Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Time to get your hemp in a row

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | July 18th, 2018

With all of the excitement surrounding the legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana, why aren’t we discussing the possibilities of industrial hemp? You might not catch a buzz from it but there’s all kinds of other cool stuff you can do with it. Hemp can be used for food, fuel, fiber, pulp for paper and even bioplastics. So could we feed, fuel and clothe the world with one crop?

Maybe we’re sounding too hopeful.

It wouldn’t be the first time hemp was cultivated in our state. In fact, hemp was cultivated in North Dakota during the second world war to help out the war effort. It still has a habit of popping up in random ditches throughout the state 70 some years after the fact.

Let’s talk more about the potential of hemp based bioplastics shall we? It could be one of many remedies for our over dependence on petroleum based plastics. According to thenationalhempassociation.org, Hemplyne hemp plastic “will biodegrade completely in 18 months.” Meaning it could drastically reduce our carbon footprint.

Hemp fibers are notoriously strong and lightweight. The plastic produced from it has already caught the eye of the packaging, automotive, and building industries. According to the same website, “It has a very high ratio of density to weight. This allows it to potentially be used in aerospace to save weight on heavy structures.”

According to packagingdigest.com we manufacture close to 300 million tons of plastics worldwide per year. According to the same website, “It is estimated that up to 129 million tons (43%) of the plastic used per year is disposed of by landfill or incineration, and approximately 10 to 20 million tons of plastic ends up in the oceans.”

If it weren’t for cost effectiveness and/or Big Bad Oil breathing down both manufacturers and consumers necks, these alternatives might have a chance. Until then we’ll think about the number of straws that we throw away with our fast food garbage. Yeah, yeah… we get it--baby steps. What about rethinking our plastic bag usage?

Anyway, back to bioplastics. Plant-based plastics are broken up into two tiers -- “biodegradable,” meaning they will break down through time, and/ or composting and “durable,” meaning they won’t break down but are recyclable. Coca Cola tried their hand with the latter version. According to their website the bottles were made of 30% plant-based material. The plant material used being sugarcane and waste from the sugarcane manufacturing process, which is interesting, ironic and most likely completely coincidental but sugar cane was the original sweetener for Coca Cola prior to WWII.

Bioplastics are great, but they won’t just return to the earth and turn into wildflowers once you toss them and they’re not recyclable for the time being. They are often seen as contaminants in certain recycling facilities and have to be sent to the appropriate composting facility to break down adequately.

It’s not fair--why can’t anything be easy?

A temporary solution could be to have a conscience when it comes to our waste. Let’s use reusable containers, let’s have some reusable bags on hand. Convenience has a cost that we often take for granted. We can take to mind the three “R’s” that we learned about in elementary school. Reduce, reuse and recycle--it’s the least we can do.

Recently in:

After nearly two and a half years since the people of North Dakota voted to pass the Compassionate Care Act into law in the state, medical marijuana is finally available to patients. Only one dispensary is open right now, but seven…

It was an, “aha,” moment, said Jeremy Jensen. A woman had her vehicle towed into the Fix It Forward Auto Care shop in Moorhead. Jensen and fellow Fix It Forward Auto Care co-founder Matt Carlson had the vehicle on a hoist…

Thursday, April 18, 5-9 p.m.Drekker Brewing Company, 1666 1st Ave N, FargoThe folks at Drekker have partnered with a handful of area artists and the Lend A Hand Up program. A program providing help and hope to families facing…

In 2016, the Rand Corportation’s National Defense Research Institute published a year-long study looking at potential consequences for transgender members to serve within the U.S Military. This study looked at seven different…

The Nordic ModelDr. Thea Hunter, a graduate of Columbia University and an adjunct professor of history at a number of elite colleges and universities, recently died at age 63 of extreme capitalism—and asthma—because of lack of…

Cocktail Showdown

​Yo ho ho!

by Sabrina Hornung

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

After three years Jon Beyer aka “Jonny B” has become the face and the beard behind Jonny B’s Brickhouse in Jamestown North Dakota. Besides the largest selection of craft beers between here and Bismarck, wood-fired pizzas and…

By Gary Usseryusseryg@gmail.comFYB. Three letters, three words, well known by the guys who make up Cascades, and anyone who is a fan of the five-man band. When asked what genre best describes their sound, I was bombarded with at…

Harmony Korine keeps a tight grip on his title as one of the most critic/critique-proof filmmakers of recent times with “The Beach Bum,” a sultry companion piece to 2012’s memorable “Spring Breakers.” Not without its own…

Arts

​Hold your head high

by Sabrina Hornung

“I started to look around at state arts council positions because I felt that even though I had never done that, I felt like it would be a really good blend of skills, so I started to look around in 2016. A few jobs came up but I…

Countless examples can be found throughout the history of great art that was only recognized as such after the life of the artist that created it. Such is true of Georges Bizet’s opera "Carmen."  While its reception during his…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comThink & Drink is coming to Fargo! Organized by Humanities North Dakota, Think & Drink is a happy hour series that hosts a facilitated public conversation about big issues and ideas. Lead by a…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

It seems like the threats to North Dakota’s Badlands never cease. Let’s go back and revisit Wylie Bice. He’s the rogue, rich, rancher up in Dunn County, on the eastern edge of the Badlands, who’s built himself a private…