Today is April 22nd and it is Earth Day 2021! Despite it being Earth day every day here at E1011 labs with our eco-friendly products, we believe that the earth day celebration on April 22nd is a day we share with the world. It’s a day observed by nearly 200 separate countries where we as human beings show our appreciation and support for the planet that sustains us. As we all take the day to think of environmental issues & ways we can be better stewards of our environment, let’s take a look at one of the most sustainable cash crops on the planet; and see what kind of effects hemp can have on the Earth.
When Is Earth Day?
Earth Day takes place every April 22nd! It’s been an annual event since April 22, 1970, and has been going strong for over 50 years.
What Is Earth Day?
Today is a great time for every global citizen to reflect on their own personal impact on the environment. However, it’s also a time for governments and world leaders to take meaningful steps towards protecting our planet and reversing the disastrous effects of climate change.
For example, in 2016,175 nations signed the Paris Climate Agreement on Earth Day, signaling their willingness to take real action to mitigate the effects of global warming. The U.N. Secretary-General at the time, Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, indicated the agreement was essential for the fate of future generations by saying, "These young people are our future. Our covenant is with them. Today is a day for our children and grandchildren and all generations to come."
This year’s Earth Day, the Biden Administration will be leading its own climate summit emphasizing the United State’s commitment to the environment under new leadership.
Who Started Earth Day?
Earth Day first began in 1970 when junior Senator Gaylord Nelson, spurred on by a recent oil spill in California, sought to harness the power of the student anti-war movement to help spread awareness about the growing pollution problem. Nelson proposed the idea of a national teach-in across college campuses that would take place on a weekday between final exams and spring break—April 22nd. The young Senator recruited activist Denis Hayes to handle the organizing.
Hayes had enormous success coalescing student unions, faith groups, and political organizations into a unified force of environmental education. The group rebranded the event as Earth Day and garnered massive media attention. Now Earth Day continues annually in the spirit of coming together to protect our planet.
How Sustainable Is Hemp?
So how does hemp fit into the picture?
The hemp plant is so sustainable that it could actually play a major role in preventing climate change. When we burn fossil fuels, we emit greenhouse gases that become trapped in the ozone and cause the planet to gradually become warmer. However, these gases don’t have to live there forever. Plants absorb the CO2 in the atmosphere and turn it into food through photosynthesis as part of the carbon cycle.
Certain plants are better at sequestering carbon than others. Hemp, in particular, captures carbon at incredibly high rates. Hemp farmers with just a single acre of hemp sequester around 40,000 lbs. of CO2 in only three to four months. Compare that to an acre of forest, which absorbs only ~5,000 lbs of CO2 annually.
Even though hemp rates are much higher, the 5,000 lbs of carbon that the average forest captures are nothing to sneeze at. Unfortunately, vast swaths of precious rainforests are destroyed every day to satisfy the ever-growing needs of the paper industry. Planting more hemp would not only help remove carbon from the atmosphere on its own, but it could decrease our dependence on logging since industrial hemp can easily be used as an alternative to lumber in paper making. Talk about getting two birds stoned at one time!
Growing Hemp In Your Backyard
If you’re interested in growing hemp yourself either to support the environment or to produce your own CBD-rich buds, there are some things you’ll need to know first.
While the 2018 Farm Bill did succeed in federally legalizing hemp, planting low-THC cannabis still isn’t as simple as planting a tomato garden. Every state and local municipality has its own unique laws governing the cultivation of hemp. If you want to start a small hemp crop, you’ll likely have to apply for the necessary permits before you can purchase your hemp seeds for growing (if you want to make sure you’re within the bounds of the law).
However, if you live in a weed legal state that makes allowances for home grows like New York, you can plant hemp as part of your allotted cannabis plants.
Happy Earth Day from your friends at E1011 Labs!