Cannabis and It's Harsh Impact On The Environment


petros
#1
Don't bogart my energy!

Electricity usage for indoor grows is off the charts

Now before you roll your eyes, kick back, and light up: Researchers have estimated that indoor grow operations account for a whopping 1 percent of total electricity use in the United States each year. (Indoor grows can be attractive because they offer multiple harvests and shorter grow times.)

“Whopping 1 percent” might sound a little paradoxical, but think about how crazy that number is. That’s about the same amount of electricity consumed by every computer in every home and apartment in the country annually.

Why’s that number so big? It mostly has to do with the high-intensity light bulbs that pot plants need to thrive when grown indoors.

In order to power all those light fixtures, as well as dehumidifiers and heating and ventilation systems, indoor grow operations use about eight times the amount of energy per square foot as a normal commercial building. That’s on par with a modern data center.

When indoor operations are run illegally, they’re even more energy intensive, because growers will often use diesel or gasoline generators to avoid pulling power from the grid and being detected. All told, indoor production is one of the most energy-intensive industries out there.



That’s also the amount of carbon sequestered by 1.6 acres of U.S. forests in a year.

Which is a problem, because we’re also cutting down trees for outdoor growing operations. Speaking of which …

Growing outdoors isn’t perfect either
While growing pot outdoors is naturally more energy-efficient than doing so indoors — after all, you don’t need to plug in the sun — free-range weed has a different kind of environmental impact. Getting a patch of land ready for farming can mean cutting down forests, diverting rivers, and destabilizing whole ecosystems.

Pesticides and rat poison can also kill animals around outdoor grows. Consider the Pacific fisher, a cat-sized weasel-like character. A recent study suggested that more than 85 percent of Pacific fishers near grow sites in the Sierra Nevada range were exposed to poison, which accounted for about 10 percent of all deaths of the threatened species.

Though you can solve some of these problems by moving your operation into a greenhouse, that will still require electricity for ventilation, temperature and humidity control, and supplementary high-intensity lights.

Pot plants are thirsty

In a sizable outdoor operation, the plants can suck up something on the order of a billion liters of water per square mile over a growing season. Some estimates suggest that pot plants use six gallons of water per day per plant over the summer. For reference, it takes about four gallons of water to run an energy-efficient dishwasher once.



So try thinking about your weedprint in terms of pizza

Here’s how we can put this data in terms of your own smoking and munching habits. That pizza sitting between you and those Aqua Teen Hunger Force reruns has a hefty environmental footprint, too. (Cows can eat a whole hell of a lot of alfalfa, and alfalfa is a thirsty plant.) To get a sense of pot versus ‘za, use our nifty calculator to compare a joint to a pizza slice:

 
B00Mer
+1
#2
Interesting I just completed a shipment to a business that sell the carbon filters to weed growers..
 
petros
#3
You've given a great example.
 
Cannuck
#4
Not eating at all is good for the environment
 
Cannuck
#5
Somebody's salty
 
Cannuck
#6
Such saltiness
 
petros
+1
#7
Such low wattage.

*hug*
 
Cannuck
#8
 
petros
+2
#9
Mom's basement never looked better.
 
Cannuck
#10
Love your salt

Quote: Originally Posted by avro24 View Post

your apartment

Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Mom's basement

Hehehehe
 
Cannuck
#11
Hehehe...mom won't let me

You really should try harder. You're quite the amateur
 
Cannuck
#12
Pete's always right.
 
Cannuck
#13


Quite disappointing

Even Danbones is a better troll than you. You need to work on your skills
 
petros
#14
He should have hired his buddy.

Putz posted his buddy's work a couple year back and called it his own.

Guess what happened?

He got caught lying.
 
White_Unifier
#15
What's cannabis' effect on the cerebral environment?
 
Cannuck
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

He should have hired his buddy.

Putz posted his buddy's work a couple year back and called it his own.

Guess what happened?

He got caught lying.

See Avro. While still idiotic and feeble, it's a considerable step up from your pablum. Elevate man!!
 
petros
#17
How is mom doing?
 
Cannuck
#18
Good I assume. How's the father-in-law?
 
petros
#19
Good and dead?
 
Cannuck
#20
I don't believe you
 
petros
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

I don't believe you

That was a question. It must have been rough to lose both parents within two years. What happened?
 
Hoid
+2 / -1
#22
It is the height of stupidity to be growing indoors when it's legal. You could grow more dope in a single summer in Canada than Canadians could smoke in a million years. Of course that would make sense.
 
petros
#23
Nope.
 
petros
#24
There are few cultivars that can finish before the threat of frost hits.

We don't have the length of season required to pull off the varieties that the market demands.
 
Cliffy
#25
Lots of outdoor growers in BC who were good at creating varieties that could mature in many different environments. That was before infrared satellite imaging put them out of business, giving the RCMP the ability to spot outdoor grow-ops and bust them. Many of those people can still do that if the fuzz would leave them alone.

The main usefulness for cannabis, though, is in hemp production - no pesticides or herbicides needed and it replenishes the soil. One or two crops in clearcuts would prepare the soil for reforestation after. Just because some farmers live in the gawd forsaken prairies, doesn't mean that it not doable everywhere else in the country.
 
petros
#26
Fiber hemp doesn't grow in the Canadian climate and only 1 seed hemp variety will and that is finola.
 
petros
#27
Cliff failed to mention they all start their crops indoors then move them outdoors and pray it doesn't frost.

Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

Lots of outdoor growers in BC who were good at creating varieties that could mature in many different environments. That was before infrared satellite imaging put them out of business, giving the RCMP the ability to spot outdoor grow-ops and bust them. Many of those people can still do that if the fuzz would leave them alone.

The main usefulness for cannabis, though, is in hemp production - no pesticides or herbicides needed and it replenishes the soil. One or two crops in clearcuts would prepare the soil for reforestation after. Just because some farmers live in the gawd forsaken prairies, doesn't mean that it not doable everywhere else in the country.

I'm going to rain on your pot parade even more.

You claim clearcutting f-cks the soil? I have some bad news for you.


Simard, D. G., Fyles, J. W., Paré, D. and Nguyen, T. 2001. Impacts of clearcut harvesting and wildfire on soil nutrient status
in the Quebec boreal forest. Can. J. Soil Sci. 81: 229–237. Wildfire has historically been the major cause of stand initiation in
the boreal forest, shaping species diversity, successional and ecosystem processes. Clearcut harvesting may differ from fire in its
effects on soil and vegetation processes and thus may cause long-term changes in stand productivity or biodiversity. This study
compared the soil properties of mesic black spruce (Picea mariana) stands burned 2, 14, 21 yr prior to sampling, with stands
clearcut within ±3 yr of each wildfire and recently undisturbed control stands. The forest floor (FH) and mineral soil (0–10 cm)
were sampled volumetrically, air dried and analysed for pH, organic carbon content, available P, Ca, Mg, and K, mineralizable N
and nitrification. Forest floors were also digested and analysed for total N, P, K, Ca and Mg. Significant differences between dis-
turbed and control stands were observed in all study areas, with disturbance effects generally decreasing with time since distur-
bance. Burned stands generally had forest floors with thinner humus layers, lower mass of organic carbon, higher pH, and higher
concentrations of total and available nutrients than in either clearcut or control stands. Significant losses in the total mass of N and
K in the forest floor were observed in the youngest burned stands as well as a pulse of extractable P that was at least four times
higher than cut or control stands in any other treatment or study area. The forest floor of cut stands had greater mass of organic
matter and total nutrients, and higher levels of potentially mineralizable N than either fire or control stands. No significant nutri-
ent loss was observed following clearcut harvesting in any study area
. Overall, this study suggested that clearcut harvesting can
result in changes to the status of soil nutrients that are different from those produced by wildfire. Further study is necessary to
determine whether these differences have significant effects on the long-term productivity or biodiversity of the boreal forest.
 
petros
#28
Trudeau is a criminal.
 
EagleSmack
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Cliff failed to mention they all start their crops indoors then move them outdoors and pray it doesn't frost.

He's so high that he could care less.
 
White_Unifier
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Don't bogart my energy!

Electricity usage for indoor grows is off the charts

Now before you roll your eyes, kick back, and light up: Researchers have estimated that indoor grow operations account for a whopping 1 percent of total electricity use in the United States each year. (Indoor grows can be attractive because they offer multiple harvests and shorter grow times.)

“Whopping 1 percent” might sound a little paradoxical, but think about how crazy that number is. That’s about the same amount of electricity consumed by every computer in every home and apartment in the country annually.

Why’s that number so big? It mostly has to do with the high-intensity light bulbs that pot plants need to thrive when grown indoors.

In order to power all those light fixtures, as well as dehumidifiers and heating and ventilation systems, indoor grow operations use about eight times the amount of energy per square foot as a normal commercial building. That’s on par with a modern data center.

When indoor operations are run illegally, they’re even more energy intensive, because growers will often use diesel or gasoline generators to avoid pulling power from the grid and being detected. All told, indoor production is one of the most energy-intensive industries out there.



That’s also the amount of carbon sequestered by 1.6 acres of U.S. forests in a year.

Which is a problem, because we’re also cutting down trees for outdoor growing operations. Speaking of which …

Growing outdoors isn’t perfect either
While growing pot outdoors is naturally more energy-efficient than doing so indoors — after all, you don’t need to plug in the sun — free-range weed has a different kind of environmental impact. Getting a patch of land ready for farming can mean cutting down forests, diverting rivers, and destabilizing whole ecosystems.

Pesticides and rat poison can also kill animals around outdoor grows. Consider the Pacific fisher, a cat-sized weasel-like character. A recent study suggested that more than 85 percent of Pacific fishers near grow sites in the Sierra Nevada range were exposed to poison, which accounted for about 10 percent of all deaths of the threatened species.

Though you can solve some of these problems by moving your operation into a greenhouse, that will still require electricity for ventilation, temperature and humidity control, and supplementary high-intensity lights.

Pot plants are thirsty

In a sizable outdoor operation, the plants can suck up something on the order of a billion liters of water per square mile over a growing season. Some estimates suggest that pot plants use six gallons of water per day per plant over the summer. For reference, it takes about four gallons of water to run an energy-efficient dishwasher once.



So try thinking about your weedprint in terms of pizza

Here’s how we can put this data in terms of your own smoking and munching habits. That pizza sitting between you and those Aqua Teen Hunger Force reruns has a hefty environmental footprint, too. (Cows can eat a whole hell of a lot of alfalfa, and alfalfa is a thirsty plant.) To get a sense of pot versus ‘za, use our nifty calculator to compare a joint to a pizza slice:

Not to mention the second-hand smoke already stinking up the downtown core. Tokers should show at least enough respect to toke in private.
 

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