Sustainability

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Kentucky: Williams and Galbraith debate

Kentucky: Williams and Galbraith debate COVINGTON—Two of the three gubernatorial candidates debated in Covington Thursday afternoon, Republican State Senate President David Williams and independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced earlier in the week that a scheduling conflict would keep him from attending the debate at the joint conference of the Kentucky County Judge/Executives Association and the Kentucky Magistrates and Commissioners Association held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

Williams criticized Beshear as having no agenda.

"My favorite Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, talks about people in the arena who have the blood and sweat and get in there and try," Williams said. "Gatewood, thank you for being here today and offering yourself for public office. You're in the arena. Two out of three candidates are here, and the other will be engaged when he chooses, but he's not here today."

Galbraith blamed partisan politics for Kentucky's woes and said as an independent, he will work with both sides of the aisle.

"I foresee that after my stint as governor, I'm going to be one of the most disliked people in the state because I'm going to have to make decisions that neither party candidate can possibly make, because they've got to answer to the party," Galbraith said. "I don't answer to anybody except God and an occasional judge or two."

One of the questions involved the state gas tax, which funds road improvements throughout Kentucky.

Global: Canadian EV to be Pimped Out with Hemp Bio Composite Interior

By Silvia Pikal, Mobile Mag

There is a truth that must be heard! While hemp can be used for food, textiles, paper, fabric, and fuel oil, the misunderstood crop breeds fear amongst politicians in the United States and has led to the crop being illegal to grow without a DEA permit, which is pretty hard to get. But growing hemp is legal in Canada. Canadian company Motive Industries has taken advantage of this, and have been working on an electric car made of hemp plastic. Touted as Canada’s first bio composite electric car, the Motive Kestrel’s top speed is 135 km/h, with a range of 160 km. The ultralight car is a 3 door 4 passenger electric vehicle, and packs 16 kWh of lithium battery juice to keep the car going 160 kilometers per charge.

Now Motive has announced that bio composite materials derived from hemp and flax fibre will also be used in the car’s interior. They will be used to create the headliner, door panels, door trim, floor tub and center tunnel, instrument panel and the center console panel. The prototype should be coming out sometime this year, with a production goal of 2012.

South Africa: High living in a house of hemp

There is a truth that must be heard! High on a hill, this looks like many other examples of elegant modern architecture but it's been built from a special ingredient.


Source: http://media.brisbanetimes.com.au/property/domain/high-living-in-a-house...

Green textiles on the fringes: Here's how plant-based fabrics flax, hemp, bamboo and Tencel stack up in terms of sustainability

By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times

There is a truth that must be heard! Much as they're trumpeted by so-called eco-designers, plant-based alternatives to cotton are a minuscule piece of the fashion puzzle. Dwarfed by cotton and synthetics such as polyester, spandex and rayon, textiles made from flax, wood pulp, hemp and bamboo make up less than 2 percent of the market. But that percentage is growing because of consumer and corporate demand, as well as technological advancements that make natural fibers easier to transform into wearable fabrics.

One of the more promising developments in sustainable textiles is flax, a stalky and fibrous plant that can be grown with far less water and fewer pesticides than cotton and produced at a lower price. While cotton is cultivated on 12.6 million U.S. acres, flax is currently grown on just 2 million acres of U.S. and Canadian farmland. Most flax is produced for its grain, which is turned into food. But its fiber can also be transformed into materials that look and feel similar to cotton. As a textile, it's incorporated into 1.1 percent of U.S. garments and most commonly used in linen.

United States: Hempsters: Plant the Seed - Available on DVD June 28, 2011

HEMPSTERS is a thought-provoking and compelling documentary that will not only encourage all of us to take action, but move us one step closer towards a more sustainable planet.

Available on DVD June 28, 2011

Global: Hempsters: Plant the Seed - Available on DVD June 28, 2011 As our society continues to consume 30% more than the planet can regenerate, Industrial Hemp is proven to be a viable and cost-effective crop that can reduce our reliance on some of the earth's most precious resources. HEMPSTERS: PLANT THE SEED, featuring Woody Harrelson, will be released on DVD June 28th by Cinema Libre Studio.

