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Global: Seattle Hempfest 2010: Paul Stanford - Work For Global Cannabis Freedom

Stop the Drug War, Before They Kick In Your Door

By Paul Stanford, Executive Director of THCF for Hemp News

There is a truth that must be heard! My speech at the 2010 Seattle Hempfest is my effort to highlight the historical, scientific and philosophical importance of hemp and cannabis. I honor cannabis reform activists that have passed on, such as Jack Herer and Dr. Tod Mikuriya; those arrested for cannabis, such as cannabis minister Roger Christie of Hawaii, Marc Emery of Canada, and Eddy Lepp of California; and those sentenced to death for cannabis in Malaysia.

Europe: Ford Focuses on Sustainable Mouldings

By David Vink

Europe: Ford Focuses on Sustainable Mouldings Ford Forschungszentrum says it is close to using polypropylene reinforced with 30% sisal fibres for injection moulding.

Ford's Maira Magnani was speaking at Kassel University's 8th Global WPC and Natural Fibre Composites congress and exhibition last month, held for the first time in Stuttgart-Fellbach.

The 30% sisal fibre reinforced parts have already passed FMC crash and head impact test requirements. A centre console made using the material weighs 20% less than talc filled PP. Other advantages include a 20% lower melt temperature and a 10% faster cycle time.

However, further work is needed on the sisal material, Magnani advised, as there are issues to be solved in terms of odour, colour matching with parts made with non-natural fibres, mould flow input data, crash simulation and natural fibre simulation modules.

The sisal reinforced PP was developed by Ford Motor Company (FMC) which has over the last few years developed natural fibre reinforced composites for injection moulding, for example the 50% kenaf fibre reinforced PP used in Ford Mondeo, Focus and Fiesta door panels.

Ford is also looking at using 30% hemp fibre reinforced PP made in the USA and Brazil in electrical/electronic housings and engine compartment applications. Material and component tests also indicated that this type of material is also “close to implementation”, says Ford.

North Carolina: Used Plastic + Hemp = Lumber

UNCC researchers create a formula for recycling old bottles into new building materials

By Amber Veverka, Special Correspondent, Charlotte Observer

There is a truth that must be heard! A UNC Charlotte researcher with a passion for sustainability is creating a new building material out of recycled plastic bottles and an ancient grass.

Dr. Na Lu, an assistant professor at UNCC's Department of Engineering Technology, has created a material she believes may outperform composite lumber and wood lumber in many uses, and which has potential to be used in the residential and light commercial building industry.

In her lab at UNCC, Luna, as she prefers to be called, holds a dog bone-shaped sample of her creation: a beige plastic woven with threads of what looks like horsehair. "Hemp," Luna says, and points to a fluffy pile of the fibers on the table.

Unlike much present-day composite lumber, Luna's product substitutes hemp fibers for more typical chipped wood often mixed with virgin plastic. And unlike pressure-treated wood, the hemp material contains no toxic heavy metals.

Wood fiber is structured like a bundle of straws, she said, but hemp's crystalline structure gives it greater mechanical strength. She demonstrates by holding out a handful of hemp fibers to pull.

"This (hemp composite) material performs up to 4,000 to 6,000 psi (pounds per square inch)," Luna said. "That's as strong as medium-strength concrete."

South Africa: Industry has the potential to contribute to economic growth, avers council

By Dimakatso Motau

There is a truth that must be heard! The composite materials industry has the potential to contribute to the growth of the local economy, says the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) chief researcher and research group leader for composite materials Dr Rajesh Anandjiwala.

This view is also supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Trade and Industry, which have identified the growth of natural fibre-based industries as a significant agro economic tool.

Anandjiwala says that South Africa has the potential to become a tier-two supplier of composite products in future. However, he adds that the country must aim to become a tier-one supplier for higher benefits and job retentions.

However, to achieve this, the country must overcome certain challenges in the composites industry. Anandjiwala points to a lack of raw materials being manufactured locally, which results in the import of certain raw materials, such as natural fibres, some speciality chemicals and resins. He says the development of the industry is also hindered by the lack of a skilled workforce.

He adds that natural fibres in composites will also provide other benefits for industries in South Africa. The advantages of using natural fibres in composites include its light weight, which results in weight saving, a cheaper raw material price from the natural source, thermal recycling and the ecological advantages of using renewable resources, he explains.

