How to be an environmentally friendly cannabis user

Published Aug 6, 2019 01:39 p.m. ET
iStock / Michael Wels

Cannabis use is often touted as an all-natural miracle element that can solve many of the world’s biggest problems, including everything from pollution to deadly diseases. This is true as these plants do contain some fantastic and powerful elements, any of which we believe can either cure or treat most of the diseases that plague the population today. There is a great deal about the cannabis industry as a whole, that could use improvements to shift towards a more eco-friendly and long term sustainable model.

The plant itself is full of natural biological elements that can do wonders for cleansing soil and the air, but some of the practices that are in place today, are leaving a black mark on the planet that will last for decades to come. Hence, it is necessary for consumers to think beyond their full recycling bin and into the steps that can be taken to reduce waste and pollution. Some of these situations are due to regulation, but as supporters of the cannabis industry, it is time to put our money where our hearts are. No idea how to start? No problem! Here are five excellent ways to become an environmentally friendly cannabis user:

1. Use marijuana accessories that are made using sustainable materials
Now that the cannabis industry is legal in many regions, manufacturers of products like smoking accessories, are cutting corners in an attempt to offer cheaper and more widely available cannabis products to the market. This is great for consumers who lack the resources or money to dedicate to the craft. However, these grinders, bongs and pipes that are made using plastics and other non-biodegradable materials will take a lifetime to decompose after minimal use. Instead, consumers should opt for heavy-duty steel or aluminum designs that will last for years and are easy to recycle when it comes to the time to dispose of them.

2. Choose environmentally friendly cannabis products
Did you know that there is such a thing as organic marijuana? That’s right! Similar to many other farmed crops, cannabis plants are often grown using a variety of chemical-filled pesticides and fertilizers. Though there is much debate surrounding whether or not this should be a concern to consumers as it is damaging for the surrounding environments. Luckily, cannabis can be grown, cured and processed without using any of these additives. So, if you are interested in being eco-friendly, then it might be time to start asking this critical question and sticking with organic cannabis products.

3. Recycle and/or reuse all packaging
Unfortunately, the federal governments are regulating the packaging that must be used to sell legal marijuana products. There are several different layers of plastics, cardboards and child-resistant seals that must be in place for cannabis products to get approval. This has led to thousands of unnecessary plastic wrappers that are headed for landfills which are already nearing capacity. Instead of throwing out those packages, they should be recycled along with your standard weekly disposal, ensuring that all containers are free from residues and concentrate, or they won’t be taken. Some portions of the cannabis industry are now using biodegradable wrapping instead, but until it is more widely available, it’s a good idea to reduce, reuse and recycle.

4. Vape or use marijuana edibles instead of smoking
There is a great deal of speculation surrounding how much pollution smokers are responsible for each year but burning anything isn’t great for your lungs or the environment. Instead, try vaping, edibles, capsules and any other cannabis products that don’t require burning to ingest.

5. Grow cannabis plants using organic methods
As mentioned above, many cannabis products are derived from plants that are grown using elements that can be harmful to the environment. Though it is not always possible to completely avoid chemical products like pesticides. Always start out with the least abrasive, all-natural method possible, and use those toxic alternatives as a last resort. When they are required, keep the soil exposure to a minimal and follow the directions exactly to avoid excess runoff which could make its way through your garden, and into lakes, rivers or streams.

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