Cannabis is generally viewed as an environmentally friendly industry by its legal market. Commercialization of cannabis has caused things to continue moving in the wrong direction. Cannabis has never been a sustainable industry. Growing cannabis markets have led to concerns about sustainability.
The use of artificial pesticides and unsafe growing practices by commercial farmers has boosted crop yields and sales. These practices have resulted in significant amounts of pollution and waste. Check out https://homegrowncannabisco.com/grow-your-own-with-kyle-kushman/advanced-techniques/sea-of-green-method/ and see the difference.
Cannabis farmers have recently spearheaded initiatives to improve sustainability practices for both cannabis and the planet. With these initiatives, I’m optimistic about the market’s future.
Trying to reduce their environmental impact while producing high-quality cannabis products, some companies are taking climate change head-on.
Sustainability Requires Green Technology In The Cannabis Industry
There is fierce competition in the cannabis industry, with companies fighting for the top spot and growers racing to produce the best strains. The existence of competition has been good for consumers and the marketplace, but it has also caused a very serious waste problem, which is only going to get worse over the next decade.
In the past, buying weed from friends who have a green thumb was a rather sentimental experience, but in fact, it has been more beneficial to the environment than buying closet-weed from them. There is a lot of waste in the commercial cannabis industry during production. Waste sources include:
The use of chemicals in fertilizers
Petrochemical fertilizers are used extensively in the production of commercial cannabis. Because chemical fertilizers provide rapid nutrient release, they are used widely in agriculture and food production industries. Chemical fertilizers can damage the long-term sustainability potential of a growing system by killing microbes.
Utilization of pesticide methods
In order to increase crop yields and prevent pests and diseases, cannabis crops are often treated with harsh chemicals and pesticides. Spraying or applying pesticides on cannabis crops may cause the pesticide to seep into the soil and water, and then contaminate them.
It is necessary to dispose of cannabis plants after harvest. For cannabis plants to be disposed of legally, cannabis growers need to make the waste unrecognizable by mixing cannabis wastes and non-cannabis wastes 50-50. Normally, cannabis waste is not composted or disposed of cleanly due to government concerns that it may be used for illegal production. As a result, it is usually thrown directly into landfills blended with nonconsumable post-consumer waste.
Despite the legalization of marijuana, packaging guidelines are very strict, including childproofing, special labeling, and durable materials. The majority of cannabis products are packaged in single-use plastic packaging, which is typically disposed of in a landfill instead of being recycled since it was originally used for cannabis products.
Sustainable Practices In The Cannabis Industry
Although some industries continue to practice unsustainable practices, the relatively young cannabis industry has already begun working towards improving sustainable practices and reducing waste. Sustainable manufacturing and sales processes are being integrated into green technology.
In order to reduce waste, address climate change and improve cannabis sustainability, companies using green technologies are addressing these issues.
Environmentally friendly packaging
The global consumption of plastic packaging may have an irreversible impact on human health and the environment. Packaging made of single-use plastics rarely receives a second life. It is more common for cannabis packaging to end up in a landfill than in recycling programs.
The use of plastic should be limited to the most pressing situations. Consider recyclable materials like durable, recyclable glass bottles that preserve a product’s purity without harming the environment as opposed to petroleum-based plastics.
Using biodynamic farming methods
Agriculture and commercial agriculture can be harmful to the environment, removing soil nutrients, reducing water retention, destroying symbiotic ecosystems, and ultimately inhibiting plant growth after years of forced rapid farming. Using sustainable planting and harvesting methods, biodynamic farming improves soil health, biodiversity, and crop yields.
As a result of using artificial fertilizers and chemicals after a harvest, commercial farmers need to replenish and repair soil damage. By strengthening the soil web, regenerative farming minimizes the use of harsh chemicals and pesticides, while preventing nutrient loss. Using fewer artificial chemicals and pesticides helps improve soil health and reduce pollution and waste.
Sustaining The Environment Through Initiatives
As well as environmentally sustainable farming, reducing packaging waste, and directly donating to pollution-reduction efforts, cannabis companies can get involved in environmental sustainability in a host of ways.
Outdoor cannabis cultivation
As cannabis farmers grow outdoors, they can lower their electricity bills and use less energy because of the sun’s natural energy. Regenerative farming can also help the planet become more sustainable. Check out Homegrown Cannabis Co. for more products regarding outdoor cannabis strains.
A solar energy source
In many cannabis growers, dispensaries, and manufacturers, solar power is being used both to reduce emissions and to reduce costs.
Cannabis and hemp plants are harvested and transformed into hempcrete, a concrete-like material. As an alternative to dumping cannabis plants in landfills, hemp can be used to create a super-durable building material that could be the future of green construction. The production of hempcrete is also “carbon negative,” meaning it removes more carbon from the atmosphere than it creates.
Some cannabis manufacturers and growers are now embracing more environmentally sustainable practices, thanks to companies that lead by example.