Canada: Hemp in Harmony

Some researchers believe hemp has many properties that make it perfect for sustainability.

Our Future Planet investigates.

Canada: Hemp in Harmony Reasoned argument over the value of hemp can often be tricky to achieve, polarized between die hard hemp and cannabis enthusiasts and skeptics regarding the arguments as woolly shirted, hippy doctrine.

The reality, as usual, is nowhere near as aggressive. For a start, a few facts surrounding the material do seem to indicate its worth within a sustainable agenda.

It appears industrial hemp can provide many of the raw materials we need as a society to function. Myriad websites list the uses: hemp food, hemp oil, hemp plastics, hemp insulation, hemp concrete, hemp paper, and other hemp composites.

‘Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, producing about ten tons of dry product per acre per year,’ explains This is a pretty crucial fact. In a climate facing water shortages and rising temperatures, speed of production for sustainable materials is going to become key.

Canada: Business Networks Share Geen Ideas

Organizations connect people interested in social and environmental contributions to their bottom line

By Steve Carey Reduce, Reuse, Rethink, Times Colonist

There is a truth that must be heard! Imagine business people sharing information about sustainability. It's a nice thought, but does it happen? Yes, thanks to the Values-Based Business Network.

Red Fish, Blue Fish restaurant owner Simon Sobolewski was looking for B.C.-made biodegradable cutlery to further shrink his zero-waste seaside eatery's carbon footprint. Hemp and Company owner Bill Finley knew one source, and dropped by with a few samples. Connections like this are what the network is for, says its president Alan Dolan. The group connects businesses interested in a triple bottom line: social, economic and environmental factors, rather than just a financial bottom line.

"We're interested not just in doing business in an environmentally friendly way, but in how we treat our staff and make a living, balancing the economic and environmental aspects of sustainability," Dolan says. "Our members are everything from environmental consultants to retailers who have green businesses or green products, or other companies that are just interested in keeping their waste down and their carbon footprint low."

Australia: Effluence to Affluence

By Liina Flynn, Echo

Australia: Effluence to Affluence Every time you flush the toilet, do you think about what happens to your bodily waste once it leaves the bowl? Ecological engineer Dr Keith Bolton does. With his driving philosophy ‘there’s no such thing as waste’, he has devoted his career to developing natural ways of treating sewage and using effluent for the benefit of communities.

Rather than creating environmental problems by pumping effluent into rivers and oceans, Dr Bolton believes wastewater should be utilised as a resource. The projects he has been involved with have taken him from growing the first fields of industrial hemp on the North Coast through to creating sustainable solutions to sewage problems in remote Aboriginal communities.

Through his company Ecotechnology Australia, Dr Bolton and his Lismore-based Ecoteam have pioneered the design of constructed wetland ecosystems to treat sewage. If we think of wetlands as being the kidneys of the land, then the process of constructing a wetland is like performing a kidney transplant.

“In nature, wetlands are the mechanisms that purify the water as it travels from land into water courses,” Dr Bolton said. “They essentially serve the same function that our kidneys do in our bodies by purifying the water cycle.”

UK: Hemp Technology Launches New Hemp Insulation

Hemp Technology, has announced the launch of Breathe™, an innovative new natural fibre insulation. The sustainably sourced product, which will play a key role in the nation's drive to zero carbon construction, was officially launched at Ecobuild, the world's largest sustainable construction event, at Earls Court, London on the the 2nd March 2010.

By David Ing, Construction News

UK: Hemp Technology Launches New Hemp Insulation Hemp Technology, has announced the launch of Breathe™, an innovative new natural fibre insulation. The sustainably sourced product, which will play a key role in the nation's drive to zero carbon construction, was officially launched at Ecobuild, the world's largest sustainable construction event, at Earls Court, London, on the 2nd March 2010.

Produced from UK grown hemp and flax, Breathe™ offers a renewable and low-carbon means of insulating lofts, walls and floors. An eco-friendly challenge to the dominance of mineral wools, it holds superb performance qualities.

With a thermal conductivity of 0.039 W/mK, Breathe™ performs better than many fibre products. This boosts thermal comfort by reducing overheating in summer and damping internal temperature fluctuations. A high resistance to settlement ensures its good qualities last as long as the building to which it is applied.

