I Have A Hempy Dream!


This morning after taking my daughter to school (when I am driving is when I have my best ideas and do my best thinking) I had a thought. It wasn’t a new thought, but it had new energy.

I’ve always wanted to be involved with Habitat for Humanity. But my idea, my dream has a new twist. HEMP Habitats for Humanity. Solar hemp homes! I want to help put families in their own homes, homes that are carbon negative, environmentally healthy, and energy efficient. I want to get dirty, drive some nails, use my hands to help create a healthy environment for those that need a roof over their heads.

I, also, dream to have one of those homes. Solar. Hemp. Energy efficient. Clean. Healthy. Bright. A place that I know will not tax our planet, but HELP it.

I want to start by building one in each state. Can you imagine the impact just from one carbon negative home? I want this to go viral. I can envision communities like this, pockets of clean, green areas that heal, not harm.

I want this to be a movement, a wave. Wait, let me backtrack. WANT means lack. It WILL happen, and it will happen in my lifetime.

How will this happen? I do not know. But I do know I am not alone in this dream. I have put this dream out to the Universe, and where there is a will, a desire, there is always a way.

Who is with me? Who will join me in envisioning this dream and making it happen?

The time is NOW. For our planet, our environment, our economy, our children.

So, hop on this ride, folks, let’s make it happen!

Global Warming ~ Is Hemp The Solution?


This week the eastern U.S. coast had a visitor by the name of Sandy. She came through with a wide path of destruction, and left quite a mess in her wake, including devastating flooding. The news stations and internet were inundated with photos of her impressive size. Is this a sign of what is to be the norm, due to global warming?

The scenes in New York were also a reminder of a film I saw years ago, “The Day After Tomorrow.” It was quite frightening, yet I was riveted. Will it come to this? I certainly hope not.

Steps must be taken NOW to stop the devastation, and the practices that contribute to global warming, which include CO2 emissions from fossil-fueled power plants, CO2 emissions from methane, CO2 emissions from fossil-fueled vehicles, deforestation, and increased levels of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides on commercial and large-scale crops.

I pulled up a blog article I wrote earlier this year, and I believe it is apropos to bring it up again, in light of Hurricane Sandy.

“In the past decade global warming has come to the forefront. This isn’t something new; the earth’s climates have always fluctuated throughout the centuries and millenia. What makes global warming more of an ‘issue’ now is the fact that people are becoming more aware of some of the practices that are not HELPING the global warming situation; it is said that the past 10 years have seen the fastest moving temperature changes.

What causes global warming? One cause is the buildup of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere, which holds the sun’s heat and causes the warming. Fossil fuels are the main culprits; coal burning plants and automobiles are 2 of the biggest contributors to the blanket of CO2 in the atmosphere.

CO2 emissions are at an all-time high; extensive removal of forests is adding to the problem, since CO2 is neutralized by plants and trees. The Amazon rainforest is being destroyed at a very quick pace. At over a billion acres, it is one of the planet’s most treasured ‘air cleaners’. Destruction of the rainforest is contributing to the warming we see today, as well as loss of habitat for animals and increased land erosion.

So, what is the remedy for halting or even reversing global warming? One way to counter the effects of global warming is growing hemp – on a global scale.

Industrial hemp uses photosynthesis to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it to oxygen. The hemp plant can convert huge amounts of CO2, more than most plants. Not only does it remove the CO2 from the air, it also deposits the CO2 into the soil, enriching it and causing it to be more fertile. Hemp is one of the very few crops that does NOT deplete the soil after it is grown and harvested.

There is a move to replace fossil fuels in automobiles with biofuels and hemp fuels. Homes are being built with hemp materials (making the hemp homes carbon neutral and in some cases carbon negative). Products typically made with petroleum and timber are being made with hemp. The move to green consumption is growing.

It is unfortunate that the US cannot legally grow hemp at this time. But steps are being taken, people are making their voices heard. We are inching toward the day when hemp can be farmed in the United States – and we can contribute to making our planet clean, green, and fresh again.”

I want my children and grandchildren to have a beautiful, clean planet to live on, one that practices sustainable, healthy ways of living. One that is not damaged by oil drilling, fracking, pollution, not one that is disease-ridden and environmentally unsafe. No, our children and grandchildren deserve something better, and the time is NOW to turn to practices that nourish the earth.

