Sustainability

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Canada: CHTA Annual Convention Nov 16-18 2009, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance- Annual Convention Nov 16-18 2009, Victoria Inn - Winnipeg, Manitoba

Canada: CHTA Annual Convention Nov 16-18 2009, Winnipeg, Manitoba Since 1998, Canada has grown industrial hemp for seed and for fibre. Canadian farmers and businesses are interested in the growing business of hemp as it realizes its potential to produce healthy food and environmentally-friendly products, including paper, textiles, biocomposites and sustainable building materials.

To tap into the plant's exciting potential for Canada, the industry recognized the need for a common national front. The CHTA/ACCC was formed in 2003: we are a non-profit national group of hemp processors, marketers, farmers and information specialists.

Topics for their convention include: Hemp Variety Development, Harvest Research, THC Testing, NAFGEN & Hemp, Fatty Acid & Amino Acid Analysis, Hemp as a Building Material, Fibre Handling, Animal Feed Trials and many others.

For a full list of events: http://www.hemptrade.ca/docs/2009_National_Hemp_Convention_Programme_Oct...

Source: http://www.hemptrade.ca/events.php?id=17

Europe: Peugeot Car Parts Made of Hemp

By Paul Louis, Natural News, Staff Writer

There is a truth that must be heard! PSA, the French manufacturer for Peugeot and Citroen, has recently initiated its Green Materials Plan. This plan intends to increase car parts made from natural materials 600 percent by 2015. They are making a few parts now that are based on flax and hemp.

PSA's Green Materials Plan focuses on three areas: Biopolymers to replace plastics derived from oil; Natural fibers from flax and hemp mixed with other materials, such as wood chips; And recycled materials from shredded plastic bottles mixed with glass fibers.

The plastic interior door panels made by PSA are already 50 percent flax fibers pressed with wood chips. Other parts, including mirror and windshield wiper mountings, use hemp instead of glass fiber in their material mix.

Oil based plastics in cars make up to 20 percent of a car's weight on average. Of that 20 percent, only six percent is currently green or cellulose based. PSA's goal is to increase that six percent to 30 percent of the plastic used.

Hemp is legal in France, so further advances with hemp for car parts may unfold. Laurent Bechin, PSA's natural-fibers specialist, pointed out that the hemp used does not produce marijuana. "It would need about two tons of this material to produce one joint", he quipped.

California: The 8th Annual Green Festival Hits San Francisco

Festival features organic food and wine, green vendors, award-winning speakers and an appearance by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

California: The 8th Annual Green Festival Hits San Francisco The 8th annual Green Festival, held this year in San Francisco on November 13th, 14th and 15th, turned out an impressive 125 speakers and 350 exhibitors that highlighted eco-friendly ideas and products meant to create safe, healthy communities and strong local environments.

One of the more unique aspects of the festival was the HIA Hemp Pavilion, which featured member companies showcasing the many uses of industrial hemp in the market place, from hemp clothing and personal body care to hemp foods, oil and paper. The pavilion also hosted a hemp fashion show produced by one of the industry’s premiere designers and manufacturers, Summer Star Haeske from Envirotextiles.

On Saturday, San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom even made an appearance to the event. On the main stage, Gavin gave a speech highlighting San Francisco’s efforts to go green, which includes having the most aggressive local climate action plan in the U.S. He also voiced his support for green jobs, plug-in electric hybrid cars and city-wide composting efforts.

“It’s incumbent upon us to make real some of the rhetoric…to take these ideas and manifest them. It’s no longer good enough to talk about the way the world should be. We have to demonstrate the capacity to make it so,” said Newsom.

Australia: Plastic Gets A Bagging

Emma Pritchard, Daily Examiner

There is a truth that must be heard!EVERY year Australian consumers use 6.9 billion plastic bags.

Of that 6.9 billion, 80 million end up as litter in our drains and waterways, setting state and local governments back $200 million a year in cleaning bills.

Seven years ago, Marea Buist from Yamba decided it was time to reduce plastic bag usage in her local area and make a positive difference to the environment.

Ms Buist is part of a group known as the Plastic Bag Free Committee, which also includes Jane Mitchell, Barbara Whale and Helen Tyas Tunggal. Together these passionate women are working towards making Yamba a plastic bag-free town.

