Want Cleaner Water? Bury a Pumpkin or Eat a Banana
Who knew that throwing a banana peel in the river might help remove toxic
metals? (Though I advise further research before trying this).
From this Learn and Teach post on research into buried pumpkins by Lauren, (Grade 11)
I recently read an interesting journal article that discussed the ability of banana peels to remove copper and lead from polluted river water. The success of this research was attributed to the presence of carboxylic groups in the banana peel (Castro 2011). Shortly after I read this article, my neighborhood and much of the East Coast experienced historic flooding. As I walked past our garden, I noticed pumpkins growing and anticipated creating jack-o’-lanterns. I wondered if the waste from pumpkins might also be successful at removing heavy metal ions. Considering the size of the pumpkins, they would produce more waste than banana peels.