Thursday, February 8, 2007

Got a Sustainability High?

Hemp homes make an interesting alternative to the highly toxic and ecologically harmful products often used to create our modern abodes.

Production of concrete and paint requires the use of toxic chemicals. The result is the emission of fossil fuels and other chemicals into the atmosphere during the manufacturing and distribution of many home building products.

As well, man-made products can emit fumes inside your home, which can have a negative impact on your health.

Happily, a “hemp crop can be grown without the use of herbicides or insecticides and produces up to four tonnes of material per acre per year,” according to Natural Life Magazine.

The plant is so versatile it can be used to build and even paint an entire house using methods far less harmful to the environment than other building materials.

According to Natural Life Magazine, hemp houses use “less energy to build, create less waste and take less fuel to heat.”

Using hemp in building construction is nothing new.

‘Hempcrete’ was used to create a sixth century hemp-reinforced bridge in France, which still stands today as a testament to the material’s strength.

Hemp construction materials can also be useful in damp climates – like Vancouver, B.C. – for fending off the annoying mould that seems to creep over and into everything.

Unlike other insulation products, a lining of hemp/lime mixture on your house’s walls will prevent toxic mould growth.

Hemp-for-the-home is so popular that an Ontario company, Wellington Polymer Technology Inc., is having a hard time meeting the demands of consumers eager for a green fix.

But, don’t stop at hemp!

Check out what Colette Brooks has done to her home in Malibu, L.A. to lead the good life without hurting the environment.

There is truly a wealth of information out there about greening your home.

So stop smelling the paint fumes and mould spores and start breathing in the fresh air of home sustainability.

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