The Banana Project

The other day I noted my fav beverage was a banana smoothie , so I do have a penchant for them. But these sweet, yellow, bendy things with their biodegradable packaging can be green, even when they are not ripe. To this end, a Japanese development program, supports the Banana Project in Jamaica and Haiti. And being Japanese they know thing or two about papermaking, so are passing on their skills and knowledge to women's groups and small businesses. In order that they might provide for their own paper needs and export the results of labours, thus keeping them out of those poverty traps we call cities. Often mistaken referred to as tree, Banana is really a grass. It grows for say 60 days, flowers and bears its yummy fruit. Then promptly dies. Kaput. Fini. Once that stalk has born fruit it never will again. Well, almost never...Look closely at the root stock and you should spy a new budding fresh stalk aiming skyward, Lopping off that old stalk will not harm the plant. On the contrary it can now transfer energy to the new stalk. This can go on for two decades. But a lot of excess foliage does result. A lot. Over 1 billion tonnes worldwide. But give the award winning Banana Project 20 trained staff and they can turn 1 tonne of this so called banana harvest 'waste' into 24,000 sheets of chemically free A4 notebook paper, every day. By promoting tree-free paper they are giving "the lungs" of the world a chance to breathe. All hail the banana - long live the forests. ::The Banana Project [by WM]