Hemp – The Answer To Sustainable Living


We are using up the resources of 1.5 planets. That is a long way from sustainability. Every product made takes something from the planet that we can’t give back. So think twice before you buy anything. Think about what went into making that product. Buy better quality, but buy less. Your shopping habits are where you control your impact on natural resources.” ~ Yvon Chouinard, founder and CEO of Patagonia

Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country.” -Thomas Jefferson

Proponents of sustainable living strive to live consciously in a way that what they use does not harm or permanently take something from nature that is not replaceable.

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have,  the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.” ~ http://www.epa.gov

Sustainability falls into 3 sections :

  • 100% efficient – these are sustainable products that can be consumed and renewed in large quantities endlessly, without leaving a negative impact on the environment
  • High efficient – these are products that are ‘green’ and environmentally kind, yet are not endless.
  • Low or non- efficient – – these are products that are not sustainable at all, deplete natural resources, and leave a negative impact on the environment and health

I think you can see where I am going with this. Out of all the natural resources that we have available to us, can you think of ONE that can be renewed endlessly, in huge quantities, that can clean the air and nourish the soil, a resource that can be made into tens of thousands of products, all of which can be recycled or reused or put back into the earth to heal it? Can you think of ONE resource that not only leaves a NEGATIVE carbon footprint, it can also give us energy (fuel) that is clean, or can heal or bodies as well as the soil that it is planted in?

There is one resource on this earth that can do all of the above, and more. It is Hemp.

Hemp is sustainable, clean, healthy, and yes, it can be grown in huge amounts indefinitely. It grows well in many environmental conditions, as well as almost any type of soil. It’s growth period is approximately 4 months, so a couple growing seasons can occur every year.

Hemp products can be recycled MANY times, much more than many of our common products that we use (paper, cotton, plastics, clothing/textiles).

To increase sustainability and efficiency, we must replace low-efficient/non-sustainable products with 100% efficient, sustainable hemp.

And what products can be made from hemp? Below is a VERY short list of the thousands upon thousands of products:

  • Plastics (bags, utensils, computer and phone components)
  • Auto components (car panels)
  • Construction materials (foundation/hempcrete, fiberboard, insulation, carpet, furniture, roof tiles)
  • Paper (stationery, bathroom tissue, paper towels, cardboard boxes)
  • Textiles/rope/clothing (shirts, pants, shoes, hats, underwear, socks, diapers)

Of course, we cannot forget the nutritional aspect of hemp. Industrial hempseed and hempseed oil are excellent, nutritionally-dense foods. With the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids, Edestin protein, fiber, chlorophyll, all essential amino acids, and many micro and macro nutrients, hemp is a fantastic sustainable food AND medicine.

There is no other single renewable, sustainable raw material that can replace and eradicate toxins and dangerous products that we use and eat; there is no other sustainable raw material that can fulfill ALL our basic needs and beyond – than HEMP.

Hemp – The Best Biomass Energy Around!


Energy. We all use energy, and NEED it. There are many forms of energy. Some are clean and healthy for the environment, some are not.

There are 2 sources of energy – non-renewable and renewable.

Non-renewable sources of energy include fossil fuels and uranium (which is not a fossil fuel). Combustive fossil fuels emit dangerous elements into the air and environment – sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide. These are products that are the cause of pollution and acid rain.

Renewable sources of energy include hydropower, geothermal, solar, and biomass. These create less pollution and are cleaner to process.

Let’s look at biomass. Biomass, renewable energy, is biological material from living or recently living organisms. It can be used directly or converted to create other forms of energy. Examples of biomass are wood, crops, food waste, vegetable oils, and hemp.

In the 1900s Henry Ford, and others, realized the importance of using biomass as energy and fuel as opposed to using fossil energy. Henry Ford grew his own hemp, built a hemp car, and processed hemp fuel for his car – his dream was to have hemp fuel (a renewable, clean energy)  replace fossil fuel (a non-renewable less clean energy).

