- Politics and Social Issues»
- Environment & Green Issues
Use Hemp Paper to Save the Trees
An Unnecessary Evil
Hemp is Not What You Think It Is
For you folks out there who don't know, let me tell you a few facts about hemp. It isn't marijuana, just a very close cousin. They are totally unique from each other and there are two major factors that can help you define one from the other.
The first is that hemp is a useful plant because its stalk is very fibrous and strong. Many hundreds of different products can be made from it. Marijuana is the opposite, its fibers are different in that they can't be used to make anything.
The second major difference is that Marijuana contains high levels of THC, which as most people know is what makes it so appealing for recreational use. Hemp has very low levels of THC; it is physically impossible to smoke enough hemp to feel any effects, you would most likely die from smoke inhalation first.
Hemp Paper Products
Some Light Facts and Statistics
- Hemp fibers can be used to make paper.
- The quality of this paper is such that it is longer lasting and crease resistant when compared to tree paper.
- You get as much usable fiber from one acre of hemp as you would from 4 acres of trees. The trees need at least 20 years to mature and hemp can be chopped and used in just one season.
- Hemp does not require pesticides and chemicals to thrive as most other farm crops do.
Hemp paper is simply a better choice when you know that it doesn't yellow, brittle and age as quickly as tree paper does. This may be due to the chemical processing that pulp paper goes through and also because hemp grows such sturdy, strong fibers that don't require toxins to produce a fine quality of paper.
On the negative side, over 200 million tons of trees were chopped and used to make paper, and by the year 2020, this number is estimated to double. Trees are a renewable resource, but why use them when there is a better alternative such as hemp? There are other factors to consider such as how ecosystems are being destroyed and that countless animal and plant habitats are gone forever because we need sticky notes and calendars.
How to Make Hemp Paper
Ever wonder how hemp paper is made? Check out the video below to satisfy your insatiable curiosity.
Who Cares About Trees Anyway?
Ever since I was a young school girl I have been hearing and learning about how the trees are being cut down at an alarming rate. This is bad for the environment, bad for the animals and bad for the ecosystems. I also learned that the trees are important because they filter our air and make it clean for us to breathe. Did you also know that the tree roots hold together the topsoil and that without trees this planet would become an unlivable desert?
These were the main things I was taught. These lessons learned at an impressionable young age stayed with me. Over the years I have learned that there is a great apathy on this subject. I will sometimes randomly bring it up in conversations, that the trees need to be preserved and that we should find alternate materials to use.
It's sad, but most of the people I have talked to are not so very interested, they think that the trees are fine, there is no problem. I recently brought up this issue with one of my co-workers. He gave me a blank stare and said, "But there are lots of trees, you don't need to worry". He really did not understand my concern. I can't help it, but this attitude infuriates me. Anyone who has ever witnessed the devastation of a clear-cut area couldn't possibly continue to think this way.
Then I realized that, he wasn't necessarily an uncaring person, merely ignorant. Which brings me to the reason that I am writing this hub. This is to be one of my contributions, my way of helping people to see and to understand that the environment is indeed in trouble, and this includes the beautiful forests.
The Future May Depend on Such Simple Decisions
Use Hemp For a Better Future
Knowing these facts about tree paper vs. hemp, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that this is an important issue. It's something that we should be aware of and talking about at the very least. If we all made the proactive decision to use hemp paper then just imagine the impact we can make on the environment. It's not only important for ourselves, but for future generations. Do it for your children and your grandchildren, or nephews and nieces or the neighbors kids. Doesn't matter the reason, just know that it's the best choice for us all and that is enough.