Many of us try and practice one or more simple habits as our contribution towards sustainable living and environmental conservation. It may be recycling or using LED bulbs or giving up bottled water. Each of these are good and proven way to combat global warming. There are also confusing and rather eye washing green habits which some of us pickup from social networking site or some blogs. Just as life is not black and white but 256 shades of grey, green too has many shades and what we think is green may turn out more aquamarine. Some of the popular green habits don’t contribute towards greener environment. Some of them may even cause more harm than good.One of such green fad is seed dispersal.
Social networking sites daily popup at least 5 shares of such messages, “wash and keep mango, jamun seeds to spread them on the sides of highway when you travel.” Well this is a complete waste and does more harm indirectly as people think they have done their green duty and have license now to abuse the nature.
Why is this waste? The reasons in short are-
- Seed selection
- More beneficial usage
Land– Every tree is different and just spreading seeds may not grow into a tree. A dasheri mango will not grow outside of Malihabad (UP) neither will Alphonso grow out of Maharashtra. I think evolution has made the fruit trees stop growing in the wilds once humans started to cultivate them. There are hundreds of year old Avocado trees in Mexico which are growing wild but now throwing seeds out will not grow an avocado tree. I am growing one right now with special care. It needs to be soaked three fourth in water for about two months to finally sprout.
Animals– When I argue about soil and other conditions of seed spreading I usually get a standard reply, “Let us do our duty even if 2 trees come out of 10 seed,” Well a tree doesn’t come out overnight and free roaming cattle love to eat Mango saplings. Similarly for Jamun and Avocado saplings too. On any highway I have not seen any barren land far away from any type of civilization. Be it a village or a township. You may find Banyan, Peepal, our other evergreens on the sides of highway but definitely no eatable-fruit trees.
Water– Throwing seeds on a dry land won’t sprout them. Seeds need to be soaked in water or the soils covering them should be moist constantly till it sprouts. It has to be raining properly for them to sprout. Also washing seeds at home makes you spend water which is precious.
Seed Selection– Choosing the seed is very important. Right seeds for the type of soil, water conditions and disliked by animals for a particular location where its thrown. A topic for a doctorate dissertation. Which Involves studying botany, soil science, weather science, animal behaviours and social behaviour of humans of that region. I would rather spend time in finding other uses of seeds.
Beneficial usage– There are many other usage of such seeds which promote healthy natural living with lot of money saved.
–If you are buying organic seeds you can always preserve few for future generations as non-GM heirloom seeds. May cost a lot after few decades when there wont be any natural seed left.
–If you are blessed with a piece of land sow them for your kids to enjoy.
–Some of the seeds like Jamun can be dried, grinded and eaten for controlling blood sugar levels. It’s an age old Ayurvedic recipe. Mango seed powder is used in many diseases. (click)
–Collect bigger seeds for entire season dry them properly in shade and take them to an oil press to get oils. Mango, avocado, apricot oils are extremely therapeutic and very costly too. It’s difficult to find pure variety. Recently pumpkin seeds are finding great use as a natural remedy for hormonal balancing. Pumpkin seed oil is found to be good for hair fall in men.
–Mango Avocado and Apricot seeds find use in homemade beauty recipes (Click to read how to use seeds in our beauty regime).
–Mango kernel powder finds many medicinal uses. (Click)
Find benefits of seed rather than throwing them away unless you are sure of them popping and will give a tree finally.