“I had an idea to use hemp bags instead of plastic ones,” Ms Buist said.

“Four or five years ago I took my idea to the Yamba Chamber of Commerce and while people were supportive of my idea, they didn't have time to do the groundwork.

“When Tania Williams became president of the Chamber of Commerce she thought this idea was fantastic and with her support we managed to make it public knowledge.”

Launched at the Yamba River Markets on Sunday, Ms Buist's hemp bags have proven a success with the Yamba community.

“The launch was very positive and we received good feedback,” she said.

“The bags were designed by students from St James here in Yamba and it's great to have locals, especially children, involved with their production.

UK: Carbon Negative Hemp Walls

By Daniel Flahiff, Inhabitat

There is a truth that must be heard! Buildings account for thirty-eight percent of the CO2 emissions in the U.S., according to the U.S. Green Building Council, and demand for carbon neutral and/or zero footprint buildings is at an all-time high. Now there is a new building material that is not just carbon neutral, but is actually carbon negative. Developed by U.K.-based Lhoist Group, Tradical® Hemcrete® is a bio-composite, thermal walling material made from hemp, lime and water. What makes it carbon negative? There is more CO2 locked-up in the process of growing and harvesting of the hemp than is released in the production of the lime binder. Of course the equation is more complicated than that, but Hemcrete® is still an amazing new technology that could change the building industry.

Good looking, environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable, Hemcrete® is as versatile as it is sustainable. It can be used in a mind-boggling array of applications from roof insulation to wall construction to flooring. Hemcrete® is waterproof, fireproof, insulates well, does not rot [when used above ground] and is completely recyclable. In fact, the manufacturers say that demolished Hemcrete® walls can actually be used as fertilizer!

Washington: Seattle Hempfest Organizers, Artist/Activist Shyan Selah Look To The Future

By Hip Hop Press

There is a truth that must be heard! This August marks the 18th annual Seattle Hempfest, arguably the largest hemp festival in the world. This year's Hempfest theme: "A Hempen Future," will put a focus on the year 2020 and the possibility of the legalization of cannabis in all forms, radically impacting our future environment, economy, food and fuel resources. In honor of looking ahead to the future, the event's organizers have chosen progressive urban artist, Shyan Selah, to headline the opening night (7pm - August 15th) of this "protestival."

UK: Government Funded Renewable House Is Launched

The Renewable House, a new demonstration house that has been designed to illustrate that low cost and low carbon are compatible, has been officially opened.

Press Release

There is a truth that must be heard! The Renewable House, a new demonstration house that has been designed to illustrate that low cost and low carbon are compatible, has been officially opened.

Built at the BRE Innovation Park and officially opened at Insite 2009, the Renewable House is a demonstration of the commercial viability of building affordable homes from renewable materials.

The house has been designed to meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, with a build cost of £75,000, excluding groundworks and utilities.

Unlike many other houses that meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, the Renewable House features very few additional technologies. Instead the performance of the house has been made possible through the ingenious use of materials which have been used to create a thermally efficient and low carbon building envelope. By using limited technologies – which can have a short life span, therefore require on-going replacement, upgrading or maintenance – the house has also clearly demonstrated cost efficiencies.

UK: Going Green

By Press & Journal Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! A SPECIAL energy-efficient house made from hemp, designed by Archial Architects, has been unveiled at the BRE Innovation Park, which showcases the future of low-carbon and sustainable buildings.

The three-bedroom Renewable House, which costs £75,000 to build, not including ground works or utilities, uses renewable materials to deliver a well designed, yet low-cost, affordable home.

The external walls are constructed from a revolutionary sustainable material called Hemcrete – provided by manufacturer Lime Technology – made from hemp plants grown and harvested in the UK and lime-based binder.

Hemp is one of the fastest growing biomasses and is often used in paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, health food and fuel.

It is estimated that The Renewable House’s carbon footprint will be about 20 tonnes lower than a traditional brick-and-block house. The hemp absorbs about five tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during its rapid growth period, which then becomes locked into the fabric of the building, making the thermal Hemp-Line walling solution “carbon negative”.