Canada: Research for the Production of Cellulosic Ethanol from Sustainable Feedstock Begins

Naturally Advanced Technologies Agrees with the National Research Council of Canada to Collaborate on Research for the Production of Cellulosic Ethanol from Sustainable Feedstock

This Research is Intended to Develop New Enzyme Technology for Cellulosic Ethanol Manufacturing

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff

Naturally Advanced Technologies Signs Amended Agreement with the National Research Council of Canada to Collaborate on Research for the Production of Cellulosic Ethanol from Sustainable Feedstock Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT) amended its agreement with the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada to include collaboration on cellulose technology research for the production of cellulosic ethanol from sustainable feedstock, such as corn stalks and straws, the unexploited byproduct in agri-food production. In my opinion, this is a huge step toward sustainability and mankind's ultimate survival.

Research Timeline

* The NAT - NRC collaboration began in 2004 and was extended in 2007 for the design and construction of advanced enzyme technology for the extraction and cleaning of industrial hemp fiber for the textile sector, as spearheaded by Dr. Wing Sung. (See Video Below)

* As this research is in the final stages, the two parties have agreed to divert existing funding commitments to pursue additional opportunities for the advanced enzyme technology, namely in cellulosic ethanol.

Global: Ford Focus 'Spearheading' Recycling Campaign

Global: Ford Focus 'Spearheading' Recycling Campaign The Ford Focus is spearheading a comprehensive European Recycling Campaign, the car manufacturer has said.

The campaign has created over 300 separate car parts formed with recycling materials and diverts around 20,000 tonnes away from landfill each year.

Ford recycled materials include recycled plastics that make up 25% of heater and air conditioned housing, 50% of battery trays and recycled materials that make up 100% of fabric seat options.

Sources for this recycled material are everyday items as diverse as plastic bottles, CDs, computers and even denim jeans.

The noise insulation in all Ford vehicles is made from jeans and reclaimed car seat upholstery.

Ford is undergoing developments to create more alternative bio-based materials in order to decrease dependence on oil based products.

Ford researchers are currently developing new materials that include more natural ingredients such as soy flour, hemp and cellulose.


Global: Josh Tickell - The Fuel Film

The Fuel Film Sets The Green Standard To New Levels - The Choice Is Ours

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News staff

United States: The Fuel Film FUEL, is a comprehensive and refreshing look at energy solutions in America, compiled by biodiesel advocate and filmmaker Josh Tickell. The film has taken over twelve years to assemble, won the Audience Award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and is an ever evolving project. It is a historic time line of where we have been, identifies our present predicament and a searches for a solution to our dependence on foreign oil and food supply. The film evokes emotions that compel viewers to participate in local community projects in the aid of our planet.

UK: Plant-Based Plastics to Replace Petroleum Plastics

By E. Huff, Natural News, Staff Writer

UK: Plant-Based Plastics to Replace Petroleum Plastics As the price for crude oil continues to rise over time, the cost of producing petroleum-based plastic products continues to rise with it. Alternatives such as bio-plastics, which currently cost more to produce than existing plastics, may someday become more cost effective than petroleum-based plastics.

Frederic Scheer, owner of a company called Cereplast that makes sustainable bio-plastic material from vegetable and grain starches, believes that petroleum prices will eventually exceed the costs of producing his own product. By 2013, he believes that industry giants like DuPont and BASF will pursue his technology as a replacement for their soon-to-be outdated petroleum plastics.

Scheer's company has developed a method of converting starch from corn, wheat, tapioca, and potatoes into biodegradable plastic resins. Because they effectively biodegrade in a mere 90 days, they are an excellent alternative to traditional plastic cups, containers and packaging materials.

Cereplast also produces a hybrid resin composed of 50 percent renewable bio-plastic which cuts waste and conserves energy. This blend is useful in things like cars and children's toys. By cutting the amount of polypropylene plastic used in products, the kind most typically used in consumer products, Scheer hopes his company will help to reduce the negative environmental impact caused by plastic products.

UK: Hemp Utilized as Alternative Construction Material

By Electric UK, Editor

UK: Hemp Utilized as Alternative Construction Material The UK’s Building Research Establishment Centre for Innovative Construction Materials at the University of Bath had just inaugurated a £740,000 venture, financed by construction businesses and the UK government, to develop and study the use of hemp as alternative building construction material. The new study was based from the findings of a French archaeologist who discovered a sixth-century-old stone bridge that had used hemp as mortar.

