The cannabis industry is famous for consuming a lot of water and a lot of electricity. But cannabis growers simply don’t need to contribute to the growing problem of our unhealthy environment. Learn how you can grow weed in an eco-friendly and sustainable way with the 12 pieces of advice in this article!
Perhaps you would never have thought that growing weed could be harmful to the environment. Most people don’t think about that. But as the cannabis industry continues to grow around the world, there are unethical and unsustainable practices taking place to meet with the demand.
Even when we’re talking about growing marijuana on a smaller scale, such as for personal use in homes, it can use a lot of power and a lot of water. Growing plants is a wonderful way to give back to the environment. But doing it without an understanding of how the environment works can actually take away from it, rather than give back.
So, we’re all about being eco-friendly at WeedSeedShop. It might involve a little bit of extra preparation to make your greenhouse green, but in the long run, it benefits you and the environment. Here are our tips for maintaining an environmentally friendly cannabis garden!
1. Grow outdoors
This is probably the biggest switch that you can make to help sustain the environment. Growing outdoors is not ideal for some people because of the climate they live in. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just involves a little bit of a shift in perspective.
Growing indoors uses a lot of power. Lighting and ventilation chew through non-renewable energy sources such as electricity, unless you have a full-blown solar setup.
Once upon a time, if a certain plant or flower wasn’t in season, we didn’t have it. And that was okay, because something else was in season to take its place!
Growing outdoors might mean harvesting only once a year, depending on where you live. You can grow enough plants to sustain you through the year until the next harvest, as long as you take good care of your buds in the meantime. Or you can be patient in between seasons and work on lowering your weed tolerance.
2. If you must grow indoors, choose your equipment wisely
Almost all electrical equipment in Europe comes with very clear labelling about energy consumption and efficiency. Pay attention to these labels. Choose lighting that doesn’t consume as much energy, such as LED lights.
You can also invest a little bit more time into the companies that you purchase equipment from. Do they also preach sustainability? If that is the mission of the companies who provide you with growing equipment, then you know they have thought about this in the manufacturing process.
3. Choose your growing medium wisely
There are many different ways to grow marijuana, and many of the mediums are soilless.
However, some of the soilless growing mediums aren’t as environmentally friendly as you might think. Peat takes centuries to grow naturally and currently, it’s being mined much faster than it can reproduce itself. And rockwool takes centuries to break down.
While hydroponics might be tempting, there is still the amount of power and water required to grow cannabis indoors.
If you really don’t want to grow in soil, you can use coco coir. It is a by-product of the coconut industry and is completely natural.
4. Steer clear of chemicals
It can be tempting to go to the garden store and purchase pesticides that are made completely out of chemical material. Not only do these chemicals end up in the marijuana that finally enters your body, but they end up in the natural environment.
When cannabis plantations are sprayed, the soil becomes compromised and as a result, so too do our rivers, oceans and wildlife.
There are many ways to avoid having to use chemical pesticides, which we also cover in this article!
5. Be mindful of wasting water
The cannabis industry is notorious for water consumption and water wastage. It is a common mistake for first time growers to over-water their cannabis plants. But measures can be taken on a personal and industrial level to make sure your plants don’t lose water to evaporation.
Mulching the top of the soil gives your plants a better opportunity to stay moist for longer without having to water. Plus, mulching can also keep weeds out of your cannabis garden!
If you really want to jump on board the eco-friendly weed growing train, then catch your own rainwater!
6. Use companion plants
As an alternative to chemical pesticides, you can use companion plants. Companion plants can keep away pests that destroy your garden as well as attract the insects that help it thrive. In our article about companion planting, we provide a list of beneficial plants to put next to your cannabis plants.
7. Cover crop between seasons
To keep your soil alive in between seasons, you can use cover crops. They replenish the soil with nutrients so that when it’s time to plant next season, your soil is ready to go.
Cover crops can also keep the environment around your garden healthy, such as attracting beneficial insects. Check out our article about cover cropping to learn which plants are the best to use!
8. Use everything
Being eco-friendly also means finding ways to use all the parts of the marijuana plant. You don’t need to throw away your fan leaves or your male plants. There is a use for everything. You can use the fibrous stems to make tinctures. You can juice the leaves or throw them on your salad!
There’s never a need to throw any part of your marijuana plant away. And if you do, make sure you use it as organic composting material!
9. Learn how to compost
Composting: the best thing you can do for your garden. Not only does it mean you get to “recycle” all of that organic waste you produce in your kitchen, but it is the best fertilizer you could ever give your garden.
When compost decomposes in your soil, it creates all of the microbial life that keeps your plants thriving. Learn how to create an efficient composting system that means you never need to buy fertilizer again.
10. Grow from seed
There aren’t many places in the world where you can purchase cannabis seedlings, except in Switzerland where you can purchase CBD potted plants! In any case, keep in mind that growing from seed really is better for the environment. A lot of materials are wasted when you purchase seedlings – such as plastic pots, and it’s a heavier logistic burden.
So, if you want to grow eco-friendly cannabis, purchase some awesome seeds at WeedSeedShop and get started!
11. Be aware of all the eco-friendly alternatives
There’s more to growing marijuana than just the soil and the water. You also put your plants in pots. Keep your mind focused on sustainability whenever you are purchasing for your cannabis plant. Is there a pot that is more eco-friendly than another? For example, avoid plastic and opt for other materials.
The same is true if you are purchasing soil. Is there a way for you to get good quality soil that doesn’t come in a plastic bag? Always search for the environmentally friendly alternative before making decisions!
12. Be conscious
Everything that you use in your cannabis garden is a resource that came from somewhere else. Always be mindful of that. Being conscious is the most important way to be eco-friendly.
Every chemical you add to your garden can affect the natural surroundings. Every drop of water you use is part of our most valuable resource on Earth.
Remember: your garden is one of many on this planet, and its health contributes to the health of the world around you.