By Quinton Charles, Op-ed blogger
With an ever increasing concern about climate change, we are all doing our best to positively impact our environment. There are lots of ways someone can help protect Earth like recycling, reducing water waste, using renewable energy, investing in energy efficient appliances, and much more. These aren’t new concepts, hopefully, but what may be new to you is the use of hemp to promote ecological sustainability and help the environment! If you are looking to do your part every day (or support companies that do), hemp is a fantastic way to do so. How, you ask? Let’s dive into the science behind hemp’s ability to do the Earth good.
Hemp’s Impact On Soil Quality
While most people are aware that plants are necessary for the creation of oxygen and sustaining ecosystems, not as many are aware of the vital role that soil plays in that process, and how hemp can restore soil. Because hemp is so porous, the plant fiber works like a sponge and will actually suck up heavy metals and pollutants from the soil.
The health of that soil determines what plants can grow and whether those plants are able to produce oxygen by converting carbon dioxide. Low-quality soil is not typically able to grow plants that are beneficial to human and ecological health, so hemp’s ability to clean up that soil can be a huge benefit.
Hemp’s Impact On Animal Health & Biodiversity
Biodiversity is crucial to sustaining the health of ecosystems (including those from which we get our food). Just like how healthy soil contributes to both the health and diversity of plant life, healthy plants contribute to the health of pollinators (like bees and birds) and other animals that rely on plants for foodstuffs. The health of plant environments is integral to the health of our planet and the loss of even 1 species can drastically change that ecosystem.
Bringing It All Together – The Benefits Of Hemp For Humans
Humans aren’t removed from the planet (though it may feel like it some days); like the flora and fauna of this world, we rely on the ecosystem’s health to live and thrive. Healthy soil means that our food is grown without soaking up harmful toxins; healthy animals contribute to keeping pests and plants from becoming unmanageable; healthy plants allow us to both eat well and enjoy a day out among them. Our own health and wellbeing is connected to the health of the planet we walk on.
Additional Environmental Benefits Of Hemp
Arguably, the best part about hemp is that it contributes to the well-being of all of these. Whether directly or indirectly, hemp is able to undo past industrial mistakes and correct the health of soils.
One of the ways that hemp is used is as a “cover crop.” What this means is that hemp is tall enough (and has enough leaves) to overshadow the ground beneath it. This area beneath it would normally play host to an assortment of weeds. By shading out weeds, hemp reduces the need for potentially dangerous herbicides—and adds diversity to crop rotations, improving soil health.
Hemp is also a valuable crop in a process known as “biocarbon sequestration.” It’s a big term that essentially means that crops are used to store carbon dioxide in the soil. Carbon dioxide, which is one of the primary contributors to climate change, is absorbed by hemp, which is then smoldered and turned into a form of charcoal that is mixed in with the soil. Not only does this remove carbon from the atmosphere, but it also provides a nutrient-dense fertilizer for other plants that could be rooted in the charcoal.
Hemp Growers and Promoters
The number of hemp companies seems to be exploding since the passage of the Farm Bill. Ranging from small, family-owned enterprises to large, corporate conglomerates, everyone wants in on this profitable crop. Is that a good thing for the environment? As long as the growing of hemp does not decrease crop diversity or damage ecosystems that already exist, yes. Small, independent farmers care for the earth and don’t have to use pesticides on their hemp (as hemp is naturally resistant to pests and weeds), which leads to better soil quality.
And it’s not just growers of hemp that are making the world a better place; CBD and hemp sellers and distributors have a part to play in making the world a better place with hemp. The more people that buy hemp-based goods, the more hemp that is grown, and potentially benefitting the environment around you.
Do Your Part!
You don’t have to be an eco-warrior to help the environment. A conscious decision to purchase organic products, hemp-based products, or products that are local, is enough to help the planet. Recycle, ride a bike, don’t use the lights in your house during daylight hours. All of these little decisions can help the environment. And if you’re a hemp-grower, great! Either way, keep up the good work. We will always be here, ready to chat, answer questions, and help you to help our Mother Earth whenever you can! Call 866-244-4223, press the live chat button, or fill out a contact form to speak with one of our hemp experts today.