This lively documentary, directed by Michael Henning and produced by Diana Oliver, explores the reasons why the United States is the only developed country that still bans the growth of Industrial Hemp. Hemp, which is a durable fiber cultivated from plants of the cannabis genus, can be used for paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel. Due to its relation to marijuana, it is illegal to grow in the U.S. under Federal law. Hemp is considered a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act even though it contains minimum levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

California: Hemp to Potentially Replace Reliance on Fossil Fuels

By Kevin W. McCarty, Daily Nexus

California: Hemp to Potentially Replace Reliance on Fossil Fuels Humanity stands at a crossroads. For nearly two centuries, human civilization has seen its every facet transformed by the machinery of industrial development. During this period of rapid expansion, we have beheld the gracious power of cheap fossil fuels, namely petroleum oil, as our premier source of energy and electricity. But today we are witnessing crude oil prices skyrocket as many economists say we have already reached peak global oil production and will see increasing prices until the supply of petroleum is diminished. As a result, we must expect additional sources of renewable electrical power will sustain economic growth in the coming decades.

For most of human history, the hemp plant has been used as an integral crop of commerce and navigation. Cultures across the globe have utilized hemp as a source of food, rigging and building materials and paper pulp. It is, without a doubt, the most resilient and efficient plant the Earth has ever grown. But not until now has it become quite so necessary to realize the prohibition of hemp and cannabis must be suspended. The arguments against legalization do not stand trial when compared to the immense benefits.

United States: From the HEART - Feral Hemp Makes 35 Tons of Fiber and Four Tons of Seeds Per Acre

By Paul Stanford, Hemp News Director

There is a truth that must be heard! Hemp seeds produce more oil and protein than any other plant per land area cultivated. Hemp protein and oil are rich in the essential fatty acids (EFAs) that our brain and cardiovascular system need, Omega 3 & 6, in the perfect ratio for optimal human health. Hemp protein has all 8 amino acids, again, in just the right balance to meet humans' nutritional needs.

Per acre, according to a study published in the Notre Dame University journal, The American Midland Naturalist, wild hemp here in the USA produces 8,500 pounds of seed per acre. The study is called: An Ecological Study of Naturalized Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in East-Central Illinois, by Alan Haney and Benjamin B. Kutscheid at the University of Indiana at Urbana, Department of Biology.

http://www.myspace.com/restorehemp/photos/23904376

North Carolina: Hemp House Going Up at Lake Junaluska

Written by Colby Dunn, Smoky Mountain News

North Carolina: Hemp House Going Up at Lake Junaluska If someone said the word "hemp," the first thing to spring to mind probably wouldn't be home construction. But if you're looking for a strong, green, energy-efficient building material that's resistant to pretty much everything, hemp might be your best choice.

This is the concept being pitched by Greg Flavall and David Madera, owners of an Asheville-based business called Hemp Technologies. They're some of the first to build with the material in the United States, where industrial hemp hasn't seen the rise in popularity it enjoys in other countries, thanks to a federal ban on U.S. production.

Its recognition is slowly ramping up, though, due in part to its benefits over standard concrete. The third house in the country to be built with the technology is going up now, in the mountains above Lake Junaluska.

Roger Teuscher, the homeowner, said he was turned on to the idea by his first architect, who suggested the plant as a cleaner, greener alternative to standard homebuilding supplies. Tuescher, who lives most of the year in Florida, said he was drawn not only to the cost savings gained by increased insulation, but by the product’s recyclability.

Global: Building with Hemp

By Paul Benhaim, Hemp News Correspondent/Hemp Building Consultant

Building with Hemp As there are so many applications for hemp and hemp products, so it is not a surprise to find that it can be used to build a house; but the question we need to answer is, is it worthwhile?

Let's look at the facts and see why the answer to this question is undeniably YES!

