During a rattling time of uncertainty; global warming being denied its importance and ignorant leaders being elected, we remain wondering as a society, what can we do to help, if anything at all?
As the world’s temperature rises yearly, we continue to develop industrially but not mindfully. With much of the world’s air pollution coming from industry emissions, the world’s temperature has risen 0.5 degrees Celsius in the past 100 years. When you think about how long the world has been around for, 0.5 degrees sounds a lot more significant. With this fact in mind, this year, Australia ranked 5th worst of 52 developed countries in regards to the emissions released. Why with so much potential, does a country such as Australia rank so poorly? Are we really not able to find clean, Eco-friendly solutions?
Of course, there is no quick fix and some may even debate that there is no hope for our planet now. But here’s just one of the many options that may help address one element of mass industrial growth.
Could the answer be hemp? No, I am not referring to smoking a doobie, punching a cone or relaxing with Mary Jane. I’m referring to a different species of cannabis. A species so diverse in its uses and so economically friendly that it’s potential almost enlightens me.
Here are some facts…
Hemp can be used to make:
- Natural fibre clothing and manchester rather than synthetics
- Toxic free paper
- Protein shakes and other dietary supplements
- Body creams and soaps
- Plastic packaging and even hard plasticsfor building materials
- Fibreboard and trusses rather than wood for construction
- Fibreglass used in cars, boats, skateboards, snowboards etc
- Bio-diesel from hempseed oil
Hemp manufacturing is so environmentally friendly because:
- It can grow fast in almost any environment and replenishes soils
- It does not require pesticides or herbicides as it is naturally resistant
- It does not require fertilizers as it uses its own leaf fall
- Its roots use ground water, reducing salinity
- When harvested, the soil remains non-toxic compost that can be reused to grow more hemp or even other plans such as wheat and soy.
- It replaces the need to clear so much land for wood and growing other plants
- It goes further; For example it takes 4 times as much land cleared for trees to make the same amount of paper as hemp.
- The carbon dioxide released from burning hemp to make fuel can be absorbed by the next fast growing crop, which is also leafy enough to contribute back to the atmosphere with oxygen
- Fabrics made of hemp have no chemical residue and are reusable and 100% biodegradable
Although there are so many uses and benefits of hemp, how readily available are these products? How cost efficient are they? How ethically have they been produced? And essentially, how appealing or stylish are they to the common person?
So the question remains, can hemp save the world? Can we use hemp to replace synthetic products, reduce mass production and effectively slow down the rate of global warming?
Most importantly, if so, what are we going to do about it?