Sustainability is a hot button topic these days. And justifiably so. Environmentally harmful practices have left the future of the earth in the balances.
As such, sustainable cannabis cultivation is a priority for a wealth of companies. Which is a good thing.
Because given its demand for land, water, lighting, and packaging, it’s a sizable effort to stay green while cultivating cannabis.
How Companies Are Fostering Sustainable Cannabis Cultivation
Cultivating cannabis with the environment in mind is far from a two-step story problem. And top-shelf cultivators are getting increasingly more creative in their efforts to grow their product in the most sustainable and responsible ways.
Here are just five of the ways they’re addressing the issue.
1. Lessening Energy Consumption
In an ideal world, all cannabis could grow outdoors. But there are so many states where this just can’t happen. They’ve been forced indoors and, as such, require a lot more energy to grow their plants.
Indoor plants require around 18 hours of energy-intensive grow lights when in the vegetative stage. Once they flower, the number still stands at 12 hours. It’s not just the lights though.
There are the fans, HVAC systems, and dehumidifiers. All of this adds up to a lot of energy use.
To counter this, cultivators are experimenting with growing outdoors and in greenhouses as much as possible. Once indoors, they’re switching to LED grow lights, lowering temperatures, and reducing the amount of water that’s lost to evaporation. Some are even swapping out traditional HVAC systems for chilled water systems to handle their dehumidification and cooling needs.
2. Encourage Regenerative Farming
Planting the same crop year after year (as is done in commercial farming and agricultural practices) strips the soil of nutrients, reduces water retention, and annihilates beneficial ecosystems. In the end, plant growth is inhibited.
Then at the end of the season, commercial farmers must repair damaged soil with harmful fertilizers and chemicals.
With regenerative farming, the focus is on improving soil quality and maintaining biodiversity using sustainable planting and harvesting methods. Every phase of the farming process is geared toward preventing nutrient loss and increasing the soil’s natural ability to sustain plant life. This greatly reduces the need for fertilizers and harmful pesticides.
3. Decrease Use of Water and Pesticides
Cannabis is a water-thirsty crop. As such, it can cause water depletion. So cultivators working with the crops outdoors have become increasingly mindful about sustainable ways to provide water. Among the best solutions are collecting rainwater, using aquifers to source water, and utilizing more eco-friendly methods for CO2 extraction.
The other drawback to outdoor growing is insects and other pests. Chemicals and pesticides aren’t just harmful for the planet, but they’re also detrimental to the health of those who ingest them. Therefore, environmentally-minded cannabis cultivators favor all-natural fertilizers and are switching to more natural pesticides.
4. Focus on Green Packaging
Moving out of the fields and the grow houses, it’s also become increasingly necessary to look at sustainability when it comes to packaging.
Because producers are required by law to provide childproof packaging, there is a lot of plastic ending up in landfills. It’s tough to avoid this. But some packaging companies are opting for durable and recyclable glass where possible. They’re also opting out of single-use plastic packaging which is almost never recycled or repurposed.
5. Support Environmental Sustainability Initiatives
Right along with becoming more informed about leaving a smaller carbon footprint, regenerative farming, and environmentally responsible packaging, cannabis producers are also getting involved with sustainability initiatives worldwide.
For example, investing in solar or wind energy is an effective way to reduce operating costs while also lowering carbon emissions.
And some producers and growers are choosing to not dispose of harvested hemp and cannabis plants but contributing them instead to make a concrete-like building material known as hempcrete. This eco-friendly material is super-durable and its production removes more carbon from the atmosphere than it adds.
How Environmentally Conscious Is Your Cannabis?
Growers who are working toward sustainable cannabis cultivation are going to produce cannabis that’s not only better for the planet, but better for you too.
So if you’re interested in cannabis that meets the highest standards, click here to find where you can purchase our products.
And keep doing your part to care for the planet!