Do you ever worry about the negative impact of growing cannabis on the environment? Or about the high energy costs that come with it? Cannabis is a plant that needs lots of heat, water and nutrition. Therefore it’s smart to keep track of the sustainability of your growing technique. Growing cannabis in a sustainable way isn’t just better for the environment, it’s also good for your wallet!
Sustainable Cannabis Growing: Indoors & Outdoors
First of all we want to answer a question that will rise in many people: is it really necessary to grow cannabis in a sustainable way? Are those couple of plants in your garden or grow room really that bad for the environment? Unfortunately we can’t deny that your weed plants can have a considerable ecological footprint. Especially when you grow indoors, that negative impact definitely exists. But also with an outdoor grow higher efficiency can be achieved.
You probably use energy-consuming grow lamps and several fans. Furthermore, you’ll use nutrition and (maybe) pesticides. All of this will affect the environment in a negative way.
Why Try Sustainable Cannabis Growing?
You might say that us growers have, or should have, a moral obligation to be nice to the environment. Despite all the efforts of growers and all the hybrid strains we can use nowadays, we owe all these wonderful cannabis genetics to Mother Nature. So it’s only fair to give something back to her, by trying to grow your cannabis in a sustainable way!
If this isn’t reason enough for you to start to alter your growing technique, then do it for your wallet. Energy costs are rising significantly and every bit you can do to save power, is certainly worth your while.
The sustainable saving tips we’ll give you in this blog aren’t just for growing indoors. Growing cannabis outdoors is generally more environmentally-friendly. At least you don’t need lamps or fans. However, growing outdoors involves a lot of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and that certainly has a negative impact on the environment as well. So, both indoor and outdoor growers can do a lot to make their grows more sustainable. And that doesn’t need to be complicated at all.
4 Steps To Sustainable Cannabis Growing
Do you want to save energy and have a lower environmental impact while growing cannabis? There are four aspects you can focus on: lighting, climate control, water consumption and waste management.
Cannabis needs good lighting: the more light the plant gets, the bigger the yield. When growing indoors, you need on average 500 to 800 watts of lighting per square meter. You can imagine when those lamps are on, this is an energy-guzzling activity. Furthermore, the lighting will increase the temperature in the room, so you’ll need ventilation to dissipate the heat. And surely, this kind of equipment also causes your power consumption to rise.
When growing indoors, besides lighting, you also need to make sure the temperature and humidity are right. Indoor growers typically have a drainage system to dissipate and refresh the warm air. You will also need fans to make the air circulate. Every one of these devices need power, day in, day out.
The grow room’s insulation can also make a big difference when it comes to energy consumption. And since you need the room to be airtight anyway, you might as well make an extra effort while you’re at it and improve the insulation before you start your grow!
Cannabis is a thirsty plant. Research has shown that a single plant growing in California (indoors or in a greenhouse) between June and October, averagely needs 22 litres of water per day. Of course you can’t entirely compare this with growing a plant for personal use, which will need less water. But it may be clear that growing cannabis involves a lot of water.
Whether you are growing cannabis indoors or outdoors, you’ll end up with both organic and non-organic waste. When you’re disposing this waste, it’s important to keep the environment in mind. Don’t just throw out your pots when you can reuse them.
Try to separate all the waste and remember that your plant waste is actually ‘green gold’: it’s the (free!) base for a fantastic compost you can use for your next sustainable grow. Also keep the roots, they can be very useful for many different purposes. Can it get more circular?
The Best Tips For Sustainable Cannabis Growing
Do you want to take steps to improve the sustainability of your cannabis grows? And, if possible, even cheaper? We’ll give you our best tips that can help you make the switch to sustainable cannabis growing.
The best way to reduce water use, is by collecting rain water to water your plants. You could also switch to hydroponics or aeroponics. Many people think these methods use way more water, but that’s actually not the case at all.
When growing indoors or outdoors, it’s important to choose a soil that can hold water. Mix perlite and vermiculite through the soil to improve water retention. Do you grow outdoors, water your plants in the evenings. This will help to prevent the evaporation of the water during the day.
When your plants are 4 weeks old, water them twice a week and make sure you give them plenty of water, so you stimulate them to develop a strong and deep root system.
2.Take Care Of The Soil And The Use Of Pesticides
Do you want to grow cannabis in a sustainable way, take a good look at the soil your plants grow in. Go for organic super soil, which you can make yourself. It contains natural organic components, like perlite, fish bone meal, guano and worm castings.
You can also fertilize your plants in an organic way, with compost tea or homemade compost, using your old cutting waste. Or order one of the many organic nutrition products and make sustainable cannabis growing easy
It´s not that difficult to make your own compost to complete your organic cannabis growing methods. Make it easy on yourself by choosing coconut fibre. This is one of the most sustainable methods when growing cannabis and these fibres are a natural by-product.
Obviously, the use of pesticides is terrible for the environment. You don’t really need to use them, you can tackle pests in a more environmentally-friendly way. You will start to notice that the natural soil life will only improve this way. Snails and aphid for example, can be managed, by using their natural enemies and some nature knowledge.
3.Air And Air Flow
Depending on the size of your grow room, you’ll need at least one ventilator to ensure a good air circulation. In a small space one single fan might be enough. In larger rooms you’ll need several. Put them in strategic places, so all the plants can enjoy the fresh air flow.
Use passive intake systems to draw in fresh air. This way, you don’t need active fans that use electricity. This is generally enough for home breeding, since the grow rooms are usually small enough to manage without electric air inlets, adding yet another piece of sustainable cannabis growing to your personal appoaoch.
4.Artificial Or Natural Light
If you want to start to grow cannabis in a green and sustainable way, you want to get as many natural daylight into your growing room. Whether that’s possible, obviously depends heavily on your housing situation and the season.
Try to put your plants in a spot where they can catch as much natural light as possible. During wintertime this may only be a few hours and after sunset you can use artificial light. In summer you can use day light continuously. All in all, a significant saving of energy can be achieved.
Tips to use natural light to the max:
- Put your seedlings and cuttings, after germination, in the windowsill. Keep in mind that very young plants prefer indirect sunlight.
- Give your plants a sunny place outside.
- Does your grow room have big windows that allow sunlight to come in? Take a profit! Only turn the lights on after sunset.
5.Use Green Power
If it’s possible to switch to green power, that’s a great way to make your sustainable cannabis growing a bit greener still. This way you can reduce the carbon footprint of your grow. If you have the possibility, check if you can generate green electricity yourself, for example with solar panels or wind energy.
Sustainable Cannabis Growing With Seeds From Amsterdam Genetics
As you can see, there’s a lot you can do to minimize the negative impact on the environment when growing weed. Sustainable cannabis growing isn’t complicated and with a few minor steps you can come a long way. Every tiny bit helps, both for the environment as for your own financial situation. Besides, organically grown cannabis tastes and smells way better!
Many steps in this blog can be applied to both indoor and outdoor grows, by any grower and with every strain. But as a last suggestion for sustainable cannabis growing, we would like to emphasize that it always pays to order high-quality seeds. The yield you get from all your (environmental and electricity) investments is bigger when you use a better strain, so that’s another step towards sustainable cannabis growing.
No matter which seeds you order, with Amsterdam Genetics you can count on the best green yield from all your green sustainable cannabis growing adventures. So, choose your favorite strain right now and start going green today!