Cultivated for thousands of years, the durable fibre is mostly used to make ropes and textiles. Currently, hemp is processed for use in constructions.

Hemp is classified as the world’s second fastest growing agricultural produce after bamboo. Hemp requires no pesticide to grow and it matures in just four months. Farmers can then plant other crops on the remaining two-thirds of the year and can take advantage of the nutrients left behind in the soil earlier used from hemp. Mixed with a lime binder, industrial hemp can also be used to make house bricks.

North Carolina: Industry Veteran Ken Fonville Launches EcoSelect Furniture

Larry Thomas, Furniture Today

North Carolina: Industry Veteran Ken Fonville Launches EcoSelect Furniture HICKORY, N.C. — Veteran furniture executive Ken Fonville has launched a company based here that produces made-to-order, environmentally friendly leather and fabric upholstery.

The new company, EcoSelect Furniture, is selling its products exclusively online and will ship custom orders in four to six weeks, Fonville said.

"We can provide eco-friendly living room sofas and leather living room chairs at no premium cost to the consumer who wants to live good, while living well," said Fonville. "There is a need for a dedicated and committed furniture supplier to this consumer."

The EcoSelect line currently includes 12 seating groups, which are available in six leather colors and six correlating hemp fabric colors.

The company gets its leather from an ISO 14001 certified supplier who uses, among other things, recycled leather tanning materials. The fabric created from hemp uses significantly less herbicides, pesticides and water than cotton, Fonville said, while the factory uses recycled steel for springs, soy-based foam cushioning and certified lumber for frames.

Information is available on the company's Web site at

Fonville has more than 30 years experience in the furniture industry, most recently as vice president of merchandising at Fairmont Designs. He also was president of Pennsylvania House from 1996 to 2002.

UK: Hemcrete Specified for Renewable Social Housing Scheme

By David Ing for Hemp News

Hemcrete Specified for Renewable Social Housing Scheme An ambitious sustainable social housing scheme, designed to meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes through the use of renewable materials, has achieved planning approval. The development is being delivered by Crossover C-Zero LLP in partnership with Flagship Housing, one of the largest providers of social housing in East Anglia and will be built using Tradical® Hemcrete® thermal walling system from Lime Technology.

Based at Denmark Lane, Diss, the scheme will see the construction of 114 housing units and will be the first major affordable homes project proposed to seek Level 4 rating of the Code for Sustainable Homes. To aid its completion, the development has managed to obtain £3 million in funding from the Housing and Communities Agency (HCA) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), who earlier this year offered financial aid for the delivery of social housing schemes that used renewable materials.

UK: House of Hemp/Straw Brings a Sustainable Harvest

White Design’s BaleHaus explores the use of prefabricated straw panels for mass housing

By Michael Stacey, BD

UK: House of Hemp/Straw Brings a Sustainable Harvest The BaleHaus was designed by architect Craig White of White Design as part of a multi-disciplinary research project by Katharine Beadle at the University of Bath’s BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials.

The aim of this project is to demonstrate that straw is an appropriate form of insulation and structure for current mass housing. This probably explains why the house has been designed to meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and not Code Level 6 or “zero carbon”. Code level 4 represents a 44% reduction of energy used and CO2 emissions when compared to current building regulations.

The BaleHaus is constructed from ModCell panels which are prefabricated from locally sourced materials; the panels have a timber frame and are filled with straw. This is then covered with a lime render. The timber frame takes the vertical loads and the rendered straw infill takes in-plane or racking loads. This structural principle was tested at the University of Bath.

Exterior of the BaleHaus prototype which has been built on the campus of the University of Bath.

UK: Work to Start on Kevin McCloud's Hemp Housing Scheme

By Jon Land, 24dash

UK: Work to Start on Kevin McCloud's Hemp Housing Scheme Work is due to start on an innovative green housing development in Swindon that is the brainchild of 'Grand Designs' presenter Kevin McCloud.

HabOakus, a partnership between Kevin McCloud's development company Hab Housing and Oakus Wiltshire, has been given approval to build 42 homes that will meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, but with the potential for upgrading to zero carbon status.

The scheme, called the Triangle, is due to be built from Tradical Hemcrete, the innovative hemp and lime thermal walling system developed by Lime Technology.

