Hemp and climate change are intrinsically connected. From changing weather patterns to soil quality, climate change directly impacts the kind and quality of hemp that is produced. The impact of climate change worldwide is immeasurable. Temperatures are rising, ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising and with that, the possibility of extreme natural disasters. People are demanding change. People are boycotting companies, making lifestyle changes, taking to the streets of their cities and lobbying for government action with the hopes of reducing these negative impacts. Change needs to happen in all sectors, from politics, business, and local communities to agriculture.
Hemp can be a part of that change. The hemp plant is one of the oldest and most versatile plants known to mankind. Such is the plant’s versatility that it can be used to make paper, bioplastics, car parts, clothes, biofuel, and so much more.
In a world that is becoming more and more environmentally polluted, hemp can play a vital role in fighting climate change.
Why is Hemp good for the environment?
The hemp plant works in many mysterious ways. One of those ways in how it can greatly hinder the damaging effects of climate change.
Hemp is basically the earth’s purifier. The plant captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and makes the air we breathe cleaner. For every tonne of hemp produced, 1.6 tonnes of carbon are removed from the air. Hemp is an insanely effective sequester of CO2 - even more so than trees.
Hemp can be used to make and produce over 25,000 products. Nothing goes to waste with hemp, no stone left unturned. Once harvested, the seed is used to produce CBD oil and the stalks used for natural fibres.
Something hemp can help create is plastic or bioplastics. Right now, every piece of plastic ever created, recycled or not, still exists. Plastic waste is at the forefront of much of the conversation around sustainability. With over 9.2 billion tons of plastic waste still on planet earth, it’s hard to leave it out of this conversation. Plastic waste is all around us from plastic bottles to grocery bags. But what if hemp could replace this plastic waste? Well, it can! Some of the world’s earliest plastics were made of hemp from organic cellulose fibres.
Not only does hemp not need fertilizer, but it also replenishes the soil with nitrogen, nutrients and increases the topsoil. It restores the health and fertility of the soil that makes hemp farming, sustainable agriculture.
Among the many ways that hemp can help in the fight against climate change, reducing deforestation is one of the plant’s most incredible feats. There are growing concerns among scientists that there will be no forest in 100 years, but there is hope in hemp. While trees take years to mature and grow, hemp can be harvested within a few months. Therefore, meaning hemp can replace trees as the source of raw materials for paper.
How sustainable are Celtic Wind products?
Celtic Wind’s products are inherently sustainable as they are products derived directly from hemp, and as we learned hemp is an effective sequester of CO2. Aside from using an already sustainable plant to produce our entire range of products, there are processes in which Celtic Wind take to ensure our products are environmentally friendly.
Celtic Wind doesn’t use pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides on the crops and fields where our hemp is grown. The use of these products can not only kill insects or weeds but can be harmful to a whole host of organisms like fish, birds, insects, and more. Celtic Wind is also aware that cows and horses in the area graze off the land near our crops, so avoiding sprays like the above ensure the cows don’t ingest anything harmful.
CBD oil is cold-pressed. This means we don’t use any chemicals or solvent extraction methods during production. Once the hemp is harvested, it is pressed and bottled - ensuring an all-natural product.
We’ve also installed a state-of-the-art production facility that enables our “seed to shelf” products. We are able to make our wide range of food supplements and topicals in this production suite which uses 100% hemp plant seed.
Industrial hemp has so many uses, and Celtic Wind believes in utilizing them all. Wasting not an inch of the hemp plant, the plant is used in the production of CBD oil, natural fibres for industries, and wood core.
Growing the stalk to 10-12ft high makes for a cane-like and hallow stake that have long cellulose fibres which is the perfect ingredient for making clothes, ropes, paper, and packaging. The fibre and shive from the hemp plant are used in the construction industry for natural fibre insulation. Making for some sustainable building!
Although Celtic Wind does not have the facilities to refine the stalk and by-products ourselves, we use third-party contractors in the UK.
The cultivation, production, and use of hemp in Ireland fit into the broader climate actions plans and Celtic Wind is leading that charge.
Is hemp a good solution for climate change?
Hemp is a great solution to climate change. Hemp is super easy to farm, it requires very little water, can be grown in any climate, and is naturally resistant to pesticides.
Industrial hemp has so many uses, and Celtic Wind believes in utilizing them all. Hemp organically sequesters carbon and would, therefore, capture over 11,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. To put that into perspective, that is equal to 3,000 transatlantic flights from London to New York. If turbulence didn’t already put you off flying, that fact would.
We’ve outlined how hemp can help clear the air, but it can also eradicate harmful toxins in the air by absorbing them. The plant was even used following the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl to help remove radioactive strontium and caesium.
Hemp is an all-terrain plant meaning it can withstand any environment and climate. The plant has deep roots that hold the soil together and prevent erosion. The stems and leaves are brimming with nutrients, so as the plant grows and sheds, the leaves are absorbed into the earth. When this happens, the soil soaks up the nutrients which replenish the earth and provide the promise of better yields in the future.
Hemp serves an essential service not only in our economy but our ecosystems. One acre of hemp has the ability to remove 10 tonnes of carbon from the air - that’s more than the average home emits in one year! In addition, hemp can be used in some in the construction industry - where hempcrete can replace concrete as a carbon-negative solution.
Hemp and all of its entities and by-products are so much more than just CBD. Hemp has the potential to reduce our waste, support our soil systems, rejuvenate forests, protect resources and our environment. As hemp continually gains public support and acceptance into mainstream society, we will reap the benefits.