Could Growing Hemp Earn Carbon Credits?

Spread the love

From Watts Up With That?

Essay by Eric Worrall

According to the BBC, skilled hemp growers are looking to make money selling their product to the construction industry.

Hemp makes a comeback in the construction industry

By Pedro Garcia

Weary of his life as a computer engineer, in 2010 Elad Kaspin packed his bags and travelled the world.

Mr Kaspin wanted a break from Israel, describing life in the country as complicated. “I knew I didn’t want to live there, in spite of having a good life with a good salary,” he says.

After two years of travelling, he arrived in Colos, a village in southern Portugal, between the towns of Odemira and Ourique. He liked it so much he decided to stay.

He was not the only one. In recent years the region has seen a wave of migrants, attracted by the dramatic, vast and empty plains, a laidback way of life, good weather, and cheap property. 

But that popularity was not generating good, stable jobs. 

So, with the help of childhood friend Palestinian Omer ben Zvi, Mr Kaspin decided to start a company, Cânhamor.

Their idea was to take advantage of Portugal’s relaxation of laws governing the cultivation of hemp, part of the cannabis family of plants.

According to a European Commission report, the carbon sequestering properties of hemp are remarkable.

In just five months one hectare (2.5 acres) of hemp can trap between 9 and 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Mr Kaspin wanted to exploit those properties by setting up his own business making hemp construction blocks. 

With an initial investment of €1m (£880,000; $1m), Cânhamor was formed at the beginning of 2021, and production began a few months later.

…Read more:

Hemp fibre bricks might be OK in cold climates, but where I live everything vaguely biological ends up being eaten. A few years ago when my lathe failed, I discovered the local insects had eaten the rubber drive belt. All that was left was reinforcing string which used to be embedded in the rubber.

I regularly spray the accessible electric wires and plastic pipes with bug spray, just to be on the safe side.

The older houses still in good condition in my area are clad in asbestos concrete sheets rather than wooden cladding. Most wooden structures crumble into dust without vigorous treatment and inspections. Somehow owners of older houses are reluctant to remove the asbestos, despite it being a banned building material, because it is so durable. Even Aussie insects haven’t figured out how to eat it.

I think I’ll let someone else try building their house with this new hemp based edible building product.