Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Those handy, dandy, flimsy plastic bags are going to be forever banned in grocery stores and I for one am going to miss the little suckers. Not that I use them for groceries, I have my own heavy-duty canvas bags that are so much more efficient and practical.  My major grocery store keeps a recycle bin in front of the store. I reach in and grab a gob of used bags and line my garbage cans with them. They are great for picking up dog pop and other nasty chores.

 Of course we all know that plastic bags end up in the rivers and oceans and cause a horrible situation for wildlife. Mine go to the landfill.

Now, will people graduate to paper bags?  They don’t kill wildlife, but paper bags use billions of trees every year.  35% of trees cut world-wide are used in the paper industry, 4 billion trees.  They continually replant trees for the paper industry, but manufacturing them causes 70% more chemical pollution than plastic bags, just another damaging environmental process.

Ta dah!!!  Here comes super plant to the rescue—–HEMP!

The above link gives you in-depth information about hemp, its value and what countries produce it for commercial products, etc. and etc.
But, here are some basic facts about hemp you might want to think about:
According to the Department of Energy, hemp requires the least specialized growing and processing procedures for all hemp products. (And there are many.) Hemp can be grown organically. Hemp is also a natural weed suppressor due to fast growth of the canopy.
Hemp produces more pulp per acre than timber on a sustainable basis, and can be used for every quality of paper. Hemp paper manufacturing can reduce waste water contamination. Hemp’s low lignin content reduces the need for acids used in pulping, and its creamy color lends itself to environmentally-friendly bleaching instead of harsh chlorine compounds.

 Hemp fiber paper resists decomposition, and does not yellow with age when an acid-free process is used. Hemp paper more than 1,500 years old has been found. Hemp paper can also be recycled more times than wood-based paper.
 Hemp fiberboard produced by Washington State University was found to be twice as strong as wood-based fiberboard. No additional resins are required due to naturally-occurring lignins.

Okay, that’s the basics. Besides, hemp doesn’t make you high and the seeds are nutritious and higher in protein than soy products. Hey, what’s not to like?  It’s a no brainer.  Do you think if we wrote our congressional representatives they would subsidize hemp?  No, the current paper industry would buy them off. I’m sooooooo cynical. But, we might be able to prod our governor into action in California.

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