Blog

22

FEB

Coconut Coir Control

When people think of the coconut industry, they often only think of things like coconut water, coconut milk, the meat and so on. Believe it or not this is only the surface of the industry. There is more to it than meets the eye. What most people do not know is that almost all parts of the coconut tree have use. Even the bits that one would think are just thrown away. One of these bits happens to be the coir.

What is Coconut Coir?

Simply put, coconut coir is the outer husk of the coconut. In older times this husk was merely discarded without much use, then the benefits of this material were discovered. There are two types of coconut coir. White coir which comes from the un-ripened coconuts and brown coir which comes from the more mature ripe coconuts. Each of

these fibers has its own special properties. The white fibers are more flexible than the brown, but are not as strong. The brown fibers on the other hand are less flexible, but are far stronger than the white. You might be asking your self at this point what’s the purpose of these fibers?

How it’s used

Coconut coir has multiple use from garden to home. The most common of these would be the coconut coir pot. This pots provides nutrients to the plants and does not pull moisture away from the plant. This also comes with the added benefit of being organic, which means no plastic needed. With more advancements, simple designs like this can be taken to other levels to provide even better benefits while remaining organic and free of plastics.

Weed Blocking

One such use beginning to rise in popularity is the coconut coir weed blocker. Easy to use and can be adapted to many different sizes needed for your garden. Why is this beneficial you might ask? The primary purpose is of course blocking weeds, but also gives a bit more in terms of usefulness.

  • Water control
  • pest management
  • Blocks weeds
  • Environmentally friendly

Coconut coir has the ability to absorb up to 10x its weight in water. This can help retain moisture in the soil and prevent it from drying out and harming your garden while saving on water. As for insects, they do not like settling in coconut coir. This simple little barrier adds another layer of

defense to your plants. It is good for blocking weeds. Unlike the standard fabric, that can sometimes be a nuisance, these just slip right over your plan. With the coconut coir weed block you don’t need to worry about having a negative impact on the environment.

Conclusion 

Coconut coir is becoming a very useful item in and out of the garden. When something that has the benefits of being useful and environmentally friendly, it’s hard to pass up. Keeping a green thumb is a good way to help everyone along.  Using it as a simple weed blocker, a pot, or even a mat will give good benefits to all.

01

DEC

Inspirations

Many small things in life have a tendency to be overlooked. Often seen as not having much value or use, but a lot of the time, this isn’t the case. Creativity and ingenuity are the limits in ones ability to bring about change. Inspiration to do such things can come from any where.

Simple observations of nature can have the power to alter the course of history.  From the sheer beauty of the mountain peaks to the powerful display of storms, nature is one of the most influential and inspiring forces. Even the creatures that roam this planet have given rise to some of the greatest achievements. This inspiration from observing nature gives rise to new ideas. With these new ideas comes the challenge of expanding on such thought. Such a task has many roads to success. As Einstein said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Closer observations and study into the origin of an idea will give a great amount of detail needed to act.

There’s an old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The needs of something can give rise to great innovation. When a task takes too long, too difficult, or just approached from a different angle, this brings up the notion of a new way to complete a task. Like with observations of nature, it’s time to look at the source of that idea for change. Over time these ideas build upon each other. What was once a simple idea will become an achievement for generations to take inspiration from and expand upon.

At first glance coconut shells look to be of no use. As said before there’s more than meets the eye. For countless years coconut shells have been repurposed to better the lives of people. Simple and organic coconut bowls have allowed for easier dining and even greater ideas. Once the coconut bowl was seen as successful they began to be used for a more advanced form of storage. Purses and bags  have been used for centuries as an ease for carrying items. Like mentioned before necessity is the mother of invention. Taking a simple idea and improving on it.

24

NOV

Wonders of the Coconut Tree: Edible Delights

Both nutty and sweet, but provides you with a refreshing and nutritious treat. Coconuts have been a main staple in many households all over the world dues to its availability. Implemented in many different ways, the coconut is one of the most versatile fruits. The use of the coconut can vary from something as simple as cooking and a basic source of food to being used as a finish for carpentry.

