Farming. Farmers plant crops using the strategic intention to eliminate carbon from the atmosphere and put it back into the soil.

Carbon Sinks

In nature, a “carbon sink” is an ecosystem that absorbs more carbon than they release. Carbon sinks are a vital component in the carbon cycle on earth. It is these areas that carbon farmers seek to mimic or recreate in their farming operations.

Trees and plant species are the most critical elements in carbon sinks. Hemp plants fit nicely into these new carbon sink models. Hemp plants naturally remove CO2 or carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. That said, hemp helps tip the scales of the carbon cycle to a place where the land removes the carbon from the atmosphere rather than contributing to the excess CO2 release.

I’ve yet to find anything negative in my research about hemp and its many uses. If you’re new to the hemp scene, please take a look at the many companies, products, and possibilities. These little changes are worth making for the bigger picture.

-Elaina Garcia

Photo by Matteo Paganelli on Unsplash

 

 

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Elaina Garcia is a published writer in various niches. She has been studying and practicing plant medicine and natural healing for 15 years now. A New York native living far from her old home, she lives a sustainable lifestyle in her tiny home! Her writing career began a little over 4 years ago starting at the bottom and working her way up. Elaina is the author of children's educational books and a content creator with work on various sites

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