The Renewable House meets level 4 of the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) – a national standard which measures the sustainability of homes against a set of design categories such as energy consumption and building materials. The Government’s target was for all homes from 2016 to be built against code level 3 standards.

United States: Natural Fabrics "Green" the Fashion Industry

By Barney DuBois, BiobasedNews.com

There is a truth that must be heard! We're talking trillions of dollars. The world's apparel industry is one of the three necessities of life, remember? And we humans spend more for clothing than we do for anything else but the other two - which are food and shelter.

It wasn't long ago that we depended on large department stores plus neighborhood boutiques and shops - augmented by an occasional catalog order or lay-away purchase - to keep ourselves snappily attired for anything. This was interrupted by Wal-Mart, Target and the hundreds of specialty retailers whose brands we have memorized and forgotten. And now, the Internet is taking us to yet another level of confusion - and making lots of business for FedEx and UPS!

The term "green clothing" emerged somewhere during this massive retailing shift of the past decade, and the term's definition is yet being decided in the open market. Vogue magazine's latest issue underscores the importance of this debate, featuring the hottest new "green" styles (including an eco-bikini) worn by actress Cameron Diaz. The fashion mag's cover is even printed in green ink! But inside its pages are also the kinds of things you would expect - including a bachelorette party dress that requires $11,495 of your "green" and is about as recyclable as a can of motor oil.

Europe: Hemp Homes To Be Built In Government Drive

Experimental homes made out of hemp are to be built under new government plans.

By Ben Leach, Telegraph.co.uk

There is a truth that must be heard! A prototype three-bedroom house, funded by the taxpayer, will go on show today. The home is part of a government drive to build more housing with a smaller carbon footprint.

The "renewable house" features walls made from Hemcrete - a mix of hamp and lime - and was built thanks to a £200,000 grant from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC), which built the home, said building it used half the energy that building a traditional brick home would use.

It claims energy bills for the home owners would be as low as £150 a year, and predicts building on thousands of houses could begin soon.

Dr John Williams, head of materials at the NNFCC, told The Guardian: "The forecasts are that we could roll this out very quickly if someone places an order for 25,000 homes.

"Increasing numbers of farmers are growing hemp because it fits in with their current growing cycles between April and September and it is a good break crop for wheat.

"If just 1 per cent of the UK's agricultural land was used to grow hemp, it would be enough to build 180,000 homes per year."

The hemp house provides a cheaper alternative to traditional brick and mortar housing, with a build cost of £75,000 excluding groundworks.

Oregon: NORML and THCF Members Join Together for Adopt-A-Highway Community Outreach

By Ms Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

There is a truth that must be heard!

Members of Oregon NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and THCF (The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation) worked together recently, contributing to Oregon’s community outreach program Adopt-a-Highway.

Taking on the 2.5 mile stretch of Oregon Highway 26 in Gresham, from the intersection at Burnside and Powell to Stone Road, the group of volunteers cleaned up litter of all kinds, and bagged it for proper disposal.

Groups who participate in the Adopt-a-Highway cleanup program are recognized by their name displayed on signage marking their designated stretch of road. Oregon NORML now graces two signs on Highway 26, and believes this is just another step in achieving a closer connection to their community.

“Participation in the Adopt-a-Highway program gives us a great feeling of accomplishment,” said one of the Oregon NORML community outreach team members. “We hope that this inspires others in our area to continue good work in their own neighborhoods by not only cleaning up streets, but changing attitudes and defeating stereotypes. We do this because we care about our state.”

California: Scientists Hunt For Green Building Materials

By Michael Torrice, Mercury News

There is a truth that must be heard! The plank looks like a polished piece of plywood, and someday people may build coffee tables with it. But this wood was not grown in a forest — it was born from the greenhouse gasses seeping from landfills.

The Stanford University researchers who produced this wood alternative are part of a movement to support greener buildings by developing construction materials that are created and disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Green buildings are not only about replacing standard light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs or toilets with low-flush alternatives. Because manufacturing traditional building materials requires large amounts of energy and emits greenhouse gases, finding green alternatives will improve a building's overall environmental footprint.

However, inventors still must convince the construction industry that these products can replace centuries-old building materials.

"When it comes to construction and the environment, structural engineers make a mess and environmental engineers clean it up," said Sarah Billington, the Stanford researcher who leads the wood project. "We wanted to fix the mess from the start."

