Hemp Paper- Better In so Many Ways

Our world is in the middle of an environmental crisis it does not have to be in. We have become entirely too dependent on wood and fossil fuels, and are starting to really see the effect it on our world. Today, we are using and burning more fossil fuel than ever before. We are also cutting down forests at alarming rates. Both of these actions are harming our environment. Fortunately, there is a solution to our paper and fuel consummation problems that is really quite simple and can be summarized in one word: hemp.

Our Country And Our World Are Overly Dependent On Wood

Our world today is currently extremely dependent on wood for many different items. Our dependency on wood results in a huge increase in the CO2 into our air and atmosphere. At this point in time, deforestation has led to the release of at least 120 billion tons of CO2 into the environment. This CO2 is harming our atmosphere. It is also contributing to global warming and causing rising temperature around the world. We use this wood to create many different products, some which may surprise you. 93% of all of the paper products we produce are made from wood. We also use wood products to build our homes and our furniture. We even use wood products in our food supply.

Forests Are Being Harmed Due To Our Dependency On Wood

Due to our dependency on wood, over 70% of the forests in the United States have been destroyed since 1916. Although forests still cover about 30% of the Earth’s land areas, we lose forests the size of Panama each and every year. We lose about 116 square miles of rain forest every day due to deforestation. At the rate we are currently destroying forests due to our dependency on wood, all our forests could be gone within the next hundred years, which really is a blink of an eye.

We Can Save Our Forests By Using Hemp Instead Of Wood

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The great news is that we can save our forests and stop adding unnecessary CO2 to the environment by using hemp instead of wood. Hemp can be used to create all of the same products we depend on wood for, including paper, cardboard and particle board. Hemp can even be used to build houses and construct furniture. We do not have to stop using these products, we just have to change how we make them.

Farmers Can Grow Hemp

All of these products can be made from hemp. Industrial hemp can be grown as a rotating crop by farmers. Farmers can grow and harvest up to four hemp crops per year. It only takes eight to twelve weeks for hemp crops to mature, allowing farmers to grow multiple crops per year. Different strands of industrial hemp can be grown in climates all around the world. You can grow hemp in the desert. You can also grow hemp in an area that is more lush with vegetation and resources.

Hemp Creates Stronger Products

Hemp is a great substitute for paper because it produces such strong fibers. Hemp fibers are actually stronger than paper fibers, and hemp paper lasts longer and can be reused and recycled more times than paper can. In fact, the cellulose, edible proteins, fibers and oils from a hemp harvest can be used for over 50,000 product applications. It can be used to create hemp paper as well as hemp toilet paper. Making all of our paper products out of hemp will save millions of trees and thousands of acres of forest every year, as well as reduce our CO2 impact on the environment.

It is superior to conventional paper in the respect that it does not need to be bleached as much, wood paper is not white to start off with so it is necessary to bleach it to achieve a whit color where as hemp paper does not require as much/any bleaching. This causes normal paper to be slightly toxic!

Some basic hemp paper facts are pretty impressive. Hemp paper and resources can be recycled up to 10 times, whereas paper made from wood fibers can only be recycled about three to four times. According to a United States Department of Agriculture report, an acre of hemp can produce the same amount of paper that it takes four acres of forest to produce. Add to the fact that you can regrow the same acre of hemp three to four per year, a single acre of hemp can save between twelve to sixteen acres of forest in one year.

Hemp Can Help Cut Our Dependency On Fossil Fuels Too

Hemp cannot only solve our paper problems, it can also solve our fossil fuel problems. Hemp can be used to create gasoline. The idea of electric cars are great, but they have never really taken off and would involve the creation of a new infrastructure. Using the infrastructure that we already have in place, we can use hemp instead of fossil fuel to fuel our cars. In fact, hemp can even be used to create cars. Back in 1941, the Ford motor company actually produced a prototype vehicle that was made from 70% cellulose hemp fibers. Hemp can be used to make and fuel our cars.

Hemp Is The Solution We Need

We no longer have to be dependent on wood and fossil fuels. We no longer have to cut down our precious forests in order to make paper products. All the products we make from wood fibers can be made instead from hemp fibers instead. Hemp can be grown as a rotating crop by farmers. It can be grown in the desert or on ordinary farm plots all around the world. Outside of being able to make organic hemp rolling papers, and other paper products, hemp can be used for other applications as well. It can be used to make cars as well as the fuel we need to drive them. Hemp can be used to create over 50,000 different products. Hemp can save our forests from deforestation and reduce our dependency on fossil fuel. Hemp is the solutions to all of our consumption problems.

