Alternatives to tree-based paper (was Re: Alternative papers)

Subject: Alternatives to tree-based paper (was Re: Alternative papers)
From: "Steven J. Owens" <puff -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 08:07:45 -0700

Geoff,
> About a year ago (has it really been that long?), there was
> some discussion on techwr-l and copyediting-l about
> alternatives to paper based on dead trees. Despite being an
> unofficial forest industry apologist, I do keep track of
> alternative resources. Here are two you might want to
> investigate (details in the Sept. 96 issue of _Publish_,
> page 24):

From what friends in the environmental movement tell me, the best
alternative to trees is, in fact, hemp. Mature hemp cannot be smoked
(it's poisonous), I believe there is a strain called "denatured hemp"
that never produces the levels of THC found in marijuana. Hemp grows
like a weed (because it *is* a weed, and it kills off other weeds, and
leaves the soil behind in great shape for farming other crops) and can
be grown in many places that won't support trees. You end up throwing
away about half a tree when you turn it into paper (or other wood
products) while almost all of the hemp plant can be used for paper.

This is all on an "I've heard" basis, but minimal research sems
to bear it out. Check out www.hemptech.com for more info. For the
general overview, click on the "Industry" button and then on Overview.


Steven J. Owens
puff -at- netcom -dot- com
puff -at- envirolink -dot- org
http://www.envirolink.org/homepage/puff

P.S. Hemp also has a long and honorable history in the U.S., playing a
wide variety of crucial roles - from the hemp ropes and sails of the
ships that brought european settlers (normal cloth rotted from the
salt and sea air) to the hemp paper that the U.S. Constitution is
written on. George Washington was one of many of our "founding
fathers" who owned and operated a hemp plantation.


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