Oranges and lemons … and bananas

On Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) we pick up literally hundreds of banana skins. After all, everyone knows that they’re a good source of energy.

However, whilst they may be good for you, the remains are not good for the soil, and not everyone appreciates that discarding the skins  is leaving organic litter. Aside from being unsightly, they take up to two years to fully decompose, but worst of all is the fact that – because they’re not native – they alter the low acidic pH of the already fragile soil.

As a colleague of mine has been known to point out to offenders, “Look around. Do you see any banana trees?”

(And yes, we’ve met many people who think that the reason we pick up banana skins is to stop people slipping up on them. Been watching too many cartoons, methinks.)

Oranges fall into the same category. Again, many people think that they can happily discard orange peel knowing that it will decompose. Yes it will – eventually – but it’ll poison the soil while it’s doing so.

Sometimes my heart sinks when I see orange peel, because when most people peel an orange they remove the peel in dozens of pieces, which is left scattered around. And where a group of people have sat having an orange-fest, there can be literally a hundred pieces which need picking up.

I have a dream – that one day everybody will learn how to peel an orange in one piece, so that this organic orange litter can be picked up as easily as organic banana litter.

Well, actually, I have two dreams – the second one being that people won’t drop litter in the first place, organic or otherwise.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video showing how to peel an orange in one piece!

OK, so where do the lemons come in? Do people really take and discard lemons too?  Well, yes, we do occasionally find them!

(See also our page on ‘leaving no trace’.)

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