In the age of consumerism, we must search for more sustainable ways to use raw materials. Products made from non-renewable resources or slowly renewable resources can no longer be the standard; the rate of consumption disallows this practice as we are quickly running out of raw materials like fossil fuels and timber.
Instead, we need to turn to quickly renewable raw materials. These include bamboo, coconut, and other natural materials that are rapidly regenerative, create high-quality products, and will eventually return to the earth post-disposal. The planet is currently in a crisis, and if we are to survive, we must pivot toward more sustainable practices.
The good news is that wise environmental decisions are good for business, too. Customers seek out companies that take sustainability seriously, and this includes the products that they offer. Here at Minimali, we make it easy to provide gorgeous, contemporary kitchenware to your customers that also boast the highest standards of sustainability.
Coconut shells offer an incredibly useful raw material that can be made into a variety of kitchen items. It’s durable, aesthetic, and it’s made from a part of the coconut that’s typically discarded. This means that products made from coconut shells rescue potential refuse, helping to close the loop surrounding agricultural waste.
Here are the benefits of products made from coconut and coconut bowls that your plastic-free customers will love.
Environmental benefits of coconut as a raw material
Coconuts are a vastly grown crop; 92 countries around the world produce coconuts. This makes them an expansive resource that must be tapped into.
Historically, coconut has mostly been used for its meat, creating ingredients like coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut water. However, the husk and shell are often ignored, in spite of their offerings as raw materials.
Often characterised as agricultural waste, most coconut shells are either thrown out or burned. Burning coconut shells releases methane and carbon into the air, contributing to air pollution. Besides these environmental considerations, it also wastes tons of raw material that can be used for a number of purposes.
By using coconut as a raw material, we are not only using a material that’s already readily available to us, but we’re also rescuing thousands of shells from being burned and, ultimately, adding to the climate crisis.
As a crop, coconut trees are also quite sustainable. One tree yields an average of 60 coconuts per year, and high-yielding trees can produce up to 100 in a year. This makes them highly regenerative. With a single coconut offering a plethora of uses (more information below), this makes it an incredibly sustainable and economic plant.
Social benefits of coconut crops
Coconuts offer huge opportunities for economic gain.
In Ben Tre in Vietnam, for example, the vast number of coconut trees offer plenty of opportunities to make use of this resource. For example, one Vietnamese company is turning coconut shells into activated charcoal, making much-needed use of coconut material that would have been thrown away.
Similarly, here at Minimali, we create coconut bowls from their shells, offering an aesthetic and biodegradable alternative to plastic kitchenware.
Over 200,000 families grow coconuts in Ben Tre alone, and ventures such as these support farming communities in new ways, taking advantage of a sustainable crop and supporting local economies. In the Mekong Delta, where climate change has had a disproportionate effect on community members, this economic support is especially important.
Vietnam is not the only country that can benefit from increased usage of coconuts as raw materials. In other countries where coconut crops are popular, like India and the Phillipines, coconut farms are often run by low-income families in poor areas. By expanding the use of coconuts, it helps support small family-run farms all over the world.
Uses for coconut
While coconuts have typically only been used for their food products, there are a plethora of other uses that the coconut can provide.
The coconut husk, also known as coconut fiber, can be made into brooms, cleaning items, floor mats, mattresses, and more. The fibrous makeup of the husk makes it perfect as a textile for products that require durability.
Coconut shells can also create activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is used for a wide variety of purposes, from absorbing toxins in the stomach to cosmetic applications.
The husks can also be used for building materials. Coconuts are more regenerative than trees, and so flooring and framing made from coconut material can be an excellent alternative to timber in order to combat deforestation.
The shells can also be used for biodegradable kitchenware. The modern kitchen is filled with serving utensils and other kitchenware made of plastic, and coconut shells are often discarded and burned. By making them into kitchenware, we can replace plastic in the kitchen while making use of agricultural waste before the shells are burned, adding methane and carbon dioxide to the environment. It’s a win-win!
Offer coconut bowls and utensils as an alternative to plastic kitchenware
Plastic is nearly ubiquitous in the kitchen. Almost every gadget and kitchen item that we have contains plastic. Although reusable plastic is always better than single-use plastic, it’s still very likely to one day end up as plastic pollution. Only about 10% of plastic waste gets recycled, and 60% of all plastic waste produced since the 1950s has been discarded. Once discarded, plastic does not degrade. Rather, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, called microplastics, poisoning our environment and harming our wildlife. In fact, microplastics have been found in human break milk, blood, and placenta as well, showing that plastic pollution has a real impact.
The only way to reduce the plastic pollution problem is by removing plastic from our lives. Besides being a sustainable choice, offering natural products over plastic kitchenware is good for business, too. Consumers want to support companies that make it easy for them to be sustainable, and by offering all-natural kitchen products that are useful and stylish, you can make their sustainability journey an easy one.
At Minimali, we offer a wide variety of coconut bowls to complement any kitchen. Our designs lean into the aesthetic beauty of coconut, perfect for homes that have a more natural flair. We also have bowls with colorful resin lining, adding a splash of color for a more contemporary feel. Besides bowls, we provide soap holders carved in a beautiful and unique way, offering a blend of natural sophistication and artistry.
All of our products are 100% natural and biodegradable, and they uphold the highest social and sustainability standards; you and your customers can feel good about each and every product that we offer.
Interested in taking the sustainable step by offering plastic-free products to your customers? Contact us today!