So, as I write about news in the grant world, there really is a lot to cover about what’s new and ongoing. There are so many serious issues that nonprofits work to address. Sometimes, though, I get to share stories that are very cool and interesting. And it can be really fun to have the chance to write about things like, for example, this grant for hemp-based bricks.
We have talked about cannabis before in terms of state governments using recreational marijuana programs to fund initiatives. We’ve never talked about some of the other uses for the plants. Now, the EPA has given us a good reason. And, to be 100% clear, what we are talking about here is hemp and its potential to help with climate change mitigation.
Specifically, what we’re talking about is the Environmental Protection Agency awarding a $100,000 grant to Earth Merchant, a Washington-based company. Earth Merchant received the grant to be able to fully develop and manufacture sustainable bricks made out of industrial-grade hemp.
And while you’re reading, make sure to check out this grant for Iowa IHEs, Organizations, Agencies, Schools, and Individuals for Environmental Education.
Some Background on Hemp in Building Materials
So why is this even remotely important? Well, there are reasons that hemp-based bricks could be an improvement over traditional building materials. Well, we can actually look to the UK and their 2010 report called, Low Carbon Construction Innovation & Growth Team: Final Report. The report concluded that construction was responsible for over 300 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. At the time, that accounted for around 47% of the UK’s total emissions.
“Making one tonne of steel emits 1.46 tonnes of CO2 and 198kg of CO2 is emitted make one tonne of reinforced concrete. One square metre of timber-framed, hemp-lime wall (weighing 120kg), after allowing for the energy cost of transporting and assembling the materials actually stores 35.5kg of CO2.” — UK Final Report on Low Carbon
Can This Grant Improve the Well Being of Residents?
Converting plants into building materials seems to benefit the environment, which is why the EPA gave this funding grant to Earth Merchant. But in the case of this product, it’s touted as being completely carbon-neutral and a lightweight alternative to traditional bricks. And actually, according to the grant announcement, the bricks can actually increase health outcomes for residents. Also, their thermal resistance and mechanical properties can improve a home or building’s energy efficiency and indoor air quality.
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan spoke on the grant award: “We have the opportunity to confront our greatest environmental challenges with the strength and creativity of American entrepreneurs. I congratulate all of the small businesses receiving EPA funding today. I look forward to working with them to harness the power of innovation to build a healthier, safer, and more equitable future.”
GrantWatch Understands How Important the Environment Is
So, this grant news was pretty great because it shows that innovation really does win the day. A future that’s built with carbon-neutral bricks is positive news. And there’s so much more innovation that’s possible. That’s why we are so proud to list an entire category for environment-related grants on GrantWatch. Our paid subscribers can also search through grants by using an exact keyword search to find specific terms.
If you have any questions about our grant categories or anything listed on our site, reach out to our team! You can reach our amazing support team members by calling 561-249-4129.