They say water is the source of all life and coconuts have its own special type of water. Over the past few years, coconut water has been trending in the health industry. This is due to its ability to hydrate. Coconut water contains several different nutrients; such as potassium, sodium, magnesium which aid in hydration. To add onto this, coconut water can be used for many other delightful treats. Brewing a cup of tea or making pudding. Coconut water will add a healthy and gratifying spin on such simple indulgences. The nutty flavor of coconut water can also be used for dishes with meat, fish, and poultry. One popular use is for a simple chicken curry dish. With a little imagination and a touch of culinary skill, you can make any dish you can think of with the use of coconut water.

To add onto the delicious nutty flavor of the coconut water, the white flesh of the coconut is here to aid. The white flesh known as copra has more uses than that of the water. Simply crack open a coconut and one could eat the copra raw. To take it further, copra is dried out and used in many dishes all over the world and even in candy favorites. Like coconut water, copra has many different nutrients. From manganese, copper, and selenium to phosphorus, potassium, and iron copra has many health benefits. With these benefits comes a few drawbacks. These come in the form of high calories, potential weight gain, and even potentially higher cholesterol levels. One should be careful not to over indulge on this delightful fruit.

One might wonder where coconut milk and oil comes from within the coconut. Both of these are simply extracted from the copra. Do to this all you need is a bit of hot water, grated flesh of the coconut, a blender, and cheese cloth. Soak the grated coconut in the hot water for about 10 minutes then blend. You should have a lovely white grainy liquid. Then strain the mixture through the cheese cloth and squeeze out all that wonderful coconut milk. So what about the oil? The oil can be extracted by simply letting the coconut milk sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours where it will separate or you can simply boil the mixture until you have the oil left.

One of the most common uses for coconut milk is curry. This will create a fragrant and delicious stew of fish, meat or poultry. If curry isn’t your thing, soups or smoothies are always there to satisfy cravings. Like with the flesh of the coconut, the milk contains high amounts of fats, so be aware of the weight gain that can come along with excessive consumption. Sautee or fry, the oil has multiple uses in the kitchen. If food isn’t your thing, coconut oil also has uses in the cosmetic industry. Used in lotions and soaps, coconut oil has properties that help promote healthy skin.

The uses of this fruit are numerous and ever increasing with the demand for more sustainable products. Everyone can simply help by using more organic products. Why use plastic cups and bowls when the shell of the coconut can take its place? Stay tuned for the many uses of the once thought useless coconut shell!

 

 

14

NOV

Wonders of the Coconut Tree

Over countless years many nations have sought the benefits of the coconut tree. From providing nourishment to basic shelter and crafts, the uses can be countless. Some of the oldest record uses of the coconut tree dates back to the first century B.C. Native to the tropics, this tree requires warm humid weather, with the added bonus of having a high salinity tolerance.

Food! One of the primary staples of life. The coconut tree provides a nutritious treat for all to enjoy. The white meat of the coconut provides many health benefits. These include boosting heart health and fat loss. Coconut water has become a trend over the last few years. Hydrating, low in calories, and naturally free of fat, coconut water is a drink to be sought after. Finally, we have coconut oil. Both useful in cooking and health products, the industry has taken a liking to the product for its versatile uses.

Even the waste of the coconut tree has many uses. The coconut shells, once the meat is removed, can be fashioned into many useful things. The most obvious of these crafts would be a simple coconut bowl or planter. No need to use plastic when nature provides an excellent product of its own. Many South East Asian countries have deep tradition with creating artistic works of art with such a simple thing. Even the coconut husk has its uses. From rope to mats, and even its own type of planter, the fibers of the husk can be created into valuable assets for gardening and storing goods.

The leaves of the coconut tree have more uses than one would imagine. Though the most common use of these would be for thatched roofs, they have artistic qualities to them as well. Due to the shape and characteristics of the leaf, they are excellent for making weaved goods. Baskets, decorations, and even mats can be created and enjoyed by all.

