Posted on: October 16, 2019 at 8:00 am

The ‘sober’ cousin of marijuana deserves some more time in the spotlight. While it’s not going to give you a buzz, it is capable of an even higher power. 

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Hemp is already known to produce vital resources such as rope, clothing, and paper, however this humble plant will likely serve an even greater purpose in our immediate future. 

Harmful fossil fuels, mountains of plastic, and our ever-growing population are rapidly sucking the earth’s resources dry. We are terribly unsustainable as a population, and our actions have resulted in this climate crisis, which will be the biggest issue that we will ever face, and it’s already happening.

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While we may be hoping that some technological advancement will be what saves us, really – it could be as simple as this humble hemp plant. Maybe we don’t need to colonize another planet. But we definitely do need to change our ways. 

Not only can hemp produce a biodegradable alternative to plastic, be made into an eco-friendly and sustainable fuel source, and save the trees – it can also work to reduce the negative impacts of industrialization. 

As more and more architects turn to hemp as a sustainable material, it may soon be a realistic alternative that with hope, could replace our traditional toxic materials. A biotechnology company known as Mirreco, which is based in Australia has recently shared its plans to 3D print hemp homes. 

Mirreco cites environmental concerns as one of their primary motivations. Within their time working with this technology and material, they have developed a way to produce hemp panels which can be used in both residential and commercial building projects. 

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Mirreco says that these 3D printed panels are “structurally sound, easy to produce, and provide superior thermal performance.”

In a recent statement, the company said: 

“Just imagine living and working in buildings that are 3D-printed and available to move into in only a matter of weeks. The floors, walls and roof will all be made using hemp biomass, and the windows will incorporate cutting-edge technology that allows light to pass through glass where it is converted into electricity.”

Currently, there is not enough sand to sustain the increasing demand for conventional concrete. This poses a huge risk in the environmental crisis. Since the specific sand which needed for concrete is often harvested from riverbeds, gathering this, in lieu, destroys the ecosystem and threatens the biodiversity of plants, fish, and animals.

While people don’t often think much of sand, this is actually our second most used natural resource in the world. Surpassed only by water. There is such a high demand for sand that there is an incentive for cartels to fight over resource-rich territories. Yes, the sand mafia exists. 

The construction industry really needs to make a change. If they were able to adopt a renewable alternative such as hemp, it could seriously improve many of our social, economic and environmental concerns. 

While Mirreco isn’t the first company to make houses out of hemp, they are the first to do so with 3D printing technology. This company may be worth researching and investing in!

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Nicole Eckert
Holistic Nutritionist
Nicole Eckert is a Holistic Nutritionist and the Owner + Founder of Holisticole. On her holistic living blog: holisticole.com - you can find amazing clean-eating recipes, informative blog posts and online programs.

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