Carbon footprint

Yesterday (July 5th) we visited Hempwood, a business that makes flooring out of hemp using processing methods similar to those used for bamboo processing in China. They brought in huge pieces of equipment from China and currently work out of two large warehouses in Murray Kentucky. The company also makes hemp facing for furniture.

Today we visited Victory Hemp, a company that supplies hemp protein (they turn hemp seed into oil and protein powder) to food companies.

The reason why we’re on this road trip is because Eric’s been reporting on the industrial hemp industry and how it could help shift us away from industries that are exacerbating climate change: lumber, livestock, petroleum (to name a few).

What’s clear so far is that the hemp industry is in its infancy. There’s no infrastructure. There are a bunch of good people with great ideas working on building new paradigm solutions, but without wider support it’s going to be a while until hemp makes a dent.

Carbon footprint

It’s not lost on us that we’re burning a ton of fuel traveling around in this big RV in order to give a microphone to a struggling industry that’s trying to offer eco-conscious solutions to today’s climate problems.

We’re trying to figure out how we can offset this trip. We’re trying our best to buy local, reuse and recycle, and spread the word about the companies we’re visiting. We’re not sure about carbon offsets. Do they really help?

Last week the Pacific Northwest experienced something they called a “heat dome” — as if naming it makes it seem like something we can control. Temperatures passed 120 degrees. A Canadian town caught on fire and burned to the ground. A billion sea creatures were cooked to death.

I’m not sure how we change things at this point. What will it take? We’re still going through a global pandemic and now it seems like businesses want to double down on “back to normal.”

But normal is killing our planet. Now. Today. And tomorrow, too.

Someone once told me that “business is the most successful harnesser of human energy ever created. Bigger than religion.” If that’s true, then the answers to our climate catastrophe should come from business. (Which is also why us Hurlocks are out on the road during a pandemic, in a summer that’s already seen devastating heat waves in June.)

If it’s not business (at least not any time soon), then what will it take to harness human energy to help shift our priorities towards caring for each other and the planet? So far a global pandemic hasn’t changed anything. A heat dome killing billions of sea creatures and leveling a town… will that be enough?

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