Hemp is the main ingredient in this truly sustainable alternative to wood | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: July 18, 2024

We have used wood to house us, furnish our lives, and further develop our civilizations for thousands of years. But now, as deforestation threatens the balance of nature, we are finding more sustainable materials to take the place of wood. The popularization of an alternate material will facilitate the regeneration of woodlands and help diminish our carbon footprint.

Greg Wilson, the owner of Fibonacci, recognized the need for a wood alternative and has developed HempWood in response. HempWood is an American-produced wood material made from, you guessed it, hemp.

Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant and can be manipulated to substitute for hardwoods, tropical woods, cork, and other agricultural products. Hemp has plenty of advantages in terms of sustainability that make it an ideal replacement for wood. For instance, it is one of the fastest-growing plants on the face of the earth, needing only 120 days until it’s ready to harvest. This is a fraction of the 50 to 100 years it takes for oak trees.

Harvesting trees also disturbs the ecosystem of entire forests, damaging natural habitats and taking away the protective shade provided by leaves and branches for the vegetation that grows beneath. In contrast, hemp has minimal impact on its surrounding environment.

The HempWood team maximizes the value of the entire hemp plant, making sure to use every part. The development of the wood-like material relies primarily on the bottom part of the plant, but the upper parts are saved for other commercial uses, such as chicken feed.

All products that come out of HempWood are 100 percent bio-based, meaning that there will be no future issues in terms of producing waste. Even the non-toxic, soy-based adhesive breaks down into the soil.

Regulations in the United States regarding cannabis products have prevented research and development from progressing, but now hemp is experiencing a surge in interest as a sustainable replacement for building materials. Innovators like Greg Wilson and the team behind HempWood are essential to crafting an environmentally friendly future.

Image source: Hempwood

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