Our project had to deal with entrepreneurial environmental reconciliation, where we were to find win-win business ideas for both consumers and the environment. For our idea, we decided to advance the idea of hempcrete blocks as insulation. Because hempcrete, which is lime, water, and hemp hurds (the shaved fibers of the cannabis sativa plant) is in large part made of carbon-based materials, it actually acts as a carbon sink which actually alleviates our greenhouse gas problem rather than add to it, as many popular insulators such as fiberglass or foam do. While hempcrete has been used in construction before, it is usually just in the form of setting walls as whole. Our idea of creating interlocking cinder-block-style hempcrete would allow for this environmentally-friendly material to be used in re-insulating old homes as well as the construction of new ones. As of December 2018, industrial hemp has been legalized and the cost of production for this product is only going to lower with economies of scale, making a competitively affordable and environmentally-friendly insulation to bring to the market.
Science and Policy of Biodiversity, INAF-180-06