SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Choosing to use MCU Botanicals CBD products is a choice that can impact the environment as well as yourself. The choice to use CBD and hemp based products means planting more hemp, which we believe can only be a good thing as this can help turn the tide towards a brighter and more sustainable future for a number of reasons.
As most people will know, the health, industrial and commercial properties of hemp have been known to mankind for a very long time, but its benefits to the environment were not as clear until recently. Many industries looking for sustainable and eco-friendly processes are turning to hemp for the answer. This is partly because its cultivation does not require any particular climate or soil, so it can be grown in most parts of the world.
The hemp plant is low in moisture; it dries quickly and is an efficient biomass source of methanol. The waste products produced by using hemp oil are a good source of ethanol. Both methanol and ethanol are produced from hemp through the efficient and economical process of thermo-chemical conversion. One acre of hemp yields 1,000 gallons or 3,785 liters of fuel. Hemp allows a lesser reliance on fossil fuels, which are non-renewable sources of energy and will not be able to meet the increasing global demands for long.
Paper and packaging can be made from hemp. Since hemp has a low lignin content compared to wood, it can be turned to pulp faster and easier; this naturally bright pulp does not need chlorine bleaching, which is used in traditional paper mills and releases a toxic substance called dioxin into the environment. Hemp is also compatible with the new soy-based binders rather than the harsh binders that give off formaldehyde. This obviously reduces air pollution and health concerns to human and animal life. The quality of paper obtained from hemp is more durable and does not lose its color even after many years. Much more can be got out of each hemp plant since its paper can be recycled 7 or 8 times, compared to only 3 for paper made from trees.
Hemp can also be used in construction. Fiberboards made from a hemp-based composite are stronger yet lighter than those made from wood. The combination of hemp fiber and lime results in a sound-proofing and insulating material that is stronger and lighter than concrete. By replacing wood and concrete, the amount of waste at construction sites is reduced. Since homes built using hemp products have better thermal insulation, less fuel is required for heating them. Bio-based plastics can be made from the long hemp fibers, and these are almost as strong as fiberglass. Hemp is an economical construction material that is recyclable, cheaper than glass and safe for the workers.
All round hemp is Much Better for the Environment:
- It can replace trees as the source of raw material for wood and paper, thereby conserving forests. Trees take years to grow, while a crop of hemp can be grown in a few months. Just one acre of hemp can produce as much paper annually as 4 acres of trees.
- When burning hemp as a fuel, carbon dioxide is still released into the air, but this is absorbed by the next crop, which can be harvested just 120 days after planting. This rapid growth avoids the build-up of carbon dioxide. Also, hemp is a very leafy plant and helps contribute a high level of oxygen to the atmosphere. This makes up for the loss of oxygen when it is burnt as a fuel, which subsequently, reduces the unwanted and rapidly escalating effects of global warming such as acid rain and the depletion in the ozone layer on the environment.
- Pesticide pollution is reduced as hemp is naturally resistant to pests and does not need pesticides and herbicides. Very little fertilizers are required, since it’s abundant leaves fall to the soil releasing the required nutrients and minerals, thereby creating better soil quality. For example cotton and flax are known to consume 50% of all pesticides; hemp can be a direct replacement for cotton as a raw material in the manufacturing of paper and cloth, and flax fiber and seed for food and paper.
- Hemp grows dense and vigorously. Sunlight is less likely to penetrate the plants to reach the ground, and this means the crop is relatively free of weeds. Its long roots take up ground water and reduce its salinity. As a result, erosion of topsoil is limited, helping to reduce water pollution. The roots give nitrogen and other nutrients back to the soil. After harvesting, this soil makes excellent compost amendments for other plants, and hemp cultivation can follow the rotation of agriculture with wheat or soybean. The same soil can be used to grow hemp for many years, without losing its high quality. Hemp also absorbs toxic metals emitted by nuclear plants into the soil, such as copper, cadmium, lead and mercury.
- Fabrics and clothes made from hemp do not have any chemical residue, and are therefore safer for consumers. Remarkably if the fabric contains only 50% hemp, it can keep the UV rays of the sun from harming the skin underneath.
Hemp products can be recycled, reused and are 100% biodegradable. The growth of the plant is fast enough to meet the increasing industrial and commercial demand for these products. Switching to hemp products will help save the environment, leaving a cleaner and greener planet for the next generation, which is surely the most important of facts when considering how we each live our lives?