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We are rather fond of this plant. The non-psychoactive Cannabis species. Sustainable. Food, clothing, ropes, building – the list is long. Some history and uses of industrial hemp here, and more about the nutritional value of the seeds here – vegans take note.
The South African legal situation and business model regarding growing hemp appears to be in need of clarification. See here, here (.pdf) and here is more rather useful information.
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Fortunately the plant has a champion in Tony Budden (Nominative determinism anyone?) of Hemporium SA. The site has an on-line shop and plenty of excellent information. Inhabitat interviewed him, and here is more. We also enjoyed this site. Find plenty of video goodness here about building with hemp.
Treehugger has a rather interesting article that takes another look at using wood as a building material.
With links in the article to Discovery News, Future Science, and a press release from the University of Washington and self-explanatory graphs, it seems that there is not much information that Mrs Green needs to add here.
A quote to take away: The authors propose ” growing wood as fast as possible, harvesting before tree growth begins to taper off and using the wood in place of products that are most fossil-fuel intensive.”
Mrs Green discovered the wonderful people at Supercyclers.
Reading about design innovation from the Natural Grain Kite stool (pictured here), to newspaper wood, and polystyrene works with glazes like melted computer keyboard, has had Mrs Green spending far too much time today exploring the site and pondering the items in her recycling bins.
An attempt to make those water-proof containers from plastic bags is on the to-do list …
Growing packaging? Ecovative Design does just that by growing bio-material in custom shapes. EcoCradle™ parts take about a week to grow.
This remarkable material is totally biodegradable and renewable and will easily break down in a compost heap.
The EcoCradle™ Mushroom Packaging website tells us that the packaging is grown by: “… using mycelium, a fungal network of threadlike cells. This mycelium grows around agricultural by-products like buckwheat husks, oat hulls, or cotton burrs to any shape we make. In 5 – 7 days, in the dark, with no watering, and no petrochemical inputs, the mycelium envelops the by-products, binding them into a strong and beautiful packaging part. Inside every cubic inch of EcoCradle™, there’s a matrix of 8 miles of tiny mycelial fibers! At the end of the process, we treat EcoCradle™ with heat to stop the growth so there will never be any spores.”
Read more at Envirogadget.com and igreenspot. com.
Mentioned at Green Diary, these earth-friendly flip-flops are made from recycled newspapers with the addition of re-purposed coconut shells, palm tree roots and recycled rubber.
The newspaper supports the feet and the straps, base and sole are made of the sustainable re-purposed materials.
The re-purposed materials give durability, water resistance and a good grip, 1 kg of newspaper is recycled for each pair, and for an even happier result a project is afoot (Mrs Green did not initially intend that pun) to create employment opportunities by making Paperflops for disabled and underprivileged people in Yogjakarta, Indonesia.