“When you smoke a blunt, you are responsible for two pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.” – journalist David Pescovitz on the findings of energy analyst Evan Mills
“If we approach nature and the environment without this openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs.” – Pope Francis
That is the fully fucking cool pope who doesn’t get judgy over the LGBT community and is into being chill, speaking in a “papal encyclical” (memo) about climate change and how we’re all a bunch of dummies who are thoughtlessly consuming and producing goods while our tailpipes are spewing carbon monoxide at such high rates that they’re burning all our ecological bridges as soon as we cross them.
And hell, if the pope is that hip and modern then maybe us dabber potheads ought to look at how some of our actions might affect this big planet we’re hotboxing more and more everyday.
According to a 2011 study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, marijuana is responsible for 1% of all electricity in these United States. In California, that figure was 3%. And this was, uh, four years ago – four big years in the expansion of the American cannabis industry. So, if those numbers were legit then, they’re probably not legit now – they’re probably pretty small compared to the real figures.
So, what can we do? So glad you asked…
- Smoke outdoor-grown product
Maybe you love the dro. You probably do. You almost definitely do. But between lights, heat, and irrigation, smoking indoor versus smoking outdoor is like driving a Humvee versus a Tesla. Like National Geographic wrote in an article on the subject, “Shifting cultivation outdoors eliminates most energy uses.”
- Buy local product
For most wax and flowers, that’s not hard. Because laws are state-wide, most legal and medical weed has to come from nearby. And the days of smoking brick schwag that’s travelled thousands of miles is pretty much over. But in a few years, it’s very possible that there will be national suppliers – and they’ll probably be rich, which means their operations will be bigger and their product cheaper. Then we’ll have a farmer’s market situation where you have to make a conscious choice to get locally made dabibles.
- Buy local accessories
Wherever you are in the country, you’re probably not more than 50 miles from a great glass blower. So, if you want to get a new piece, even a badass crazy custom insane bastard of a rig, you probably have a good local option that will save a little fuel in UPS or Post Office shipping. Sites like GlassPipes.org are good sources for finding small, local artists showcasing their wares.
- Bring your own container
If you’re making frequent runs to a dispensary or pot shop near you, then it’s easy to build up towers of plastic dank tubes. Roll in with your own special case to deposit your bud or bhomb and you cut down on plastic manufacturing just a little. Maybe it’ll be like Starbucks and they’ll start taking a chunk off your donation amount if you bring your own tube or cube.
- Dab with a torch, not an enail
Gas stoves use less energy than electric ones. That’s because it doesn’t take time for gas to warm up. You light it and it’s lit. Whereas electric coils have to build up the energy to get hot. While there are no hard scientific studies to prove that energy efficiency falls the same way in a torch vs. enail contest, the same principles should apply. Yeah, enails are cool and classy. But so are polar bears and breathing, so you know, think about it.
We’re a bunch of hypocrites, but we’re trying
Yes, you’re probably going to catch us DabsMag fools breaking from every single one of these suggestions from to time. But the truth is we came up with this list to try to make ourselves more conscientious on the effect of cannabis use on the ecosystem. Hopefully it can do the same for some of our readers. Because – gall dangit! – we want our children and grandchildren to have a planet to dab on.