Apart from all the hazards and threats posed by human to the environment, it is also the flawed laws made by the governments of different countries which are leading to the deterioration of the eco-system. Global warming and climate change have become the most rampant phrases in contemporary public discourse for obvious reasons. Both are the results of drastic human actions over a long period of time. Also, the two terms are not entirely synonymous and our often used interchangeably. In this blog, we bring forward the findings on how hemp can help fight the menace of global warming.
Environmental scientists says that the temperature on the earth’s surface will increase by 3-4 degrees Celsius (5.4-7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 unless deliberate intervention measures are put in place. These steps should be targeted in a way which can lower the greenhouse effect.
The greenhouse effect suggests that temperature gets trapped on the earth’s surface and doesn’t get released into space. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA) says that human actions, especially since the mid-20th century, have altered the natural temperature circulation system on the earth’s surface shaking the very balance.
This results in the over presence of harmful gases like carbon dioxide, methane, etc. in the atmosphere. These gases hold back the heat making the environment hotter each day. The earth’s surface temperature is increasing at an alarming rate now.
How Can Hemp Help us With the Problem
It is necessary to burst the myths with which many countries across the globe still associate hemp. It is true that hemp belongs to the same plant species, Cannabis Sativa, as the drug cannabis, popularly known as marijuana. But hemp does not contain such psychoactive compounds.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the major gases that results in the greenhouse effect. Hemp cultivation is one of the most effective countermeasures we can take. It’s a no-brainer that more plants means less CO2 emission as plants absorb the gas. Hemp is particularly an expert in containing CO2.
A 2010 article in The Huffington Post mentions a scientific report to inform us that every ton of hemp can absorb up to 1.63 tons of CO2. This plant holds the capacity to trap carbon dioxide and hold it for as long as the plant is living.
Likewise, Hemp products also come up with ways to restrict CO2 emissions. Usage of fossil fuels and products based on them is one major source of emitting excess CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere. Hemp biofuel is one of the most easily renewable natural energy sources that can significantly lessen our need for petrochemicals.
Plastic, heralded as a major scientific breakthrough in the early 20th Century is now recognised as one of the major contributes to world pollution. It is in itself a major threat to the humankind and is also a petrochemical derivative. Substituting it with Hemp bioplastic which is a fully biodegradable natural solution can achieve two goals towards curbing the problem: reduce dependence on fossil fuel and address plastic pollution.
Another hemp solution comes in the form of Hempcrete: a bio-composite mostly of hemp hurds, lime, and water. Hemp hurds, also known as hemp shives, are the woody inner layer of the hemp stalks. Hempcrete is a versatile insulation material for buildings which ironically has been used for centuries by our ancestors.
Usage of Hempcrete can give us carbon-free buildings. It can also reduce carbon by lowering our use of other thermal insulation substitutes that consume more energy effecting the environment adversely. Hempcrete is a naturally breathable insulation material. It has the capability to both absorb and release heat, which makes it one of the best for diverse weather conditions.
It is high time dispel the myths and acknowledge the vast benefits of hemp cultivation and make full use of it’s incredible versatility.