Did you know that we harvest more than one billion trees every year in the United States to make paper? In fact, each person uses an average of 735 pounds of paper per year. This number will rise by more than 60% by 2050! Americans use 32% of the world’s paper, and we cut the trees down faster than we grow new ones to replace them.
Not only do we destroy our beautiful forests to make paper but the paper industry is a huge polluter that releases 120 billion tons of carbon dioxide and 3 million tons of chlorine into our waterways. These poisons are linked to cancer, birth defects, liver failure, and other horrible diseases.
Hemp was a huge industry before it was outlawed in 1930. The reason it was blackballed was that two rich guys Dupont (chemicals) and Hearst (paper & wood products) didn’t like the fact that hemp was becoming too popular, and they feared it would destroy their wood and paper business. Hemp was cheaper and more environmentally friendly to grown and it was used to produce clothing and rope. New technology was also designed to use hemp to make paper. These two millionaires were not about to let hemp replace their highly profitable chemical and paper businesses. They started a marketing campaign and destroyed the reputation of hemp and made sure it was outlawed to save their businesses.
Now almost 100 years later, hemp is re-emerging as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to trees for making paper. The once demonized plant is now a superstar once again. Hemp paper does not need poisonous chemicals in processing. It can be bleached with hydrogen peroxide which does not pollute the waterways. Hemp paper can last hundreds of years and it does not rot or turn yellow. Hemp can also be recycled up to eight times. Another cool thing is that one acre of hemp equals four acres of trees so it takes up much less room!
Hemp which was once illegal is now legal in all 50 states! It can again be used to make paper and so many other products:
Hemp still has a way to go to replace our forests from being clear cut because the wood and chemical industries will continue to fight to keep their profits. However, with the current interest in the environment, hemp is much safer and provides a better solution to make our air and waterways healthier! Hemp has a great future!