“Henry Ford recognized that up to 90 percent of all fossil fuel used inthe world today (coal, oil, natural gas, etc.) should long ago have been replaced with biomass such as: cornstalks, cannabis, waste paper and the like. Biomass can be converted to methane, methanol or gasoline at a fraction of the current cost of oil, coal, or nuclear energy – especially when environmental costs are factored in – and its mandated use would end acid rain, end sulfur- based smog, and reverse the Greenhouse Effect on our planet – right now!*
*Government and oil and coal companies, etc., will insist that burning biomass fuels is no better than using up our fossil fuel reserves, as far as pollution goes; but this is patently untrue. Why? Because, unlike fossil fuels, biomass comes from living (not extinct) plants that continue to remove carbon dioxide pollution from our atmosphere as they grow, through photosynthesis. Furthermore, biomass fuels do not contain sulfur. This can be accomplished if hemp is grown for biomass and then converted through pyrolysis (charcoalizing) or biochemical composting into fuels to replace fossil fuel energy products.*
*Remarkably, when considered on a planet-wide, climate-wide, soil-wide basis, cannabis is at least four and possibly many more times richer in sustainable, renewable biomass/cellulose potential than its nearest rivals on the planet – cornstalks, sugarcane, kenaf trees, etc.” (The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer)

It is a known fact that hemp cleans the air as it grows, and cleans the soil as well. Hemp is carbon negative. (Fossil fuels are NOT.)

Ethanol and Methanol can be produced from hemp, and these fuels are cleaner. They produce less carbon monoxide than fossil fuels and have a higher octane.

In the past, wood was used for cooking fuel and heating fuel. However, the deforestation lowers the air quality (as well as the burning of the wood fuel). It takes 20-40 years for a new crop of trees to be at the harvestable age.

Hemp, however, produces approximately 2-3 crops per year; it is 77% cellulose (trees are 60%) and hemp. It is a known fact that hemp cleans the air as it grows, and cleans the soil as well. Hemp is also carbon negative.

It makes sense, from an environmental point of view as well as a health point of view, that hemp should be used as a clean, renewable source of energy.

It’s Time to Get Back to Industrial Hemp, and Embrace the Change That Comes With It


Industrial hemp has had a long, fruitful, and interesting history. It has been used for over 10,000 years as food, medicine, clothing, fuel, and in construction.

It is now classified as a schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act – a move that made it illegal to grow without a permit from the DEA.

It is amazing (or, perhaps a better word would be disturbing) that this wondrous, healthy plant was made illegal so investors in oil, chemicals, pharma, and timber could reap their benefits at the expense of our health and the health of our planet.

The chemical, drug, oil, and timber industries have taken their toll. Our nation is an industrialized nation, which means we consume huge amounts of oil, gas, chemicals, additives in foods, chemical drugs to treat every illness under the sun. We’ve become a nation addicted to ‘fast, quick, easy’. But that system isn’t always healthy.

Our fast foods, canned foods, and prepared foods are laden with chemicals. We have gone from fresh, farm or home-grown to over-processed nutrient-deficient foods.

Our illnesses are treated with chemical drugs, most of which have warnings because they, themselves, are dangerous. Have you looked lately at the side effects of most chemical meds? If you take a close look, you will realize that these are what are making us sicker and even killing us. (Now, I am not saying all meds are bad, and yes, some people do need to be on meds for health or stabilization.) Hemp can (and does) treat many illnesses and disease. If we look at the causes of disease, we will find that many are the cause of emotional or nutritional imbalance. And how can we best treat disease and illness? Nutrition. And what is one of the most nutritional plants around? Yes, you guessed it. Hemp.

We have become dependent on oil. Look at this, though. Oil and fuel processing in itself is unhealthy for the environment (and humans). Oil extraction can be as well. (See: Gulf of Mexico) And the alternative? Hemp fuel! Hemp fuel is safe, clean, and non-toxic. If it spills it acts more like a fertilizer than a health hazard. Henry Ford’s idea to build hemp cars and use hemp fuel (he grew his own hemp) was an excellent option.

Many of the substances we use today are petroleum based or synthetic (chemical based) – plastics, nylon to name a couple. Anything that can be made from fossil fuels/oil can be made from hemp.

