Last week we talked about the many ways growing hemp is good for the planet, from its large tap roots to its erosion-reversing effects. But what about once it leaves the farm?
Each year more and more hemp products become available, and more research surfaces praising its sustainability. Here are some of our favorite things people are doing with hemp to pave the way (with hempcrete?) toward a more sustainable future.
Since we already mentioned it, let’s talk about hempcrete. Hempcrete is a bio-composite made of the inner woody core of the hemp plant mixed with a lime-based binder.
This material can be used to build homes, and it has already become a legitimate, if somewhat pricey option (we’re hoping as it becomes more common, prices will become more competitive).
The benefits of building with hemp are pretty incredible- here’s a quick breakdown:
- it acts an amazing thermodynamic insulator, so it helps to reduce energy costs by 50–70% annually
- reduces allergens and is toxin-free- a great choice for people with allergies
- continuously absorbs CO2 as it ages, so it reduces your carbon footprint. As it absorbs CO2, the material actually becomes stronger. Essentially, a building made with hempcrete will become stronger over time.
People are now looking for ways to use hemp as fuel in our vehicles.
Hemp biodiesel, if processed properly, can be used in any diesel-fueled vehicle. Through various forms of fermentation, hemp can also be made into ethanol as a more sustainable form of fuel for our cars.
While this isn’t yet something you can get at the gas station, we’re eagerly awaiting advances in this area- and as always we’ll keep you informed as we learn more!
Anybody remember that song, “anything you can do I can do better. . .” That’s what hemp is singing to regular old plastic. Hemp can fulfill any need that plastic does, and is more durable and sustainable.
At the moment, the wide use of hemp plastic is cost-prohibitive due to the strict regulations on hemp farming, but we’re looking forward to a future where plastic is as mythical and unbelievable as 8-tracks and smoking on airplanes.
Yes, hemp sunglasses are a thing
Basically, the future of hemp and the future of sustainability are looking bright. So you might want to put on your hemp sunglasses.