A new ecovillage in Scotland has utilized an innovative material within its structures - namely, negative carbon hemp. While most environmentally progressive buildings strive for a carbon neutral rank, these houses take eco-friendly a step further, literally pulling carbon dioxide from the air. But smart building materials aren't the only use for hemp, it's exceptionally handy in other areas as well. In fact, hemp is a wonder plant that has the potential to alleviate many of our health, financial and environmental problems across the nation, which makes the political resistance to its cultivation in the U.S. all the more perplexing.
A multitalented plant
The American founding fathers knew a good thing when they saw it, which is why each of them actively grew hemp on their own land. George Washington strongly believed that hemp could help win the war with Britain, while also providing the fledgling nation with an extraordinary cash crop. In contemporary times, it has been noted that one acre of hemp pumps out more oxygen than 25 acres of forested land. As an added perk, hemp grows easily in a variety of soils - without the need for pesticides. The many uses for hemp are quite impressive, including:
Building materials - Hemp is incredibly functional for building applications - from wall construction to flooring to roof insulation. A proprietary material called Hempcrete is completely recyclable, waterproof, fireproof, does not rot when above ground and resists mildew as well as mold.
Food - Containing 5 grams of protein, 86 mg of magnesium and 10 percent daily value of iron, a 1.5-tablespoon serving of hemp seed is hard to match. The seeds are also a terrific source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (EFAs), which help reduce inflammation, repair DNA damage and support healthy brain function. Hemp oil is another good source of these important EFAs.
Clothing - Dating back to 8,000 BCE China, hemp has a long history of textile use. The rugged fibers are an ideal material for shoes, jeans and athletic wear, although innovative designers are blending hemp with silk for a softer fabric.
Plastics - By striking a sledge hammer to the side of a car made of hemp and soy plastic, Henry Ford demonstrated its resiliency back in the 1940s. Currently, hemp is utilized in the manufacturing of CD and DVD cases, shower curtain liners and other small consumer products.
Paper - As a fast growing and sustainable plant, hemp is an exceptional renewable resource for paper production - much more so than trees.
Bio-fuel - The oil extracted from the hemp plant can be converted into biofuel - a cleaner-burning alternative to petroleum.
Toxic waste management - Acting like a sponge, hemp has been successfully used to absorb toxins and rehabilitate soil after chemical spills and nuclear accidents.
If hemp is so great, why isn't it planted everywhere?
Technically, it's not forbidden to grow industrial hemp in America - although the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) doesn't make it easy. Treehugger reports:
"Growing hemp is kind of like driving, you can't drive without a license and you can't grow hemp without a permit. The difference is that it is almost impossible to get a permit from DEA to grow hemp." - Vote Hemp.
And yet, "Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country," declared Thomas Jefferson. So it's curious that modern day red tape continues to hinder the cultivation of this cash crop in America, especially when hemp could easily solve many of our pressing nutritional, financial and environmental troubles.
Learn more: www.naturalnews.com/043121_hemp_cash_crop_health_food.html