Hemp is actually a very environmentally-friendly plant. When grown outside, its deep taproot helps aerate the soil. The plant itself is also great at absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This bodes well for its carbon footprint. In fact, research has proven that hemp is the best commercial crop at absorbing carbon dioxide, which then permanently bonds to the fiber of the plant.
Growing hemp outside not only produces a lucrative crop for you, but it helps our planet stay a little bit healthier. However, this connection to nature changes once you decide to grow your hemp crop indoors.
Where the waste comes from
Taking a hemp crop indoors changes the game as far as energy consumption goes. Based on data from a study out of Colorado State University, growing an ounce of hemp indoors is like burning almost 16 gallons of gas. This means a significantly higher amount of greenhouse gasses go into the atmosphere when you grow hemp indoors.
All of this results from the needs required to have a successful indoor hemp crop. There’s the added use of lights, climate-controlling systems, and machinery that circulates the air. Each system uses up its own energy and creates waste.
When growing hemp outdoors, each of these systems acome from nature. This allows hemp plants to focus on helping the environment instead.
Simple steps to using less
Even though outside hemp crops are best when it comes to being eco-conscious, it’s not always possible. If you have to grow hemp indoors, there are ways you can immediately decrease your carbon footprint. These let you use less energy without sacrificing the success of your crop.
The first area to focus on is your lighting. The bulbs you use make a big impact on energy consumption. If you haven’t already, switch to LED bulbs for more efficient lighting equipment.
Next, check out your climate control system. Make sure it’s updated and everything within it is working at its most efficient level. If possible, upgrade to a newer system. Find one that takes more precautions to save energy wherever possible.
Offsetting your carbon footprint
Once you reduce your carbon footprint with physical changes to your indoor equipment, consider taking an even bigger step. No, you don’t have to move your crop outdoors, although that would be nice.
There are actually ways to offset the energy you use and the CO2 you release when growing hemp inside. This is becoming a popular practice, across many industries, to help put balance back into the world.
Carbon offset programs enable you to buy carbon credits and/or invest in organizations that are actively working to make the world a cleaner place.
You can even partner with a tree planting non-profit. Although trees work slower at absorbing CO2 then hemp plants, they do their part. Trees make a great contribution toward permanently extracting carbon dioxide from the air we breathe as well.
The brand advantage to being environmentally-aware
After asking you to make so many changes to your indoor hemp grow, you may wonder, “what’s in it for me?” These adjustments require you to spend money, make alterations, and modify your growing process. If it’s just for the sake of the environment, where’s the payoff in that?
The payoff is ultimately a better home for us all to enjoy, but there’s also the benefit to your brand. Even as a small hemp farmer, being environmentally-aware carries weight in today’s competitive landscape. Consumers are now looking at how companies approach the environment. They want to see their favorite brands doing good that goes beyond the bottom line.
Demonstrating the steps you’re taking to reduce your carbon footprint can become a huge selling point. Especially if you work with a processor who shares these same values. You’re creating an environmentally-positive image that’s appealing to consumers and manufacturers.
Indoor or out, get advice to manage your hemp crop
Whether you opt for an outdoor grow, or take the steps for an efficient indoor set up, Arbor Vita8 is here to help. Our experienced and knowledgeable team offers services from seed to sale. We take into account the latest industry trends as well as strategies that are best for success.
We’re here to help you find the right seeds, clones, or seedlings to start your crop, but then offer up efficient, environmentally-friendly processing services. We carry the conservation message through our work, and hope our farmers will too. Contact us today to learn more.