You know trees as heroes when it comes to sequestering carbon and combating climate change, but could hemp clothing challenge that reputation? As trees grow, they inhale carbon dioxide gas and convert it into carbon-based fibers, which locks up this greenhouse gas for as long as the tree is alive and growing. That’s carbon sequestration. And that’s why forests are so important in the fight against climate change, and why there’s such a strong movement to project forests around the world.
So why are we talking about trees and clothing in a discussion of hemp clothing? Because when it comes to carbon sequestration, hemp may be just as effective, if not more. Recent scientific discoveries point to the fact that organically-grown agricultural crops such as hemp remove carbon from the atmosphere through biological carbon sequestration using the process described above.
Crops that are grown using nitrogen-based fertilizers are less effective at fighting climate change. That’s because nitrogen-based fertilizers are made using fossil fuels and require energy to produce. Organic crops, on the other hand, make use of cover crops (that fix nitrogen in the soil for natural nutrient-boost) and manure, both of which further fix carbon in the soil.
Hemp is also an ideal crop for carbon sequestration because it grows incredibly fast, especially when you compare their growth to trees. Hemp plants can also produce an enormous amount of plant matter in a small amount of space, which means more sequestered carbon. Hemp is generally planted in a density of up to 300 plants per square meter, and can still be grown organically. This means it can produce between three and eight dry tons of fiber per acre.
In fact, one acre of hemp will produce twice as much fiber as an acre of cotton, and almost four times as much in the same space as trees. And since hemp plants reach maturity much sooner than trees – within one year – they can be harvested and new plants cultivated so that the cycle continues indefinitely.
Hemp is being recognized as having the potential to even reduce carbon emissions in the building industry. Hemcrete, a building material used for green buildings, is being touted as a much better alternative to tree-based building materials in terms of carbon sequestration.
So when looking for organic clothing, check out your hemp clothing options. You’ll find that your purchase could go a long way to shrinking your carbon footprint!
Article From: Adrian Desbarats