The hemp plant is one of the oldest crops in the world and also one of the most sustainable as it only needs a small portion of land to grow rapidly and vigorously. The benefits of growing hemp are uncountable; it is a highly valuable plant due to its capability to produce bioplastics, paper, clothing, rope, concrete, and many other textiles in a remarkably sustainable way.
There are even many recognized brands such as Ralph Lauren, Nike, and Calvin Klein that are using hemp to fabric their entire clothing collections because of the quality of the material. These brands have realized that growing hemp is beneficial. Hemp fiber is easily recycled and has better resistance and absorbency than cotton. There’s also research that argues that hemp seeds contain calcium, vitamin E, omega 3, omega 9, among others, making it ideal for human consumption. In this regard, hemp is the only crop that can feed you, dress you, shelter you and heal you without affecting the planet. Not long ago, hemp was legalized in the United States and since, has been serving a greater purpose. Only by cultivating hemp, the environment is automatically being regenerated.
Benefits of growing hemp
So, how or why is hemp so good for our planet? Not only is industrial hemp a prime crop for manufacturing industrial products but the mere fact of growing and cultivating the plant can make a big difference in the environment.
Reducing Air Pollution
Not only does the hemp plant breath in CO2 but it also doesn’t require pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers to grow; acting like nature’s purifier. In addition to this, this plant captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to keep the air quality purer. It is estimated that for every ton of hemp produced, 1.63 tons of carbon is removed from the air.
Restoring Soil Fertility
The hemp plant helps the conservation and regeneration of the ecosystem where it is planted by detoxifying metals and harmful chemicals from the environment. Instead of extracting nutrients from the soil like most plants, the hemp seed manages to grow in a big range of soils and the shape of its roots helps prevent possible soil erosion. Besides, when it matures and the seeds grow, its foliar matters fall to the ground and decompose leaving thousands of nutrients like oxygen and nitrogen that are finally absorbed by the soil and become regenerating agents.
Hemp could successfully help the deforestation crisis the planet is suffering. People know about the dangers of climate change but continue to carry out the same economic activities that affect the environment, like deforestation. This practice is accelerating global warming and causing thousands of species to spread. Trees take years to grow and reach their maximum level of maturity while hemp is grown in just over 4 months. Besides that, this plant can be used as raw material for coveted products such as paper and wood. This reduces the need to cut down trees. Hemp can fight this battle strongly while helping to conserve forests and also give hope about their possible recovery.
Avoiding Pesticide Contamination
Hemp is naturally resistant to pests. That is why it doesn’t need any type of herbicide or pesticide to grow healthy, unlike cotton. Pesticides are highly harmful to the health of the earth and pollute the water, thus affecting the ecosystem. This plant also adapts to the biodiversity of the land and offers better yield than other types of crops.
Most crops are 100% dependent on freshwater for survival. The most worrying and latent case is that of cotton, which consumes up to 5,000 gallons of water to produce 1 kilogram of cotton, worrying, isn’t it? Hemp requires approximately 15% of that amount to produce 1 kilogram and is suitable for manufacturing biofuels, plastic, and other variety of products at a higher quality without affecting the environment.
Aside from all the benefits that producing and cultivating hemp has for the world, products manufactured with industrial hemp bring unimaginable benefits. Not only to the environment but also to our health. The negative impact of industrialization has left the world in shattered pieces and hemp-derived products such as hemp bioplastic and hempcrete are great alternatives to start putting a dent in the pollution crisis.