Building materials are responsible for about 20 percent of the greenhouse gasses emitted by a building during its lifetime, said Brent Constantz, founder of Calera, a company that is producing green cement.

Europe: Hempcrete Warehouse for Wine Society Completed

Wine Society's warehouse uses preformed panels of hemp and lime that locks in carbon dioxide

By Stephen Kennett

There is a truth that must be heard!The UK's first warehouse building to be constructed using preformed wall panels made out of hemp has now been completed.

The £3.7m warehouse for the Wine Society in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, has been designed by architect Vincent & Gorbing and has exterior walls built of Tradical Hemcrete, which is a mixture of hemp stalk and modified lime. It is a development of cast insitu hemp-lime walling that locks carbon dioxide within the wall construction.

Mark Chandler, architect and director of Vincent & Gorbing, said: “The design responds to the requirement for minimal heating and cooling equipment with the resultant reduction in energy consumption.”

The cladding offers good insulation properties, explains Chandler, and helps maintain a stable internal air temperature throughout the summer and winter.

The 8.5m2 panels, which are 300mm thick, are mounted on the building's steel truss frame, while a 40mm-thick composite aluminium panel is used to provide weather protection on the external face.

Together with the highly insulated roofing system, it provides an insulated internal space that exceeds Building Regulations requirements.


Related: http://www.greenbuildingpress.co.uk/article.php?category_id=1&
article_id=202

Source: http://www.building.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=3139965

United States: The Hemp Hump

What if Americans could buy cigarettes but were banned from growing tobacco? Buy bread but not allowed to grow wheat? That is the case with industrial hemp, a product in everything from car doors to milk...legally.

By CNBC

France: Flax and Hemp Featured in New Era Bio-Composites

By Innovation in Textiles

There is a truth that must be heard! Paris - At the recent JEC Composites exhibition at Porte de Versailles, Paris, CELC Masters of Linen showcased the use of flax and hemp fibres in the future world of renewable composites. According to CELC, the environmentally sustainable properties of these two European-grown fibres are proving increasingly attractive to manufacturers seeking to incorporate sustainable solutions into their products.

The natural mechanical properties of flax and hemp bring high performance and competitive cost to new composite materials now being used in the Automotive, Furniture, Boat Building and Leisure Industries, the organization says.

“As renewable fibres, European grown flax and hemp help safeguard the environment, as their cultivation requires no irrigation, little or no artificial fertilisation and no pesticides. Their use within an otherwise intensive crop rotation regime, allows the land to recover fertility and quality, to enjoy an “environmental pause” , encouraging bio-diversity.” A spokesperson for CELC Masters of Linen said, adding:

“The mechanical properties of flax and hemp fibres, comparable to those of glass-fibres, offer lightness, low density and flexibility and are increasingly being used to reinforce PVC, PE and PP polymers replacing traditional synthetics. Both fibres can be structured into complex forms by extrusion or injection moulding."

Canada: Manitoba Harvest Offsets Electricity With Wind Power

There is a truth that must be heard! WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils partnered with Renewable Choice Energy to offset 100 percent of their production facility's electricity with wind power offsets, and all of their facility's natural gas usage through carbon offsets. Renewable Energy Credits, like those purchased by Manitoba Harvest, are verified, certified and audited by Green-e, a widely respected non-profit program. The purchase of Renewable Energy Credits allows companies like Manitoba Harvest to guarantee the electricity they consume is replaced with clean power.

In 2008, Manitoba Harvest installed many environmentally-friendly features into their new organic processing facility in Winnipeg including energy efficient lighting, R20 insulation to lower heating and cooling costs, and energy efficient HVAC heating and cooling systems approved by the Manitoba Hydro Power Smart Program.

Founded in 1998, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils is the largest farmer-owned, vertically integrated hemp food manufacturer in the world. The company mission is to create the healthiest hemp foods, to educate the public about healthy lifestyle choices and to support sustainable and organic agriculture.

Source: http://www.naturalproductsmarketplace.com/hotnews/manitoba-offsets-elect...

