Environmental Benefits of Hemp

Industrial hemp is gaining a lot of respect around the world for its amazing versatility and environmental benefits. Many companies are turning to hemp in order to make their products more sustainable and eco-friendly in general.

Unfortunately, widespread acceptance of hemp still has a long way to go. Many people are oblivious to the great benefits of hemp. Some (incorrectly) assume that it’s a drug (because of its close association with marijuana). The U.S. government has even made it illegal to grow hemp. This does not make it easy for those of us who are trying to do the right thing!

Hemp cultivation can provide many benefits for the environment. Also, hemp products can provide further environmental benefits when comparing them to products made from other fibers.

Here are some key reasons why hemp should become much more widely used than it currently is.

Growing Hemp

Here are some of the major environmental benefits of growing hemp:

  • Fast and robust growth: Hemp grows extremely fast and can be grown in any climate, in any agronomic system
  • No herbicides/pesticides required: Hemp can be grown with no (or little) herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, or other biocides.
  • Suppresses weeds: Hemp is a natural weed suppressor due to the fast growth of the canopy. Actually, hemp is a weed. Because it grows so fast and densely, it blocks out sunlight to other weeds that are trying to grow.
  • Improves soil structure: Due to it’s long roots, hemp replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen and helps control erosion of topsoil. Also, once harvested, any residue can act as an eco-friendly manure.
  • Hemp produces lots of oxygen: Hemp produces the same amount of oxygen while it’s growing that it would use in carbon dioxide if burned as a fuel. Also, due to it’s leaf/root ratio (this can often be 10% roots vs 30% leaves), hemp can produce between 20% - 40% more oxygen than will be polluted.
  • Cleans up pollution: Hemp can actually clean up toxins from the ground. This process is called phytoremediation. A good example of this is when hemp was used to help clean up the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site to remove radioactive elements from the ground.

Hemp Products

Naturally, products made from hemp are 100% biodegradable, recyclable, and reusable. Also, the speed at which hemp grows can provide benefits regarding the resource requirements of the end product.

Here are some examples of how hemp products could benefit our environment and our health:

  • Switching to hemp paper could reduce deforestation significantly. For every 4 acres of trees that are required annually to make paper, only an acre of hemp would be required. Furthermore, because hemp paper can be recycled so many times (up to 7 or 8 times), much less is needed. In comparison, paper from wood pulp can only be recycled around 3 times. This means even more trees are required.
  • Clothing and textiles made from hemp have no residual chemicals that could affect our health (as many other fabrics do).
  • Hemp based fabrics block the sun’s UV rays more effectively than other fabrics. This is true, even if it’s only a 50% blend with another fabric.
  • Hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (the “good” fats)

It’s widely known that hemp can be used in so many ways as an eco-friendly alternative to current methods. Given that so many of today’s products are produced from toxic materials, by switching to hemp based products, the benefits for the environment (and ourselves) would be enormous.

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16 Responses to “Environmental Benefits of Hemp”

  1. What is Hemp? | Natural Environment Blog Says:

    [...] Natural Environment Blog Blogging for the Natural Environment « Environmental Benefits of Hemp [...]

  2. You say “Hemcrete”, I say “Hempcrete” | Natural Environment Blog Says:

    [...] recently raved about the environmental benefits of hemp. I also compiled a list of various ways hemp is being used around the world. There’s no doubt [...]

  3. Uses of Crude Oil | Natural Environment Blog Says:

    [...] oil, many of these products could be manufactured from hemp. Hemp is a natural fiber which provides amazing environmental benefits over crude oil. And you might be surprised by the enormous variety of products that hemp can [...]

  4. Hemp: Another small step towards Legalization | Natural Environment Blog Says:

    [...] unless drugs share the enormous benefits to the environment that industrial hemp does, it’s unlikely that we’ll see those being legalized any time [...]

  5. 3vine Says:

    For the most part, when I think about hemp, the first thing that comes to mind is jewelry, or beauty products. I am intrigued by all the environmental benefits of hemp and don’t understand why hemp is not more accepted around the world.

  6. Hemp Now Legal in NSW, Australia | Natural Environment Blog Says:

    [...] government is finally recognizing the benefits that hemp can bring. As well as reaping the great environmental benefits of hemp, the government expects that this will pave the way for a new and viable [...]

  7. christopher heft Says:

    hemp can also be used to produced high grade gas. 1 acre of gas equalls 500 gallons of gas and 1000 gallons of menthal

  8. Marlene Affeld Says:

    Hemp is an amazing plant which could benefit so many areas of our lives. I love hemp clothing, it lauders beautifully, is soft and comfortable and is eco-friendly. Thanks for the informative post. I am always heartened when I find blogs that focus on environmental awareness - together we can make a difference.

  9. Tabitha Maxwell Says:

    I have just started an ethical clothing business earthage, or EA Clothing and we are desperately trying to get hold of some hemp for our range, its so beautiful and extremely eco-friendly and would work perfectly with our organic and recycled range, anyone that knows of a hemp fabric available and grown in New Zealand I would love to hear from you.

    Cheers great article!

  10. colon cleanse weight loss Says:

    I rarely find good reads such as this one where I was kept interested the whole way through. It was difficult to stop reading your work which clearly shows what amazing talent you have. Can’t wait to read more from you.

  11. Hemp Necklace Says:

    An interesting and informative read… Thanks for sharing this info and article.

  12. potface Says:

    Doees anyone know of a group that is trying to publicize what is written in this article? I had no idea about most of the things I just read on this and it blows my mind that marijuana is still illegal. The legalization of it would clearly let us emerge from this depression. Obama is a fucking retard for not seeing this.

  13. robert Says:

    I like your article

  14. Susy "Herbal Colon Cleanse" Lampson Says:

    Hemp are illegal for those who use it illegal. Hemp now are consider as drugs that can cure illnesses.

  15. Bev Troth Says:

    Thanks for the update on Environmental Benefits of Hemp | Natural Environment Blog - Bev Troth

  16. hemp protein Says:

    Really great post. I added hemp seeds to my diet and I can really feel an improvement in my health in a short amount of time.