William Randolph Hearst (yes, the newspaper guy) had a huge stake in timber and owned a couple sawmills. He was one of the main supporters of banning the use of hemp. Why? It was a threat to his timber investments. Did you know that The Declaration of Independence was made with hemp? Paper products made from timber are very chemical intensive. Writing paper, paper bags, napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, books – all of these have been processed with chlorine and numerous other chemicals. Yes, paper from trees can be recycled; yet the chemicals in them remain. Do you know, even recycled toilet paper has chemical residue from the paper it was recycled from? Hemp paper is stronger, lasts longer, and is processed easily and with less toxic chemicals.

Hemp does not need pesticides or herbicides. It does that naturally. Hemp uses less water than cotton.  (Did you know, cotton growth/manufacturing uses HUGE amounts of water and chemicals – cotton is one of the most chemical intensive crops.) Hemp heals the soil and cleans the air. It is healthy – for body, environment, and economy.

Now, this is where the change must occur. Yes, in the 1930s there was change – our country went from being one that embraced hemp and all it’s greatness to one that shunned it in favor of unhealthy alternatives, thanks to lobbyists for the big oil, chemical, pharma, and timber investors.

It is time to change once again, BACK to the plant that will help our planet, our health, and our economy. There will be people kicking and screaming. There were (and are) those who will fight hard and dirty to keep hemp illegal. They do not want their investments threatened. However, CHANGE is needed.

The propaganda about hemp needs to be dispelled. Ideas need to change; minds need to embrace the idea that yes, hemp IS a good thing. For some, change is a scary thing.

There have been families, for generations, whose livelihoods have depended on the oil and timber industries. In some areas those were the main industries. These people worked hard to feed their families and send their kids to college, to build their lives. I am not bashing those who worked, sweated, and died working to care for their families, especially those in the timber industry. I’ve been touched first-hand by that. My ex-husband’s brother died working for a logging company. I have other friends who were injured badly or disabled in that industry. I am NOT saying that the timber industry is all evil. We need wood for construction, etc.

What I AM saying, though, is that there are some products that can be replaced with hemp – paper, for example – simply because hemp is the better, cleaner, healthier alternative. We DO need to reduce the amount of trees that we use. They take 20-40 years to grow. Hemp, however, takes months and can produce much more per acre than trees.

Yes, change can be scary. Going back to hemp is a good change – healthier earth, healthier bodies, healthier air, healthier environment. But, in order to evolve, to GROW, we must EMBRACE that change…

One hempseed at a time.

Why Replacing Natural Gas With Hemp-Derived Methanol Is A Great Idea


On February 29 I was browsing through CNN.com and I came across an article titled “How a billionaire fills gas tank for $1 a gallon.” Below is an excerpt from that article:

Gasoline at $4 a gallon is no worry for T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire energy investor from Texas. He drives from his home to his office in a car that runs on fuel costing less than $1 a gallon.

His method: He has a device that fuels his Honda Civic GX with natural gas from the pipes that serve his home. And he thinks there’s a lesson there for America’s energy woes.

Pickens, who is speaking Wednesday at the TED2012 Conference in Long Beach, California, said America needs to make natural gas a building block of a plan for ending oil imports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Natural gas is “cheaper, it’s cleaner, it’s abundant and it’s ours, and we’re fools not to use it,” Pickens said in an interview with CNN.

Pickens, an 83-year-old trained geologist who has been working in the energy field since 1951, said the United States could use domestic resources to replace the 5 million barrels of oil imported daily from OPEC, which makes up a quarter of America’s daily use of oil. The U.S. natural gas reserves amount to the equivalent of three times the oil reserves possessed by Saudi Arabia, he said.

“All you need now is leadership,” he said, lamenting that America “has no plan, we’ve gone 40 years with no energy plan. We’re the largest user of oil in the world.”

Pickens’ plan is encapsulated in the Natural Gas Act, a bill with Democratic and Republican sponsors, that would provide tax credits to replace diesel-fuel burning truck engines with natural gas-powered engines; users of natural gas as a transportation fuel would pay fees that would make up for the lost government revenue.

His firm, BP Capital, has a vested interest in energy policy since it invests in energy futures and the shares of firms in a variety of parts of the industry.

Now, here is why I have a problem with this. First of all, the process of extracting the natural gas can be harmful to health and environment.

