Hemp Environment Benefits
Hemp benefits the environment in several ways.The growing crop absorbs the greenhouse gas CO2, ‘sequestering’ it and reducing atmospheric pollution responsible for climate change. Hemp also provides a low-energy and ‘low-carbon’ alternative to products requiring more energy intensive processing and production.
Hemp requires much less chemical fertilizer, and no pesticides or herbicides to grow. Thus hemp supports biodiversity and a transition to organic farming methods. The deep roots of the plant draw nutrients upward, and irrigate the soil as they decompose following the harvest. The leaves also make a rich compost. In rotation with bio-fuel, grain or other crops, hemp can enhance yields.
Finally, hemp supports local and regional sustainable development, employment creation and eco-innovation.
Hemp has for centuries been used in construction and is today making a comeback, thanks largely to the work of ecological building pioneers in Ireland and overseas. In France a traditional hemp building method of combining hemp with a lime binder, to make solid walls and floors, has been revived to build hundreds of houses in recent years. Products such as ‘ Hempcrete’ and ‘Hemcrete’ are used in conjunction with timber frame in multi-storey buildings.
Industrial buildings, such as Adnam’s (UK) new brewery depot, showcase the opportunity for mainstream developers to boost energy-efficiency and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Natural building materials are also non-toxic and safer to work with. As we spend 90% of our lives indoors, indoor air quality is important. Hemp insulation helps create a warm comfortable interior environment. In Germany, the UK and elsewhere hemp building and insulation products have won numerous awards and commendations from technical and health experts.