Banana peels are a bigger deal than people think. It is still the top-selling fruit in this country and Americans eating approximately 3.2 million pounds of bananas every year — which totals a whopping 304 bananas every second! The problem is that bananas do have a heavy impact on the environment: most are grown near the Equator and are picked while they are still green and go into ripening rooms, where they are exposed to ethylene gas. They are then transported over long distances to grocery stores and then to home and from there, the peels usually wind up in a landfill, where they emit methane, a gas which has been implicated in the greenhouse effect. However, there are ways to reuse banana peels and keep them out of the landfills and hopefully have less impact on environmental quality. Below are 10 simple ways to reuse these helpful peels.
Tomato Plant Fertilizer
Wrap a banana peel around your tomato plants. The peel will slowly decompose and allow your tomato to gain nutrients from it throughout the growing season.
Indoor Plant Feeder
Soak a banana peel in an airtight jar of water, then dilute one part of the banana water to five parts regular water. Put in a watering can and use on indoor plants to feed and nourish them.
Add banana peels to your compost pile. They break down quickly and will add a lot of nutrients as well as good texture to your compost so you can use it on your lawn and garden.
Rub a banana peel on a rash, insect bite, poison ivy reaction or even psoriasis to help calm and soothe the skin. It will help promote healing for many minor skin irritations.
If you raise animals, banana peels that have been dried up and ground make an excellent supplement to animal feed and is safe for chickens, pigs, rabbits and other livestock.
The flavor of banana-peel vinegar makes it an excellent dressing for a number of fresh vegetables. The recipe for this vinegar can be found at sustainableamerica.org/bananas.
The next time you make a roast, add a banana peel to the roast pan to keep meat from toughening or drying out during cooking. It will keep the meat naturally moist and tender.
If you boil the banana peel for ten minutes, then put it through a juicer or blender, you can add this to smoothies for extra nutrients, fiber and antioxidants.
Bird and Butterfly Attractor
Lay out ripe banana peels in the garden on a raised platform. Birds and butterflies alike will come flocking in, attracted by the sweetness. It can attract bees, too, so be careful!
Leather and Silver Polish
Banana peels make an excellent polish for leather clothing or furniture: just rub it on then buff with a soft cloth. It is also excellent for shining silver.
So even the humble banana peel can serve a number of different uses throughout the house. Using them can save you money on household expenses and can also save room in a landfill and keep our air just a little bit cleaner. Everybody wins!
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