What CAN'T you do with hemp?In yesterday's unveiling of the new BMW i3 electric car, there was a cool detail that was overlooked by most. In BMW's description of the green materials it used in the i3, the word kenaf was used. That might not ring a bell for most, but it's actually a a kind of hemp (specifically Hibiscus cannabinus).
This shows yet one more use for the versatile plant that is starting to get some traction in the U.S. (see: America's first hemp crop in 60 years was planted this week in Colorado, Will Vermont move forward with commercial hemp?, and Kentucky takes step towards hemp legalization). Cars use all kinds of foams to provide soundproofing and/or padding.
Some car-makers have already started replacing petroleum-based foams with corn-based ones, but hemp seems like an even better candidate. It's greener to grow than corn, and it doesn't have a negative effect on food prices.
Hempbasics has a primer on the various uses and advantages of hemp over other crops and materials.