The 6 Ways Hemp Paper Can Replace Traditional Paper
Nowadays, paper products are made from trees but early in human history, it was made from pulp obtained from the fibers of hemp. And now, the hope is to bring back paper made from hemp in an attempt to improve the environment.
Hemp Paper: The Highlights
- Hemp is used for more than just CBD oil.
- Pollution can be cut way down if hemp were used instead of trees.
- Deforestation can be significantly reduced by using hemp.
- Hemp plants are so valuable because they are sustainable and they don’t take as long to grow like trees.
- Every paper product you know of today can be made with hemp.
What is Hemp Paper?
If you are familiar with the CBD craze, you would probably know that this substance is often harvested from hemp plants. What makes it so popular is the fact that this form of CBD is completely legal because it has a very low content of THC–the mind-altering substance that gets you high.
Cannabis plants are the ones that have a high content of THC, and that’s why they are favored by stoners and other fans of pot. On the other end of the coin, you have those who are specifically looking to preserve the planet.
They often seek out sustainable alternatives to the daily substances used in conventional production. One of which is paper. Hemp paper specifically is exactly what it sounds like–paper that’s made from hemp instead of trees.
A Short History of Hemp Paper
As far back as the 1800s, things were quite different than they are today. Not only were there fewer fossil fuels being used, but paper was in a whole different dimension. It was in high demand, but the process of making it was far different.
Trees were not the main source of the substrate to create paper products. It was hemp. And 75 to 90 percent of all paper products were made from hemp, to be exact. That’s a staggering statistic. And here’s something else you might not have been aware of.
The Magna Carta, U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Gutenberg Bible were ALL printed on hemp paper.
Fast forward to the 1930s and a major shift occurred. Prohibition of hemp took center stage as lobbyists, textile companies and newspapers took a firm stand. In a weird twist of irony, this was just months removed from Popular Mechanics predicting hemp would become a billion-dollar industry.
Sadly, the positive impact on the ground and environment wasn’t enough in the eyes of big business. The production of hemp-based paper products has never fully recovered since then.
There are only select companies that even produce such products. But, with the population becoming more green and earth-conscious, there is hope that this will change.
Hemp as Paper
The list of products that derive from hemp is growing as fast as the plants themselves. The fibers are durable enough to produce everything from clothes to glues to rope to body-care products to paper.
Hemp paper can be utilized in any way that regular paper is. Plus, it has more strength and takes less time to be produced than conventional paper.
Hemp vs Trees for Paper
There are quite a few differences between hemp and trees when it comes to producing paper. First of all, hemp plants are actually beneficial to the soil. This is in stark contrast to other plants where chemicals are used to promote their growth.
They have the ability to literally remove toxins and create a cleaner atmosphere. Not that trees technically harm the environment. But they don’t do as much for the soil as hemp.
Additionally, paper made from hemp does not turn yellow or get discolored over time. If you ever looked in an older book, you can instantly tell if it was made with trees because chances are, it will have discolored pages.
Effects of Deforestation
The forests are a very important part of the ecosystem. The sad reality is, they get dismantled on a daily basis for the production of wood to build structures and any number of paper products. Over the course of a year, pollution to the air and water combined is well over 220 million pounds.
And the effect of deforestation also causes an abundance of a harmful chemical called dioxin. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, dioxins are highly toxic and increase the risk for cancer, reproductive disorders, a damaged immune system, and hormone imbalance.
To add fuel to this fire, the elimination of trees in such high numbers causes the air to be even more impure. Don’t forget, trees give off oxygen, which helps keep the airways more clear. One they get wiped out, this allows more noxious air to infiltrate the environment.
Can Hemp Replace Trees for Paper?
Can you replace table sugar with honey? You can get the exact same sweetness and feeling of satisfaction and your body won’t know the difference. So the answer to that question is, yes.
Now, can you replace trees with hemp? The answer to that question is, absolutely! Hemp plants are way more sustainable, for one thing. It only takes a handful of months for a seed to become a full plant. Trees take 50 to 80 years until they’re mature enough to be harvested for paper products.
Then once they are gone, it takes another 50 to 80 years for the next crop to be ready. And all forms of paper products can be replaced too. Not just one thing.
Hemp Paper Uses
During the course of a typical day, you should start paying a bit more attention to the amount and type of paper products you go through. Even if you are recycling said products, they are still most likely coming from trees.
In an attempt to pitch in and do a good deed for the day, you should look for a company that produces all of its products with hemp. They DO exist! You just have to do a little research to find them. And all types of hemp products are available.
Hemp Toilet Paper
You may not want to think about it, but it’s part of mother nature. Everyone needs to use a toilet on a daily basis.
If you are strategic enough, you can be wiping sensitive areas of your body with TP made from hemp. And there is better news if you happen to be one of those people that are sensitive to perfumes and emollients.
Hemp companies make toilet paper that is free of all these contaminants.
Hemp Rolling Paper
Here’s an interesting twist of irony. You might be into smoking joints, and that’s totally fine. But you might not have put any thought into the papers you’re rolling those joints with.
If you want to do what’s best for the environment, and your body for that matter, look into getting hemp rolling papers.
Then you can inhale smoke from two different plants at the same time. Both of which would be beneficial to the earth, air, and body.
Hemp Art Papers
If you are an artist, you might’ve used canvas over the years. Since this is a paper product, it comes from trees. But, you can now find a canvas that is made from hemp. And it’s just as durable and easy to use as tree-products.
Hemp Tea Bags
A little known fact is that tea bags are comprised of some parts of wood, some parts plastic, and some parts hemp. But, you can avoid the blend if you opt for 100 percent hemp-made tea bags, which do exist.
In this case, you’d have to use loose leaf tea. But that’s not a problem when you are trying to preserve the environment. They are also easy to clean and can be reused multiple times as an added bonus.
Hemp Bank Notes
Traditionally, banknotes were used as strengthening agents for money. Nowadays, countries are starting to divert back to this method, and they’re adding hemp to their polymers to make money.
This is really out of your hands. But you can definitely get in the ear of your local government officials and try to get them to talk to the decision makers on this topic.
Hemp Bible Paper
Approximately 600 years ago, one of the first books known to man was created. It was a bible. And you guessed it, it was made with hemp paper.
Why You Should Turn to Hemp Paper
The main reason why you should turn to hemp products for all of your paper needs is quite simple–to preserve the environment.
You breathe air every day for survival. Your kids go outside and play in the parks. You walk to your car and to work and to the mailbox. If for no other reason, do it to help keep America beautiful.