Coconut-based products are in high demand–from oil to water to the delicious white flesh of the coconut itself. Sadly, over 99% of coconut shells are discarded and burned. The methane and CO2 emitted by these millions of shells are harmful to the environment and the air we breathe.
You may not realize how versatile coconut shells can be. By up-cycling the entire coconut instead of just its contents, you’re protecting the environment and creating something meaningful that you can use or gift to someone else. Here are just a few of the many ways you can use coconut shell bowls. Spread the word and save the world–one coconut at a time.
Coconuts have a natural, woody-looking finish that artificial materials try to emulate but can’t quite duplicate. Each coconut shell is a bit different than every other, with gradient patterns and varying hues of tans and browns. Carved-out coconuts make beautiful bowls and kitchen utensils that last a lifetime if cared for properly. Imagine serving snacks at your next dinner party from a one-of-a-kind, sustainable bowl that was saved from waste and up-cycled into a practical work of art.
2. Vases and planters
Window gardens and indoor herbs are becoming increasingly popular as a way to grow healthy, organic food, even in flats or homes with limited space. Coconut bowls are the perfect size for a small plant or potted herb to thrive in a windowsill or on a balcony. They are more interesting and unique than a regular flower pot and double as a lovely decoration.
Shells are also the ideal size for succulent plants. Try planting a variety of different succulents in different shells for an eclectic garden that requires minimal space. If you are very short on counter space, try drilling holes in the top of the shell and attaching a rope for a unique hanging planter to place in a window or in an outside garden.
Coconut shells make the perfect earthy, organic home for candles. You can either purchase beeswax, melt it and add essential oils to it or buy a candle and melt it to pour into the shell. While white wax looks elegant with the brown of the coconut shell, you can experiment with natural dyes to create any colour of candle you wish.
To add a wick, place it in the centre of the shell until the wax has hardened enough that the wick remains upright when you let it go. Make sure to trim the excess wick to keep the flame from burning too high.
4. Decorative items
Use coconut shells as containers to hold small trinkets or candy. When the shells are polished with a natural oil like coconut or linseed oil, it turns to a glossy sheen that rivals any exotic wood. For a more challenging project, try drilling a pattern of holes into the shell and placing it over a small battery-operated candle for a unique light. Coconut shells also make excellent craft materials for children, who will love adding stickers, colouring, and creative designs for a gift to present to their parents.
5. Bird feeders
Coconut shells make perfect bird feeders. Drill a couple of holes at the top of the shell and string or rope for a hanging feeder, or place the shell on a window ledge and fill it with birdseed to attract feathered friends all year long.
You are only limited by your own imagination when it comes to reusing coconut shells. Just be sure that the shell is clean and dry before you begin your project to ensure the result you want. Have fun creating!