“The practice of hydraulic fracturing, the process of using a combination of chemicals ranging from harmless to toxic to force natural gas to the surface from reservoirs with low permeability, has come under scrutiny internationally due to concerns about environmental and health safety, and has been suspended or banned in some countries.” (Wikipedia)

“The most direct connection is if fracking fluids are injected directly into rock formations that also serve as freshwater aquifers and underground sources of drinking water. According to EPA, there are coalbed methane formations that undergo hydraulic fracturing, but also serve as freshwater aquifers.

  1. Fracking chemicals have the potential to migrate, as liquids or gases, from leaky wellbores into adjacent groundwater aquifers. There is the possibility for migration may occur, as well, through vertical and horizontal fractures into groundwater or even to surface water.
  2. Even if the fracking chemicals, themselves, do not migrate into groundwater, the hydraulic fracturing operation may change the underground geology in such a way that new pathways are formed that allow hydrocarbons such as methane, and benzene, to migrate away from their original location. Fracturing, which causes mini-seismic events under ground, may also introduce more sediment into groundwater aquifers, changing the water quality temporarily, or possibly permanently.
  3. A final pathway for contamination is if fracking fluids are spilled onto the ground or into waterways. Spills may be of unused fracking chemicals, or used fracking fluids that flow back out of the well after it has been hydraulically fractures. Any volatile compounds in spilled fracking fluids may enter the air and be carried downwind. (earthworksaction.org)

Second, natural gas (derived from fracking) is NOT a renewable resource.

Third, doesn’t the sound of ‘investing in energy futures’ bring to mind the Rockefellers and Standard Oil? (And their monopoly and price gouging, AND the fact that the stock market is the main reason for high fossil fuel prices?)

So, what is the alternative?

Hemp-derived methanol. Hemp is 77% cellulose, which is the main component for fuel. Methanol from hemp is clean, renewable, and does not require large amounts of dangerous chemicals to process.

If hemp were grown in the U.S. using 6% of farmland, we could remove our dependency on foreign oil, fossil fuels, and natural gas. To me, this is ideal, since natural gas fracking is harmful to the environment, and the health of populations nearby.

Industrial hemp methanol would be an inexpensive, healthy alternative – giving us freedom from using hydrocarbon fuels and replacing them with healthy carbohydrate fuels.

There are some commercial kitchens/stoves that can use methanol without upgrading the equipment; I would love to see a household version – a gas stove that uses hemp methanol. It’s the best of both worlds – clean, efficient, inexpensive energy…and a renewable one at that.

Artists And Celebrities Turn To Biofuel


In an effort to lower their carbon footprint, artists and celebrities are utilizing sustainable fuels for their transportation. In other words, they are using biofuels.

Biofuels are derived from biomass, in this case, renewable plant matter such as corn, soy, peanuts, and hemp. Produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, or grease, biodiesel can be used in pure form or used as an additive to diesel to reduce carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon output.

Daryl Hannah is one of the first celebrities to have used biodiesel. She speaks out strongly in support of biodiesel options that reduce our dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Daryl has partnered with Annie Nelson (wife of Willie Nelson) and biodiesel pioneer Kelly King to create the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance. The SBA’s mission is to address issues regarding sustainable biofuels in the USA, educating the public about the value of biodiesel and reducing dependence on foreign fuels.

Willie Nelson, when he is on the road, uses buses powered by biodiesel, and utilizes biodiesel in his personal vehicles as well. He is a major proponent of home-grown fuel alternatives. When Willie learned that the biodiesel industry was a huge benefit to farmers, he partnered with Earth Biofuels to market the biodiesel broadly.

Joining Daryl Hannah and Willie Nelson in promoting the benefits of biofuels, Julia Roberts, in 2006, partnered with Earth Biofuels, Inc. as a spokesperson and advisory board member. One of the projects was to work on a program advocating the utilization of biodiesel in the 500,000 school buses in use throughout the country.

A very recognizable voice (you’ve heard him on March Of The Penguins and The Long Way Home), Morgan Freeman has also lent his voice to the biofuel movement as a spokesperson for Earth Biofuels.

And who are other artists devoted to using sustainable biofuels? Pearl Jam, Nora Jones, Sheryl Crow – they utilize biofuels in their touring vehicles in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint.

The movement is growing. Artists are making their voices heard, and walking the talk, as they support a clean, sustainable fuel source that is healthier for our planet and our economy.