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Hemp provides a sustainable alternative to many oil-based products.These can often be extremely damaging to the ecosystem both in terms of waste from refining the oil, spillage during transport and disposal of the end-products.
The landfills across the world are a testament to the slow biodegradability of oil based products. Plastic, nylon, polyester, PVC, cellophane, fibre-glass resins and many other common every day products are usually petroleum-based.
Hemp is now being used to make plastics and has shown its viability in this vertical market. Many vehicle manufacturers are now using hemp as a raw material for interior panels. Hemp textiles are so biodegradable they can even be used to make paper at the end of their wearable life!
Bioregional DevelopmentToday's synthetic products are seldomly sold in the same region that they are produced, let alone the same country. Patriotic folk who buy nationally produced goods are on the right track; the closer that end-products are sold to their manufacturing origin, the less transport fuel is used.
In this way bioregional economics is supported by local crops such as hemp, maintaining jobs & money within local areas. In the same way that people are becoming more aware of the origins of their food, locally produced products will help to reunite the population with their land.
Organic Farming MethodsHemp grows well without the use of herbicides & pesticides making it more environmentally sustainable than other fibre and oilseed crops.
It is planted so tightly together that it effectively blankets the ground; this leaves no light for any potential weed interference meaning there is no need for chemical herbicides. Pests are not a large problem for the hemp plant, hence no need for pesticides. Without the need for spraying, tractor fuel consumption is reduced.
A large percentage of the nutrients that hemp uses for growth are returned to the soil as the leaves fall. It therefore fits well into an organic crop rotation where soil fertility must be maintained.
Hemp's main non-oil competitors are cotton (paper & textiles) , flax (fibre & oil) and evening primrose (oil); all these are generally grown using large amounts of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals.
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