Hemp is a plant that has been proven to have many uses but perhaps none is better known widely as hemp’s ability to replace tree paper and paper products in general. Hemp is being developed into many new products, but the tried and true product that hemp will always be best known for is as paper.
Today, hemp is legal again and people are scrambling to use it and replace many of the things being made with lumber. Did you know that hemp makes composite building materials that are stronger than wood?
In fact, hemp can make hempcrete, which is like concrete but weighs less. The light weight allows for easier building techniques that save money, manpower and are also safer to handle. Don’t be fooled by the lighter weight, it is just as strong as cement and also resistant to fire.
As you can see, hemp is potentially looking to replace lumber as the big paper/wood crop. There are many reasons why even paper made from hemp is superior to that of wood pulp. We’ll explore the 7 ways that hemp is better than timber tree paper.
1. Hemp produces, per acre, more paper than one tree. While that may not seem like a huge value, that tree will take many years to reach the required size to be cut for paper and in those years, 20 crops or more will be taken from the hemp production.
When you look at it in these terms, it would seem that you get far more than one tree’s worth from that acre. From a betting person’s standpoint, hemp is a far better investment in the long term to return your money to you tenfold.
This may be way cannabis stocks are rising at astronomical rates right now. The smart money is on cannabis crops, which include hemp.
2. Hemp will grow to maturity in less than 120 days. Since it takes roughly 20 years for a tree to reach the size that it needs to be, to be cut. Hemp can be renewed approximately 60 times in the same amount of time. There is no comparison in this respect. Hemp is bar far the superior cash crop and producer.
This also means that if you are a manufacturer, hemp is going to be the most reliable source for your production over time. It will be guaranteed to be there, on time and ready.
3. Hemp paper is more recyclable compared to that of trees. The paper from hemp can be recycled more than two times over that of timber. This means that while you are gaining 60 crops to one tree crop, you are also renewing that more than twice. Hemp seems to be a big multiplier all the way around this argument. Hemp wins.
This makes hemp the environmental favorite over tree paper as well. Not to mention, hemp isn’t home to animals. It is a crop, no different than corn.
4. Paper from trees requires chemical treatment to be whitened. This process is called being bleached. This is harmful to the environment, costly and an unnecessary step. Hemp can be easily whitened with hydrogen peroxide, which isn’t harmful to the environment at all. Again, hemp wins. The cost of producing hemp is also less at this point as well.
5. Hemp and trees both remove emissions from the air. Leaving the trees alone to do this work is important because hemp is more renewable and will continue reaching maturity and doing this work also, over and over. Hemp is also a soil remediator, helping to cleanse toxins from the soil it is grown in, making it a true scrubbing cleaner of the earth.
Since hemp is far more renewable, it simply makes more sense to allow the trees to live longer, give animals homes, humans shade, and birds a place to land. The roots of trees are also an important part of cleaning water as it soaks into the ground water table. Allow trees to stay and do their more important work. Hemp can be the paper.
6. Cutting trees is causing many species to lose their natural environments, such as the orangutan of Somalia. Deforestation is killing them and endangering them as a species. We’ve lost many animals to extinction and cutting trees is causing more. The gorillas are also being pushed out of the Congo both by illegal poaching and deforestation.
Deforestation is raising the overall temperature of the planet, being blamed in large part for climate change. Trees give tens of thousands of creatures a habitat to call home. When we kill them, we are actually slowly killing ourselves and the planet. We can’t bring animals back from extinction. It’s a permanent situation so the time to make change is now. It’s as simple as switching to hemp.
The extinction of many species is directly related to the mass devastation of forests that are being leveled, turning parts of the Rainforest into vast open areas that remind you of a desert. Forest species cannot live like this. We are driving the big cats from their homes and forcing them into cities where they are a direct threat to people.
The rising temperatures of the planet, due to the deforestation, are also causing the same issue with polar bears. They are losing habitat to melting ice. These polar bears are starving to death and finding their way into villages in Russia, terrifying citizens, as they dig through garbage and break into homes seeking food.
7. Paper made from hemp is more durable and will last decades longer than that of wood paper. In fact, the colony at Jamestown required that hemp be grown – it was mandatory. Hemp was used for paper at that time, as well as sails for ships, clothing and rope. To this day, some of the most high-quality antique books were printed on hemp paper and they are beautiful and strong, including many old family bibles.
Maria Arrington is a full time blogger on alternative medicine. She writes on the vast world of alternative medicine and things around this sector.