Sustainability, pollution, and carbon footprint are increasingly important issues and are becoming well known to people worldwide. Over the decades, our activities have resulted in degradation of the planet and environment. At Celtic Wind, we work towards a sustainable future as we truly believe we are building a sustainable business to lead the way in the hemp industry for the future. Here are 10 facts on how hemp positively impacts the environment, surrounding habitats and helps the planet to benefit the global community.
- Hemp sequesters CO2
Hemp is carbon negative, meaning it traps CO2 from the environment, neutralising its own carbon levels as it grows. For example, our 2019 crop of 500 acres captured over 1,650 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere during its growth cycle. This is equivalent to the carbon produced in over 220 American households every year!
- No Waste
Every single part of the hemp plant is used in a variety of industries. The hemp plant is broken down using different intermediate processes and used to make sustainable, beneficial materials. There is no waste when it comes to hemp.
- Pest & Disease Resistant
Hemp is naturally resistant to pests & disease. Hemp is very resilient and naturally immune to insects, fungi, and disease. Therefore, hemp does not require harsh pesticides or chemicals during its growing process.
- Conserves Water
Compared to most crops, hemp is a less water intensive. Textile crops, such as cotton, require large amounts of water to grow. To manufacture one cotton t-shirt, it takes 2,700 litres of water! Hemp uses about 80 gallons of water, roughly X4 less than cotton, and receives most of its water from rainfall, permitting conservation of this resource instead of careless usage.
- Source of Fuel
The planet is suffering from environmental damage caused by fossil fuel emissions and oil extraction. Hemp is an answer to change this and replace this damage with a plant-based fuel. Ongoing studies have shown hemp biodiesel to have high efficiency and is another brilliant example of hemp’s eco-friendly status and versatility.
- Saves Trees and Minimises Deforestation
Deforestation is a devasting problem. It is occurring as forests are cleared to make way for agricultural crops or to harvest trees for more paper. It is estimated that the planet loses 19 million acres of forests per year. Hemp can grow in smaller spaces as it is a highly dense crop, reducing the need for deforestation. Hemp is a better option for producing paper as it grows quicker than trees (4 months vs. 20 years), so it is a better solution to produce paper as less trees will be harvested, hence, slowing down deforestation. The low lignin content in hemp and natural light colour means less chemicals and bleach are required to pulp and colour hemp paper. Overall, hemp can save trees and repair the harm done to the environment by deforestation.
The soil and land can be stripped of nutrients by improper farming techniques as the soil isn’t given a chance to replenish. This results in soil degradation which impacts the land and future crops to be planted. Hemp is known as the best phytoremediation plant in the world. Hemp nourishes the soil it grows on, improving the health of the soil and inhibits erosion. Hemp cleans the air, soil, and water from hazardous contaminants, benefiting the environment.
- Replace Plastic
Almost half of all the plastic created is single-use and ends up buried in landfills, leaking harmful chemicals into the soil and groundwater. This has adverse impacts on the environment and surrounding wildlife. Hemp plastic is light, durable, and doesn’t contain chemicals found in regular plastics. In the 1940’s, Henry Ford built a car made of hemp and soy plastic. Since then, car manufacturers have changed to hemp composites for creating car elements. Hemp composites are cheaper and stronger than fibre glass and carbon fibre. Hemp plastics are environmentally safe as they are entirely biodegradable!
- High Yield
When it comes to sustainability, yield is an important factor. Hemp requires less land to produce the same about of fibre as other plants due to its natural density. Per acre, hemp produces more fibre than cotton (250%) and flax (600%)! Hemp is one the fastest growing crops, taking about 4 months to mature compared to cotton, which takes 6 months to fully grow. This makes hemp more feasible and sustainable to grow compared to other crops.
- Carbon Negative Construction Materials
The construction industry accounts for 40% of the world’s total carbon emissions! After water, concrete is the second most consumed resource, with cement accounting for 5% of the entire world’s CO2 output. It’s evident that the construction industry has a catastrophic carbon footprint. A non-toxic, renewable and energy efficient way of replacing concrete is hempcrete. Hempcrete is created by mixing hemp fibres with lime to build complete carbon-negative construction materials. We know hemp fibres are the strongest natural fibres in the world, making hempcrete strong and sturdy. It can also regulate moisture and is resistant to insects, fire, and mould. Hempcrete provides excellent insulation, which will reduce the use of energy and heating, therefore, lowering carbon emissions. Hempcrete, without a doubt, is an excellent sustainable building material that benefits the environment and significantly lowers carbon footprint. We can’t ask for anything better!