To begin with, hemp buildings are not a new concept - but the technology necessary is very new and constantly evolving. Although there is a 300 year old hemp-built house in Japan! Hemp building technology was originated in France where most hemp building products come from.

There are several different combination's of building materials used in hemp building:

• Hemp + Lime, Cement and minor wetting agents.

• Hemp + Lime only

• Hemp + Gypsum based binder

The Gypsum composite is the basis for hemp bricks, for building, generally the first method is the most used. The composite should be chosen to suit the climate and specific requirements of the building. Hemp houses exist from the snow of Canada down to the Australian tropics and just about everywhere along the way!

United States: Hemp Education Research Project

David Piller, Hemp News Correspondent

United States: Hemp Education Research Project - Hemp for Humanity A friend of mine recently put together a survey for a ethnography research methods class on the topic of creating effective hemp education and promoting hemp awareness. Below are a few of my responses.

What is your educational platform (or pro-hemp argument) that you use when doing hemp outreach?

My main "argument" is that if we are truly serious about maximizing the growth of the green economy and creating a sustainable future, industrial hemp must become, once again, one of the United States' primary crops. I stress how cultivating hemp will do more to help clean our air, soil, and water than any patented technology our scientists can offer. I include hemp nutritional benefits and communicate how making more hemp foods available to our citizens, we can improve the quality of life of many and reduce our long term health care costs.

Do you change this platform for various audiences: when and why?

Yes and no.

I think it is important to make things as simple as possible for people to grasp hemp’s true potential, and I always strive to bring it down to a healthy environment, healthy food, and healthy industries to lay a solid foundation to build a dialogue upon.

Canada: Manitoba Fund to Back Plant-Based Bioproducts

By Country Guide staff

Canada: Manitoba Fund to Back Plant-Based Bioproducts Manitoba's provincial government has pledged $20 million over the next 10 years to support development and manufacturing of ag- and forestry-based bioproducts.

The new Manitoba Bio-products Strategy was announced Thursday at Riverton in the province's Interlake region, where a local firm, Erosion Control Blankets, makes erosion-suppression products from wheat straw.

The province's farms and forests yield a "valuable supply" of biomass every year, Premier Greg Selinger said in a release, noting the biomass' use in biofuels, chemical processing and other materials.

"Research and development in Manitoba is already turning hemp, flax and wheat byproducts into paper, insulation, roofing tiles, biodegradable food packaging and ultra-lightweight components for aerospace and transportation sectors," the government said.

Out of the $20 million pledged, the province for 2011 has budgeted "more than $4 million in project funding available to research institutions and entrepreneurs working on developing innovative bio-products," Selinger said.

Oregon: Living Harvest Sees Growth on Horizon

By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon

Oregon: Living Harvest Sees Growth on Horizon With more traditional grocers starting to open up to the idea of food made from hemp, Living Harvest Foods Inc. is looking ahead to a year of growth, poised to launch a new ice cream product and start selling products in Safeway aisles this spring.

The 10-employee Portland company, which sells milk, ice cream and nutritional products made from hemp seeds, raised $800,000 from existing investors last year and plans to use it to support its growth to reach profitability.

Hans Fastre, Living Harvest CEO, said that sales in 2010 were essentially flat at about $6 million after several years of strong growth.

"It was okay," Fastre said. "We see it starting to rebound across the whole industry. Whole Foods is reporting better numbers and we usually follow them pretty closely."

Fastre said Living Harvest is starting to get more interest from mainstream supermarkets. He expects Living Harvest products to debut in Safeway in March.


Source: http://sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2011/01/living-harvest-see...

United States: Naturally Advanced Strikes Deal with Hanes

By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon

United States: Naturally Advanced Strikes Deal with Hanes Naturally Advanced Inc. announced Wednesday that Hanesbrands Inc. will buy as much as $375,000 worth of the natural-fiber company's new Crailar Flax material for testing in its products.

Both companies recently finished trials of Naturally Advanced's new Crailar Flax product, which is being developed by the company to follow its Crailar Hemp offering, which was purchased by Hanes earlier this year.

