Nothing makes us want to bury our heads in the proverbial—and maybe literal—sand more than climate change. There are all kinds of theories as to why we humans aren’t capable of facing the music, but we don’t need a neurologist and an MRI machine to tell us that bad news just plain sucks. Which is why, of course, we avoid it.
Today, however, we have some good news, and you don’t have to be driving a Tesla or eating fake meat made from pea protein to enjoy it. By purchasing CBD products from Miraflora, you’re personally helping remove up to 60 metric tons of greenhouse gas from the Earth’s atmosphere.
CBD is made from hemp, and hemp happens to be one of nature’s biggest carbon sinks. That means it absorbs and stores a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide (CO2), the offending gas that’s heating up our planet. While all plants and trees “breathe in” and sequester CO2 from the atmosphere, hemp is one of the most efficient, in part because it grows so quickly. While most trees take years to reach maturity, hemp can shoot up to more than 10 feet high in a single three- to four-month growing season, making it more than twice as effective than forests at converting CO2 to biomass.
While studies have had varying results, Cambridge University researcher Darshil Shah points to evidence that shows hemp can absorb roughly between 3 to 6 metric tons of CO2 per acre of cultivation during a four-month growing season, while a typical forest captures on average between 1 and 3 metric tons of CO2 per acre per year (depending on the region, climate, etc.). If the average car emits about 4.6 metric tons a year, this means each acre of hemp can counteract the annual emissions of roughly one car.
Shah also pointed out that because hemp is naturally pest-resistant and relatively hardy, it’s easier to grow organically, further improving its overall carbon sink. Conventional agriculture, on the other hand, emits carbon in the form of fertilizers and pesticides. "Hemp offers an incredible scope to grow a better future,” he said during a recent interview with Dezeen Magazine.
Miraflora’s farm, a USDA-certified organic 160-acre parcel outside Boulder, Colo., grows hemp organically and sustainably. We never, ever use pesticides, and we fertilize only with the nutrient-rich manure of our farm’s adorable alpaca herd (Merlin, Jackson Hole, and the gang). We plant 10 acres of hemp each year, rotating and planting cover crops between harvests to maintain our topsoil. We also plant two trees for every box we ship, upcycle the unused hemp stalks for paper and animal bedding, and utilize drip systems to conserve water.
“In addition to hemp, we also plant 80 acres of hay and 10 acres of wildflowers and 2 acres of lavender,” added Brent Facchinello, Miraflora’s chief operating officer. The hay is comprised of grasses that also remove CO2 from the atmosphere and build up carbon stores in the soil, and the drought-hardy native wildflowers help the bees, which pollenate native plants and cultivated crops. “It feels great to work for a brand that’s helping the problem, not causing it,” he said.
Miraflora uses hemp to make premium CBD products, but scientists and engineers are also looking to the plant to produce viable carbon-negative alternatives for things like plastic, fiberglass, aluminum, and even concrete. (Shah recently collaborated with filmmaker Steve Barron, who used hemp to build his own house.) Therefore, not only is hemp a great way to absorb our greenhouse gasses, it might help us reduce their production to begin with.
So, if you just can’t stop eating hot dogs (we get it), you should know that you are making a difference with every Miraflora purchase you make. And while supporting sustainable hemp farms alone obviously won’t solve the problem, it’s still something. And something is a start.
Thank you for your support.