Hemp to Save Our Trees Essay

BY: Lillian Richard Hemp to Save Our Trees Worldwide we are seeing a devastation of our forests due to paper production. Consumption of wood products has risen 64% since 1961. Globally, pulp for paper, has risen from 40% in 1998, to an expected 60% over the next 50 years. The industry expects that demand to double by 2050. The U. S. consumes 200,000,000 tons of wood products annually, increasing by 4% every year. U. S. paper producers consume 1 billion trees each year (735 pounds of paper for every American). U. S. at 5% of world population consumes 30% of world’s paper. Only 5% of virgin forests remain in the U.

S. The pulp and paper industry is the 3rd largest industrial polluter – 220 million pounds of toxic pollution into air and water each year. Deforestation has released an estimated 120 billion tons of coz into the air. Three million tons of chlorine, a major source of carcinogen dioxin, is dumped into our waterways each year from paper companies. Every woman alive today carries some trace of dioxin in her breast milk. Dioxin is considered one of the most toxic substances ever produced and has been linked to cancer, liver failure, miscarriage, birth defects, and genetic damage. Lillian Richard

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SCI 204 Q D00772586 Hemp to Save Our Trees Continued The annual global consumption of paper will rise (from 300 million tons in 1997) to over 400 million tons by 2010, according to the Pulp and Paper Industry. This will exacerbate the problems of deforestation unless another pulp source is realized. This is where Hemp comes in. Industrial hemp could save our trees. The USDA reported in 1916 that an acre of hemp produced as much paper as four acres of trees annually, yet 70% of American forests have been destroyed since 1916. Hemp would make a wonderful alternative to wood for use as paper.

Hemp paper is stronger, with similar mass, absorbency, and thickness as commercial paper. Industrial hemp means “any specimen of the plant Cannabis sativa L. , whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration which does not exceed one percent, on a dry weight basis; or any part of such specimen, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any such specimen, or every compound manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such specimen, its seeds or resin. ” Lillian Richard SCI 204 Q D00772586 Hemp to Save Our Trees Continued Hemp is a non-psychoactive cousin to the marijuana plant.

For thousands of years hemp was used to make dozens of commercial products like paper, rope, canvas and textiles. In fact, the very name “canvas” comes from the Dutch word meaning cannabis. The potential of hemp for paper production is enormous. According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, one acre of hemp can produce 4 times more paper than one acre of trees! All types of paper products can be produced from hemp: newsprint, computer paper, stationary, cardboard, envelopes, toilet paper and even tampons. There is no tree or plant species on Earth capable of producing as much paper per acre as hemp.

Paper production from hemp would eliminate the need to chop down billions of trees. Millions of acres of forests and huge areas of wildlife habitat could be preserved. Lillian Richard SCI 204 Q D00772586 Hemp to Save Our Trees Continued Trees must grow for 20 to 50 years after planting before they can be harvested for commercial use. Within 4 months after it is planted, hemp grows 10 to 20 feet tall and it is ready for harvesting. Hemp can be grown on most farmland throughout the U. S. where forests require large tracts of land available in few locations.

Substituting hemp for trees would save forests and wildlife habitats and would eliminate erosion of topsoil due to logging. Reduction of topsoil erosion would also reduce pollution of lakes, rivers and streams. Fewer caustic and toxic chemicals are used to make paper from hemp than are used to make paper from trees. Hemp paper does not require toxic bleaching chemicals. It can be whitened with hydrogen peroxide, which does not poison waterways as chloride and bleach. The chemicals used in making wood pulp paper do. Hemp naturally repels weed growth and hemp has few insect enemies.

Few insect enemies and no weed problems mean hemp requires no herbicides and few or no pesticides. Hemp puts little strain on the soil and requires only moderate amounts of fertilizer. Less fertilizer use results in less runoff into waterways and groundwater; therefore, less water pollution. Lillian Richard SCI 204 Q D00772586 Hemp to Save Our Trees Continued Unlike virtually all hemp substitutes, growing hemp requires very little effort and very few resources. Most substitutes for hemp (sisal, kenaf, sugar cane) grow in limited geographical areas and none have the paper/fiber potential of hemp.

Hemp can be grown in all 50 states. Hemp lasts hundreds of years longer than wood-pulp paper, which decomposes and yellows with age. Hemp paper resists decomposition and does not yellow with age. The Library of Congress found that, “while the hemp paper in volumes 300-400 years old is still strong. 97% of the books, printed between 1900 and 1937 on tree paper, will be useable for less than 50 years. ” Hemp paper can be recycled 7 to 8 times, compared with only three times for wood pulp paper. Lillian Richard SCI 204 Q D00772586 Hemp to Save Our Trees Continued

Hemp was not banned because it was a harmful drug. Hemp was banned because it was a competitive threat to the wood products industry and newly developed synthetic fibers that were patentable, and therefore more profitable than hemp. Corporations that profited from the demise of hemp propagated a smear campaign against hemp by claiming that marijuana use was a major drug problem and that marijuana use caused people to become violent, another falsehood. Unfortunately, these claims went unchallenged and Congress outlawed hemp in 1937. Millions of Americans still believe the lies spread about hemp.

Hemp fiber and hurds should be used to make paper in the U. S. to reduce deforestation, reduce toxins in our waterways, and aid family farms. Hemp products are nontoxic, biodegradable and renewable. No tree or plant species on the planet has the commercial, economic, and environmental potential of hemp. With over 50,000 non-smoking products which can be produced from hemp why not start by saving our trees! Lillian Richard SCI 204 Q D00772586 Hemp to Save Our Trees Footnotes 1. Walker, David W. , Ph. D. , “Can Hemp Save Our Planet? ”, Citing St. Angelo A. J. , E.

J Conkereton, J. M. Dechary, and A. m> Altschul, 1966, Biochimica et Biphysica Acta, vol. 121 pp. 181; St. Angelo, A. , L. Y. Yatsu and A. M. Altschul 1968, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, vol. 124, pp. 199-205; Stockwell, D. M. , J. M. Dechary, and A. M. Altschul, 1964, Biochimica Biophysica Acta, Vol. 82 pp. 221. 2. Morroson, R. t. , Organic Chemistry, 1960; Kimber, Gray, Stackpole, Textbook of Anatomy and Physiology 1943. 3. World Hunger Project, Save the Children, EST. Forum. 4. Frazier, Jack, The Marijuana Farmers, Solar Age Press, New Orleans, LA. 1972; also see Australian history books. 5. Teramur, Alan, Universityu of MD Study, Discover Magazine, September 1989; Congressional testimony of Ralph Loziers National Oil Seed Institute, before House Ways and Means Committee, 1937. 6. Conrad, Chris; Hemp – Lifeline to the Future, Creative Xpressions Publications, Los Angeles, 1994 Lillian Richard SCI 204 Q D00772586 Hemp to Save Our Trees Footnotes 7. De Groot, Birgitte; van Roekel, Gerrit J, Jr. ; and Van Dam, Jan E. G. Alkaline Pulping of Fiber Hemp. Publ. in Adavances in Hemp Research Paolo Ranallli, editor Haworth Press 1999 8. De


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