Tradical Hemcrete, is a mix of hemp and a lime binder, which together create a material that combines sustainability with performance. The product absorbs CO2 in its manufacture (hemp, in common with all similar plants, captures carbon dioxide during its rapid growth and releases oxygen back out to the atmosphere) so has negative embodied CO2. For a typical wall section, Hemcrete will have 130kg CO2/m² less than traditional brick and block.

Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, The Triangle will be built on the site of a former caravan park and plant nursery, just off Swindon’s Northern Road.

Due to start on site in January 2010, with completion scheduled by December 2010, HabOakus hopes to ensure the sustainable development acts as a springboard to introduce green initiatives locally.

The Netherlands: KLM Biofuel Flight Fuels Hopes for Green Airlines

Airlines have high hopes for a new range of biofuels

By Dominic O’Connell, Times UK

The Netherlands: KLM Biofuel Flight Fuels Hopes For Green AirlinesAt Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport last Monday a gaggle of aviation executives, politicians and journalists trooped aboard a KLM jumbo jet for a flight to nowhere.

The trip was uneventful — the plane and its 40 occupants circled above Holland for a couple of hours before landing where it took off. However, in a small way, it was historic. It was the first flight by a biofuel-powered airliner to carry passengers.

In fact, the plane was only partly powered by biofuel. One of its four engines ran on a 50:50 blend of biofuel and normal aviation fuel. The biofuel was made from camelina, an inedible green shrub.

Despite the limited experiments to date — Virgin Atlantic, Air New Zealand and a clutch of other carriers have run test flights without passengers — airline executives are thrilled with biofuels.

Their industry is a target for politicians and environmentalists in the crusade against carbon dioxide emissions and the prospect of a fuel that will allow the industry to grow while reducing its emissions is enticing. “In the decades ahead, the airline industry will be largely dependent on the availability of alternative fuels in its drive to lower emissions,” said Jan Ernst de Groot, KLM’s managing director.

North Carolina: Building With Hemp - Asheville On Forefront Of New Green Technique

By John Boyle, Citizen Times
Photo by John Fletcher, Citizen Times

North Carolina: Building With Hemp - Asheville On Forefront Of New Green Technique Leave it to Asheville to be the first place in the country to build not just one, but two houses largely out of hemp.

Well-established as a green building center, Asheville has two homes under construction - one in West Asheville, another off Town Mountain Road - that use hemp as a building material. The builders and Greg Flavall, the co-founder of Hemp Technologies, the Asheville company supplying the building material, maintain that they're the first permitted hemp homes in the country.

"This area is known to walk the talk of being green," Flavall said, adding that the Asheville area has by far the largest percentage of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, builders of anywhere in the country. Hemp is derived from the same plant that marijuana comes from. Although it contains very little of the active ingredient that gets people high and is completely impractical to smoke, it's still illegal to grow it domestically.

But builders can import industrial hemp products like Tradical Hemcrete, the material Hemp Technologies sells. When mixed with water and lime, it makes remarkably strong, resilient walls. Some builders generically refer to the walls as hempcrete.

UK: Rapid Growth In Hemp-Based Construction

By Eco Composites, Writer

There is a truth that must be heard! A visit to the Innovation Park at BRE in Watford has been arranged as part of the Natural Fibres 09 conference, which takes place at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in London from December 14-16.

The park showcases modern methods of construction and features over 200 different emerging technologies in a number of demonstration properties, including the Renewable Hemp House.

Speaking at the 60th annual congress of CELC – the European Confederation of Flax and Hemp – which took place in Strasbourg, France, from November 4-7, Claude Eichwald of French organisation Construire de Chanvre, said that the use of hemp in concrete was growing, with between 2-4,000 houses now constructed completely from hemp concrete, and many more employing it with mixtures of other building materials. The CELC conference also heard from Rémi Perrin of Strasbourg-based Soprema, which is now manufacturing flax roofing membranes, and Vincent de Sutter of Sutter Freres which has been making natural-fibre based door panels for almost 50 years.

In the latest copy of its journal, CELC outlines the components of a house entirely constructed from natural fibres, as show in the illustration above.

The unique energy efficient house made from hemp at the UK BRE Innovation Park meanwhile, showcases the future of low carbon and sustainable buildings.

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