Is it OK to toss an apple core or banana peel outside?

I do a lot of walking around our village and often see discarded fruit. I guess people, will toss an apple core into the hedge and figure the squirrels or birds will be happy with the fruity treat.

But I’m not so sure our jettisoned apple remains are such a good idea.3389124067_9b70b6254d

You’ve no doubt been walking in the park or on a trail and have seen a banana peel or orange rind lying on the ground. The outdoorsy person who tossed them no doubt thought the fruit remains would biodegrade eventually.

Of course they will. But it won’t happen overnight. It will be a long wait an apple core can take two months to decompose and a banana peel can take up to two years. Although that’s a mere blip compared to the estimated decomposition time for plastics — 20 years for a plastic bag, 200 years for a straw or 450 years for a plastic bottle — it’s not like these food items will disintegrate quickly.

Think about it: Do we eat banana peels or orange peels? We do not. So why would a squirrel? An apple core is edible, certainly, but if it is not part of the animal’s daily diet, imagesthey do just fine on nuts, berries.

A danger to animals

There’s another element of this to think about, too. When animals start to get their food from people, they may stop foraging for their own food in nature. This is very dangerous, because animals need a varied diet to get all the nutrients they need.GreySquirrel3_JasonSteel_950

Food waste also attracts animals to areas where there are a lot of people.

Food thrown alongside roads draws wildlife nearer to roadways and increases the likelihood they will end up as road kill. Suddenly, that apple core doesn’t seem so innocent anymore.

Breaking the law

If the welfare of animals isn’t enough to deter you, then what about legal motivation? Whether you’re tossing banana peels or fast food containers, litter is litter.

You could get fined, that’s a hefty price to pay for a banana peel or an apple core. Better to keep it with you and throw it away — or better yet, compost it — when you get home.

Julie

 

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