How to Recycle a Lemon
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“How to Recycle a Lemon,” Friend, Aug.–Sept. 1983, inside front cover


How to Recycle a Lemon

Summertime is lemonade time. You can buy powdered, bottled, or frozen lemonade. Here is a way to make yourself a glass of fresh lemonade and use what’s left of the lemon to aid the environment!

First, be sure your lemon is at room temperature. Then roll it on a table or a counter until it is soft, to release the juice. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice by hand into a glass, or use a juicer. Save the seeds and the rinds. Fill the glass with cold water, stir in one or two teaspoonfuls of honey, and—PRESTO—fresh lemonade!

Dry the seeds for a few days, then place them in the refrigerator and save them till later.

Here are some ways to recycle the lemon rinds. Lemon rinds can be used for painting. Mix three tablespoonfuls of flour with enough water to make a thick paint. Mix in a few drops of food coloring. Pour the paint into a flat pan, and dip the cut end of the rind into the mixture. Stamp a pattern onto a sheet of paper.

When you have finished painting, rinse the rinds and let them dry. Fill each lemon half with birdseed and set it out for the birds. A wire can be pushed through the rinds and used to tie the bird feeders to a tree or post.

When the lemon rinds start to shrivel up and can no longer hold birdseed, cut them into small pieces. Bury the cut-up pieces about six inches deep. Draw a picture of a lemon on a flat, wooden stake and mark the spot.

In a few months the lemon rinds will have decayed and almost disappeared. When vegetable and plant matter is returned to the earth, it enriches the soil. This rich soil makes an ideal planting mixture. Fill a flowerpot with the mixture and plant your lemon seeds, pointed end up, about one-fourth inch deep. Set the pot in a sunny location and keep the soil moist. In about two weeks your seeds will sprout, and soon the green leaves of your new lemon tree will appear.

Illustrated by Sharon Seegmiller