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Eco-Friendly Methods of Cannabis Cultivation


Eco weed is all the rage nowadays, but green and clean are more than a set of buzzwords. The world is collectively turning towards greater sustainability, the 420 industry included. If not done carefully, cannabis can leave a carbon footprint. Of course, the burden is on commercial manufacturers, but each grower can do their part in saving the planet. Whether keeping a single crop from Mendocino Purps seeds or harboring large-scale ambitions, these five tips help you stay clean while growing green.


Buy From Sustainable Brands

Eco-friendly cannabis cultivation begins with the right purchase decisions. What you buy matters, but who you buy from is also important.

Sustainable branding can point you towards companies prioritizing eco-friendliness. Packaging and behind-the-scenes operations further differentiate compliant agents from harmful ones.

Whether you’re getting seeds, pots, fertilizers, or gadgets, look for brands that:

  • Follow state-based sustainability regulations
  • Skip single-use plastics and incentivize recycling
  • Source products by using eco-friendly practices
  • Invest in green programs and lobby for new laws

Doing so doesn’t only improve your future garden. You’re showing cannabis companies that sustainability is in high demand.

Organic Outdoor Cultivation

Outdoor growing is far greener than indoor cultivation. If the law and your climate allow, choose this energy-efficient alternative.

The outdoor method is cheaper and healthier. Spending time outside aids your physical and mental health, so there’s more than weed to reap from this sustainable approach.

Outdoor growing reduces your expenditures and environmental impact. You use sunlight instead of lamps, and rainfall supplements your watering. The soil is rich in microbial life, reducing the need for artificial fertilizers.

To take things one step further, keep your garden 100% organic. That means no more harsh fertilizers, insecticides, or artificial agents. This approach can also involve natural ways to feed, water, and shelter your crops.

Organic gardening for eco weed includes:

  • Encouraging microbial life like worms, algae, and bacteria
  • Using natural protectants from pests and disease, like neem oil
  • Feeding the soil with organic nutrients like worm castings and compost
  • Capturing, purifying, and using rainwater on your marijuana plants

Energy-Efficient Indoor Setups

Optimizing your indoor setup is the next best thing if outdoor growing is impossible. This project starts with the right equipment.

Without access to sunlight, indoor plants rely on lamps, which are effective but often energy-intensive. A marijuana crop needs about 18 light hours a day in the vegetative stage and 12 while flowering. Electricity usage quickly adds up.

One way to slash consumption is by using LED lights. These modern systems offer greater efficiency, transforming most electricity into light and very little into heat. They also boast outstanding durability, with up to 50,000 operational hours before needing an upgrade.

Transitioning to renewables is another way to cut utility bills and your effect on the planet. Powering your space with wind or solar produces no greenhouse gasses, and it’s better for your budget.

The third and final method is climate control made cleaner. Drop humidifiers and AC units and install a chill water system to cool and moisten the air.

Reduce Water & Chemical Use

Cannabis is eco-friendly by design, but is marijuana cultivation sustainable? Some people say it could be damaging to the Earth. Your choice of water and nutrients make or break the clean cultivation plan.

Marijuana can be water-intensive in indoor and outdoor setups. Growers must start reducing water use, especially in areas with frequent droughts and little rainfall. They can do so by:

  • Shifting the watering strategy—rely on frequency and use an automated system to control the amounts.
  • Catching and storing aqua—install pipes on all available roof space. Use a dehumidifier to trap excess air moisture.
  • Watching for excessive evaporation—increase the distance between lamps and plants or use a recirculating hydro system.

Besides being mindful of water use, check your fertilizers and pesticides for toxic chemicals. They can harm the surrounding land, plant and animal life, and your yield.

Reduce the use of artificial ingredients as much as possible. Sow companion crops to fend off insects, use natural nutrient sources, and pick non-toxic store-bought solutions if they’re necessary.

Skip Plastic Containers

The final eco-friendly cannabis practice is one you should apply across the board. Plastic waste harms the oceans and makes landfills overflow. Why not skip single-use and mass-produced tools and packaging?

First, look at your plant containers. Plastic pots are cheap and easy to come by, but once they inevitably break, they can spend over a thousand years degrading. Meanwhile, they end up in oceans, rivers, and lakes.

Fabric pots consist of clean, washable materials with excellent reusability. They provide better irrigation, helping you preserve some water in the process!

Plastic containers make their way into the post-harvest stages, too.

You might use plastic jars or bags to cure and keep your flowers, but sustainable packaging makes a difference. Choose glass curing jars and bioplastic or hemp bags for the bud stash.

Go Green for Growing Green

Large manufacturers are the world’s most significant pollutants, but individuals play a role in keeping weed production environmentally friendly.

Hop on the bandwagon and make your contribution. Adopt these tips to green-ify your grow op and increase demand for clean cultivation solutions.

Now that you know how to become a more eco-friendly cannabis user and cultivator, why not put your skills to practice? Buy seeds to grow weed at home and get better, more sustainable buds for your effort.

Kyle Kushman

Kyle Kushman is an American writer, educator, activist and award-winning cannabis cultivator and breeder specializing in veganic cultivation. He is a representative of Homegrown Cannabis CO company, has been a contributor for over 20 years, and has taught courses in advanced horticulture at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California and across the United States. Kushman also hosts a cannabis podcast called “The Grow Show with Kyle Kushman”.