Friday, 25 May 2018

From Orange to Green

Two ecologists  merged with a fruit juice company, Del Oro, based in Costa Rica in the year 1997. The fruit company had some land with the borders of Guanacaste Conservation Area which was a national park. A plan was made where the juice company dumped 1000 truckloads of waste orange peels in an unproductive pasture land.

             The experiment was almost abandoned and forgotten. The experiment in which Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs approached Del Oro with a unique opportunity. The experiment ended up producing an amazing landscape. In 2013, around 15 years after the dumping stopped, the researchers found that the dumping area was thriving. When this plan was revealed, everyone was shocked. That place was once a beautiful rainforest in the amazon. People had been burning down the forest to make way for palm oil industries. After dumping the waste, the land was left untouched for over a decade.

            The orange peels had decomposed and laid the foundation for a new life in the barren land to flourish. The trees had grown tall and strong. A number of species of animals had moved into the area. It can be said that fully deforested areas can be turned back into new lively forests. There was an increase of 176 percent in aboveground biomass. It was overgrown with trees and vines.

            There were two types of soils found in the area. One covered with orange wastes and other not covered with orange wastes. The one covered with orange wastes were fertilised, had richer soil, more trees, and greater forest canopy. Hence, this has been one of the best methods of using leftovers to help the environment.

                                                                                                          - By Aarzoo Kareer

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