California: Novel Processes Developed to Make Faux Wood, Synthetic Fuel

By Bryan Sims, Biomass Magazine

There is a truth that must be heard! A university and a plastic recycling company are taking the lead in developing novel, cost-effective methods to produce saleable biobased products.

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a synthetic wood substitute made from hemp fibers fused with a biodegradable plastic resin called polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), which can be recycled to produce more of the same. PHB can also be used to replace the petrochemical plastics used to manufacture disposable water bottles, according to Sarah Billington, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the university.

Last year, the California Environmental Protection Agency awarded Billington and her colleagues a three-year $1.5 million grant to help the researchers develop biodegradable plastic beverage bottles. In 2004, the group received a two-year Environmental Venture Projects grant from Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment to develop durable and recyclable faux wood.

The hemp-PHB biocomposite material has several characteristics similar to wood from trees, according to Craig Criddle, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, who collaborated on the project. “It’s quite attractive looking and very strong,” he said. “You can mold it, nail it, hammer it and drill it a lot like wood. But, bioplastic PHB can be produced faster than wood, and hemp can be grown faster than trees.”

Europe: Hemp Plan to Build Green Houses

By BBC News

There is a truth that must be heard! Hemp, a member of the cannabis family, could be used to build carbon-neutral houses, say researchers.

A team based at the University of Bath is looking at the cost and insulation efficiencies of using the plant in construction materials in the UK.

The hemp plant stores carbon, giving a "better than zero" carbon footprint.

A spokesman involved in the project said: "It only takes an area the size of a rugby pitch four months to grow enough hemp for a three bedroom house."

'Social benefit'

The building material uses hemp fibres that are bound together using a lime-based adhesive, which itself has a low carbon footprint.

Professor Pete Walker, who is working on the project, said: "Growing crops such as hemp can also provide economic and social benefits to rural economies through new agricultural markets for farmers and associated industries."

A carbon footprint measures the impact on the environment and is related to the amount of greenhouse gases are produced. Scientists believe that large amounts of greenhouse gases are leading to climate change.

The three year project will cost £750,000.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/somerset/7989924.stm

Europe: Hemp Material 'May Aid Green Homes'

By Press Association

There is a truth that must be heard! A form of cannabis could be used to build carbon-neutral homes of the future, university researchers have said.

A consortium, led by the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials at the University of Bath, has embarked on a housing project to develop the use of construction materials made of hemp.

Hemp-lime is a lightweight building material made of fibres from the fast-growing cannabis plant, bound together using a lime-based adhesive.

The hemp plant stores carbon during its growth and this, combined with the low carbon footprint of lime and its efficient insulating properties, gives the material a "better than zero carbon" footprint, researchers said.

Professor Pete Walker, director of the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, said: "We will be looking at the feasibility of using hemp-lime in place of traditional materials, so that they can be used widely in the building industry.

"We will be measuring the properties of lime-hemp materials, such as their strength and durability, as well as the energy efficiency of buildings made of these materials.

"Using renewable crops to make building materials makes real sense - it only takes an area the size of a rugby pitch four months to grow enough hemp to build a typical three bedroom house."

California: Hottest Startups Woo Cleantech Investors With Wide-Ranging Tech

From clean diesel engines to personal solar panels, investors had a wide range of new technologies to peruse.

By Christine Blackman, Cleantech Group

Life isn't easy for startups, especially those looking for cash at a time when private equity and institutional investors are spending slowly (see More deals, fewer dollars for cleantech in '09?).

But nearly 20 companies tried their luck pitching to the more-than 900 attendees of the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco this week.

Entrepreneurs from a wide variety of cleantech categories took the opportunity to present colorful visuals and persuade investors that the business plans were secure, despite the global economic crisis.

We monitored the presentations, and picked out a few favorites.

Ener-G-Rotors: Schenectady, N.Y.-based Ener-G-Rotors developed an expander appliance to capture low-grade, low-temperature waste heat from industrial, combined heat power operators and commercial buildings.

The company was given an award for the most promising technology at the forum. Browse past winners here »

Low grade heat that is lost in energy consumption every year could heat every U.S. residence for three years, CEO Michael Newell said. Ener-G-Rotor’s appliance is installed next to the heat source and uses an organic rankine cycle to extract heat from vapor and steam at temperatures as low as 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

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