Naturally Advanced is led by Portland-based CEO Ken Barker, a former Adidas executive. Barker said in a press release, "We believe this next step is a significant validation of our technology and we look forward to bringing Crailar Flax fiber to consumers in 2011."

Naturally Advanced had been focusing its business on a hemp-based fiber, with operations based in Vancouver, Canada, where laws don't restrict the use of hemp. In the last year, the company has focused on proving its technology with flax fiber, which is more readily available in the U.S., said Naturally Advanced spokeswoman Erin Brunner.

The company also has a processing facility in South Carolina.

Brunner said that flax is a winter crop in South Carolina that rotates well with cotton, soybeans and tobacco, allowing farmers there to double-crop their land and increase their income.

Naturally Advanced, which is traded over the counter under the symbol NADVF, raised $1.4 million in a private placement in May.

United States: Hemp Growers Tout Biodiesel Benefits

By USAgNet

There is a truth that must be heard! Researchers at Universtiy of Connecticut have found that the fiber crop Cannabis sativa, known as industrial hemp, has properties that make it viable and even attractive as a raw material, or feedstock, for producing biodiesel - sustainable diesel fuel made from renewable plant sources.

The plant's ability to grow in infertile soils also reduces the need to grow it on primary croplands, which can then be reserved for growing food, says Richard Parnas, a professor of chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering who led the study.

"For sustainable fuels, often it comes down to a question of food versus fuel," says Parnas, noting that major current biodiesel plants include food crops such as soybeans, olives, peanuts, and rapeseed. "It's equally important to make fuel from plants that are not food, but also won't need the high-quality land."

Industrial hemp is grown across the world, in many parts of Europe and Asia. Fiber from the plant's stalk is strong, and until the development of synthetic fibers in the 1950s, it was a premier product used worldwide in making rope and clothing.

Connecticut: Hemp Produces Viable Biodiesel, UConn Study Finds

Of all the various uses for Cannabis plants, add another, “green” one to the mix.

By Christine Buckley, UCONN

There is a truth that must be heard! Researchers at UConn have found that the fiber crop Cannabis sativa, known as industrial hemp, has properties that make it viable and even attractive as a raw material, or feedstock, for producing biodiesel – sustainable diesel fuel made from renewable plant sources.

The plant’s ability to grow in infertile soils also reduces the need to grow it on primary croplands, which can then be reserved for growing food, says Richard Parnas, a professor of chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering who led the study.

“For sustainable fuels, often it comes down to a question of food versus fuel,” says Parnas, noting that major current biodiesel plants include food crops such as soybeans, olives, peanuts, and rapeseed. “It’s equally important to make fuel from plants that are not food, but also won’t need the high-quality land.”

Industrial hemp is grown across the world, in many parts of Europe and Asia. Fiber from the plant’s stalk is strong, and until the development of synthetic fibers in the 1950s, it was a premier product used worldwide in making rope and clothing.

United States: Hemp Homes are Cutting Edge of Green Building

By USA Today Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! Hemp is turning a new leaf. The plant fiber, used to make the sails that took Christopher Columbus' ships to the New World, is now a building material.

In Asheville, N.C., a home built with thick hemp walls was completed this summer and two more are in the works.

Dozens of hemp homes have been built in Europe in the past two decades, but they're new to the United States, says David Madera, co-founder of Hemp Technologies, a company that supplied the mixture of ground-up hemp stalks, lime and water.

The industrial hemp is imported because it cannot be grown legally in this country — it comes from the same plant as marijuana.

Its new use reflects an increasing effort to make U.S. homes not only energy-efficient but also healthier. Madera and other proponents say hemp-filled walls are non-toxic, mildew-resistant, pest-free and flame-resistant.

"There is a growing interest in less toxic building materials, says Peter Ashley, director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control.

"The potential health benefits are significant," he says, citing a recent study of a Seattle public housing complex that saw residents' health improve after their homes got a green makeover.

