Published on January 11th, 2011 | by Guest Contributor0
8 Surprising Items Made from Hemp
Hemp is one of the oldest, most versatile and eco-friendly fibers in the world. In fact, there are over 25,000 known uses for hemp that include paper, food, medicine, boat sails, bird seed, rope and fuel. America’s founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp, Ben Franklin owned a hemp paper mill and Henry Ford even designed a car in 1941 that was made from hemp plastic. Hemp fibers are strong, durable, resistant to mold and are much softer than traditional cotton, and that’s why it’s such an all-around fantastic fiber.
There are thousands of “traditional” items made from hemp, but what about some not-so-common items? I scoured the web to see if I could find a few unusual and surprising products that are made from hemp. Here are 8 that you probably didn’t know about:
Anyone obsessed with video games and all things green will love this fully functional Hemp-Mote. It’s made from three different kinds of hemp string that have been tightly wound around a Wii remote. Although it may not be the most sensible or comfortable way to play Mario Kart, it’s still a hip idea.
2. Onyx Hanfbike Hemp Bike
The Onyx Hanfbike is a German-engineered bike made from hemp fiber that has been dunked in epoxy resin and wrapped around Styrofoam. The entire frame is made from 60% hemp and 15% bamboo and the other 25% is made from carbon and aluminum.
3. Hemp House
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, this hemp house has all the neighbors talking. It was designed by local green construction company Push Design, who used a product known as Hemcrete to construct the house. Hemcrete is made from a mixture of hemp, lime and water. Other green features of the home include recycled paper panels and recycled window frames.
4. Nectar Ales Hemp Ale
Nectar Ales is a Humboldt County, California brewing company that was founded in 1987. The Hemp Ale is made with hemp seeds that have been added to the brewing process.
5. Kestrel Hemp Car
The Canadians have gone where no other car manufacturer has gone before by designing the world’s first electric car made of hemp. The outside of The Kestrel car is made from an impact-resistant hemp composite material that is lighter, more flexible and more affordable than traditional fiberglass. The Kestrel will be unveiled in Toronto later this year.
6. Hemp Pendant Lamps
These lamps are made from hemp string. You can learn how to make them on Crafty Nest.
7. Earthrace Hemp Boat
This 78-foot boat known as the Earthrace was built in New Zealand and is valued at $3 million. It runs on 100% biodiesel fuel and has floors and instrument panels made from hemp-based composite. The boat recently completed a carbon-neutral tour of the world in 60 days and 23 hours, breaking the previous world record by 14 days.
8. Cannaboard Hemp Skateboard
Cannaboards are made with 95% reinforced hemp fibers and 5% fibers such as carbon and Kevlar.
Hemp has been around for hundreds of years, and it looks like it will continue to be part of our everyday lives. So the next time you decide to buy something new see if it’s made with hemp. You’ll be buying something that’s eco-friendly, all-natural and extremely durable.
Trish Smith is a freelance blogger who writes for Greenopolis.com, a website dedicated to educating people about recycling, conservation and green living. When she’s not blogging about the environment she’s teaching English Composition to freshmen students at Baltimore City Community College. In her spare time she enjoys listening to music, spending time with her two dogs and eating spicy Korean food. Find Trish on Twitter @thegreengroove.