BlogBy Lulie Anderson
Hemp day-to-day? We talk a lot about hemp as a product that will change how we build, creating breathable environments that are better for us and the planet. But is using hemp day-to-day possible?
Hemp, A Brief History
Prior to 1933, hemp was a popular crop in the USA. George Wahington grew hemp as one of his three primary crops at Mount Vernon. Historically hemp played a crucial role in establishing the USA, so much so that the $10 bill had hemp pictured on it.
Hemp was such a practical resource for paper that up until the end of the twentieth century, 75% to 90% of worldwide paper production came from hemp.
In the 1930s, William Hearst, the owner of one of America’s largest newspaper companies, invested in many thousands of acres of woodland. This woodland provided enough pulp to supply the newspaper industry. Allying with DuPont, a petrochemical company that provided the sulphur-based chemicals to turn wood fibre into paper, these two companies soon began a campaign to discredit and polarise the hemp industry.
Hearst portraying hemp as a malevolent and evil drug in the press and forceful lobbying of Congress by DuPont led to widespread suspicion and, ultimately, its outlawing and the industry’s demise. This campaign was all about monopoly and money.
Hemp is a fast-growing carbon sink of a plant that could help end deforestation put us on track to combat climate change.
4 FANTASTIC HEMP FACTS:
- 4 Months: The time it takes for hemp to reach maturity, compared with 20 – 80 years for a tree.
- 4 Times: More carbon dioxide captured by hemp than by trees
- 4 Acres: 1 acre of hemp produces the same amount of pulp for paper as 4 acres of trees
- 4X2: You can recycle hemp paper up to 8 times, compared with three times for traditional wood paper.
Hemp at work and home
Unlike paper, which browns and disintegrates over time, hemp doesn’t age. It resists these processes, making it a fantastic product for archiving in the office.
In a world where hemp paper is the norm, we don’t need the chemicals and bleach used in making traditional wood paper. So, not only is hemp nature’s purifier, but it also eradicates the need for toxic chemicals.
Hemp’s high cellulose content of 55-77% makes it quicker to turn into paper, even toilet paper. The absorbency of hemp, up to five times its weight. Therefore, making it a fantastic alternative to recycled toilet paper. In addition, it has natural antibacterial qualities, ensuring supreme hygiene.
In conclusion, we could argue that hemp’s prohibition influenced the climate crisis. Furthermore, if hemp were used widely in our daily products, we would be on our way to helping ease global warming.