Hemp To Replace Cotton – Is It A Good Idea?

hemp-shoesIt’s unfortunate, but the first thing people think of when they hear hemp isn’t “viable cotton replacement” but instead, “Isn’t that from the same plant where weed comes from?”. This is a conclusion that’s rather ignorant of the fact that even though hemp is derived from cannabis (as well as hash and weed from the female version of the plant), it won’t get you high, it is nontoxic, and it beats cotton by miles in certain aspects of textile and manufacturing. Don’t let your anti-drug prejudices keep you from seeing the value of hemp. Hemp oil, for example, can treat cancer. Hemp could’ve been used for everything had multiple countries, including the United States, had no banned it in 1937 because of its treat to certain businesses at the time.

 

Cotton versus Hemp: A Showdown

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  • Materials for Clothing: Hemp has many practical uses, but when it comes to clothing and apparel, it’s particularly useful. Clothing is one of those products that affect everyday life and most everyone on the planet makes use of one way or another. Cotton isn’t the only resource for clothing, but as far as general usage and commonness is concerned, cotton is the king of clothing materials. However, there are things about hemp that’s so much better than cotton, from cost-effectiveness to overall quality (cotton also has aspects of it that allows it to one-up hemp).

 

Which one is more environment-friendly? Which one isn’t banned? Which one in a holistic viewpoint stands the test of viability? Which one is tougher? Which one is less costly or more valuable?

 

  • Longevity and Comfort: Hemp is a strong fiber that gets progressively softer the more you wear it. This is a key feature of cotton. It’s well-known for its comfort and its ability to be broken in as time passes by. The softness of cotton cannot be denied, but having a threadbare shirt from cotton that breaks down means sooner or later you’ll have to buy new clothes thanks to wear and tear. Hemp combines longevity with comfort, in contrast. It becomes softer the more you wear it, but at the same time it takes longer for it to become too wear or too thin for you to wear since it’s been worn down by constant washing. It’s simply much more durable and stronger than cotton.

 

  • Moisture Wicking and Breathability: In this category, it’s almost a tie between hemp and cotton. They’re both breathable. In terms of wicking, cotton has a natural wicking system. Unlike synthetic fibers that have issues dispelling odors and dealing with moisture, cotton and hemp have superior wicking capabilities. The only downside with cotton is that it’s a bit too good at holding moisture, thus causing issues in fabric odor and longevity. Wet cotton that’s not dried properly is particularly difficult to handle because of bacteria formation and mildew. Hemp is superior in regards to handling moisture since it’s not as absorbent as cotton while still having the same breathability at the same time. It doesn’t hold odors, it has anti-bacterial properties, and it wicks moisture just right without being problematic.

 

  • Pesticide Usage: Hemp doesn’t need pesticides in order to grow to its full potential. In contrast, one of the main downsides of cotton production is that pests love cotton, so you need loads of pesticides in order to keep your crop safe. Organic cotton farming that’s safer for the environment is catching on, but at present, cotton is still produced globally in way that takes up 25% of all worldwide pesticide use. If we were to abandon cotton production right now, 25% of pesticide production will be reduced, which will benefit the environment by leaps and bounds. What’s more, you wouldn’t want to wear something laced with pesticides. Meanwhile, hemp isn’t only perfectly fine in growing pesticide-free it also doesn’t need chemical fertilizers to develop as well. Since they’re “weed”, they’re about as resilient as weeds.

 

  • Aesthetic Beauty: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but most people who aren’t familiar with hemp might mistake it as something itchy and threadbare. Remember, hemp can gain multiple looks depending on the processes used to remove fibers from the hemp plant stem. It could come in brown, grey, green, black, white, or creamy. This is in stark contrast with cotton and the mostly off-white, cream, or white colorings. Without dyes, cotton can be quite bland to look at. With hemp, it’s naturally textured and dynamic while retaining most of the attributes that has made cotton such a popular piece of textile material. You can also dye hemp to make it look any color or any design that you want, plus in the end, it can withstand artistic dyeing quite superbly.

 

  • Water Consumption: To grow cotton, you need 1,400 gallons of water per pound. In contrast, hemp only needs half of that amount (around 700 gallons of water per pound). In regards to usage of water, hemp is more cost-effective and environment-friendly. This is especially telling since there are loads of areas in the globe where fresh water is a scarcer and more expensive resource, so you wouldn’t want to waste it at all or abuse it since it’s a limited resource. Additionally, hemp is is reliable and strong, plus it grows quite quickly with that little water used. In fact, it grows more fiber (about twice or 200% to 250%) than cotton with the same amount of land. If you’re in an area lacking of water but not land, hemp is the way to go.

 

Conclusion

 

Cotton is the material everyone is used to, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better than hemp. As this article showcased, there are many attributes to cotton that hemp is superior to. Hemp is certainly giving the most common clothing fabric known to man a run for its money in terms of longevity, comfort, wicking, breathability, pesticide usage, aesthetic beauty, water consumption, and so forth. In many ways, hemp is better than cotton at being environment-friendly and conservationism-compliant. If you want to stay in natural harmony with Mother Nature, hemp is the obvious, organically grown answer! Yes, cotton is more common and hemp production may be banned, but that could change when more demand for hemp is made known.