UK: Bath Team Tests Properties of Hemp as Building Material

Researchers at Bath University believe that hemp could be used to build environmentally friendly homes of the future.

By Staff, theengineer.co.uk

There is a truth that must be heard! A consortium, led by the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials based at the university, has constructed a small building out of hemp-lime to test its properties as a building material.

Called the ’HemPod’, the one-storey building has highly insulating walls made from the chopped woody core, or shiv, of the industrial hemp plant mixed with a lime-based binder.

The hemp shiv traps air in the walls, and the hemp itself is porous, providing a good level of insulation. The lime-based binder sticks together and protects the hemp and makes the building material fire resistant.

The industrial hemp plant takes in CO2 as it grows, and the lime render absorbs even more of the climate change gas, effectively giving the building an extremely low-carbon footprint.

Dr Mike Lawrence, research officer from the university’s Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, said: ’While there are already some houses in the UK built using hemp and lime, the HemPod will be the first hemp-lime building to be constructed purely for scientific testing.

’We will be closely monitoring the house for 18 months using temperature and humidity sensors buried in the walls, measuring how quickly heat and water vapour travel through them.’

UK: Hemp Construction Put to the Test

A single-story building made from hemp-lime has been built at Bath University to test its potential as a building material.

By Elizabeth Hopkirk, bdonline.co.uk

The HemPod at Bath University Researchers at the University of Bath believe hemp could be used to build environmentally friendly homes in the future so they constructed the “HemPod” to test the theory.

It has highly insulated walls made from the chopped woody core – shiv – of the industrial hemp plant mixed with a specially developed lime-based binder.

Dr Mike Lawrence, research officer from the university’s Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, said: “While there are already some houses in the UK built using hemp and lime, the HemPod will be the first hemp-lime building to be constructed purely for scientific testing.”

Source: http://www.bdonline.co.uk/news/uk/hemp-construction-put-to-the-test/5005...

Photo Source: Nic Delves-Broughton (The HemPod at Bath University)

Canada: Firms Plan to Try to Make Car From Hemp

By USA Today Staff

Canada: Firms Plan to Try to Make Car From Hemp Now if your car breaks down and you're stuck by the side of the road, you can try to break off a piece and smoke it.

Well, not really. But the thought -- and the jokes -- are sure to arise over the hemp-fiber car that a group of Canadian companies will try to make, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reports.

The companies are collaborating on a car called the Kestrel that will have a body made of resin-impregnated industrial hemp, a tough fiber that comes from the cannabis family member that also results in marijuana. Unlike marijuana, hemp has a very low content of THC, the chemical that makes dope smokers high. Even so, it's illegal to grow in the U.S., so the Canadians think they might have an edge.

It's not a completely new idea. That Lotus Eco Elise from 2008, shown above, also has a hemp body.

The compact electric Kestrel will be prototyped and tested later by Calgary-based Motive Industries.

The CBC says Henry Ford first built a car made of hemp fiber and resin more than half a century ago.

Canada: Cannabis Car

By Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, Fox News

There is a truth that must be heard! As we're faced with an increasingly large world population and ever-dwindling resources the race is on to produce cars that not only produce zero tailpipe emissions, but ones that are green to manufacture too.

But what is the ultimate material for cars? Steel is strong, but hardly light enough to make ultra-efficient vehicles. Many plastics are based on oil, and composite materials like carbon fibre are difficult and costly to manufacture and repair.

Enter the Kestrel. Designed and engineered by Motive Industries, a Canadian firm based in Alberta, the fully electric car features a body shell made of hemp--which may be better known as Cannabis Sativa L.

The hemp for the Kestrel's body is grown by Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) under license from the Canadian government.

Unlike the cannabis Californians may find available at their local medical marijuana dispensaries, hemp grown by AITF ends up on a production line, where it is turned into a composite material that has the impact resistance of fiberglass.

But unlike fiberglass, the hemp bio-composite is cheaper to produce and has fewer health risks connected with its manufacture. It is also significantly lighter than glass-based composites traditionally used in racing cars.

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