The wood of the coconut tree is rather unique. It’s very heavy compared to other woods, and requires a bit more of a delicate touch. But like many other woods out there, it is good for building, crafts, and cooking. With the growth rate of the coconut tree, this wood is in great abundance making it a good option for sustainability.

Stay tuned for next week’s article as we dive deeper into the uses of the coconut tree!

26

JUL

Coconut Bio Fuels

There is an ever-present demand for more ecofriendly vehicles in this day in age. Tesla’s electric cars are growing in popularity and hybrid vehicles have been commonplace for over a decade. There is, however, a downside to full and hybrid electric vehicles. Firstly, batteries require rare earth minerals that need to be mined at great expense to the environment. Secondly, batteries have a useful life of a few years before they need to be replaced and contain a host of toxic chemicals complicating disposal. Thirdly, there is virtually no benefit from electric cars if the electricity is generated by fossil fuels which is the case in most parts of the world. A possible ecofriendly alternative to electric cars is ones powered by biodiesel. This fuel is created through a process called

transesterification where vegetable oils are processed and separated into methyl esters and glycerin. Methyl esters can be used to power diesel engines and glycerin has several useful applications such as the production of soap. Naturally, coconut oil can be used in this process due to its high fat content and hence high energy density. Biodiesel burns quite cleanly and does not produce many of the same pollutants created by burning conventional diesel. However, burning any material will result in the production of CO2 emission regardless of how cleanly it may otherwise burn. So does this discredit coconut oil as a potential ecofriendly biofuel? Not quite. This is since despite CO2 being released via burning coconut biodiesel, an equivalent amount of carbon will be sequestered in the process of going the coconuts since plant life converts CO2 into Oxygen. This process is known as the carbon cycle where there is a natural equilibrium between carbon and oxygen being released into the atmosphere leading to a minimal greenhouse effect.

 

13

JUL

Activated Coconuts

Go to any health or wellness store and you will see a new trend. Black toothpaste, face creams, soap, and many other household products. This new aesthetic is not just a marketing gimmick. Companies are increasingly adding activated carbon into their products promising anything from whiter teeth to full body detox. As with any new wellness trend, there are many questions as to their legitimacy. We all remember drinking raw apple cider vinegar or trying the whole gluten free diet within the last couple of years. This is not to say that either of those are ineffective. But, after all, they are trends and regardless of their usefulness, interest in them comes and goes. Activated carbon, however, is a different story. Although it has been thrust into the wellness spotlight, its use has been in the mainstream for quite some time. Activated carbon has incredible absorption capabilities. This is due to a high surface area that is compacted into just a small amount of black powder. What does this mean? Toxins can be very effectively absorbed by this substance making it an ideal filter. In other words, it is a powerful molecular sponge that has a wide variety of applications from treating drug overdoses to environmental cleanups. Coconut shells are an ideal candidate to produce activated carbon. They are a byproduct of an existing process that would otherwise be disposed. But how are coconut shells converted into a black powder? This is possible thanks to a process known as pyrolysis. In short, any organic material or “biomass” can be heated to a high temperature in an environment that has reduced oxygen. This breaks down the biomass without allowing it to burn. The result, if done properly, is charcoal. This charcoal is then “activated” by soaking it in a solution of either Calcium Chloride (a compound used in wastewater treatment) or Citric Acid (lemon juice). This activation, without going into any complex chemistry, gives the charcoal its large molecular surface area and the resulting product is activated carbon. Coconuts are particularly useful in creating this substance because compared to other recycled biomass, such as lumber used for construction, there are typically no chemical additives creating a safer and more eco friendly product. Many cultures around the world have been using coconut charcoal for both heating and traditional medicine for many generations. The many uses of coconut charcoal and activated carbon are a tribute to the broad range of applications that coconut shells as a waste product can provide.

07

JUL

Coconut Shells : Eco-Friendly Building Material?

During the so-called green rush, there has been a broad search for finding eco-friendly construction materials. Conventional building materials such as concrete and lumber are extraordinarily damaging to the environment both due to deforestation and heavy carbon dioxide emissions from manufacturing.

Nearly 61,000 acres of forest have been lost to the timber industry in 2017 (Source: Livescience.com) and nearly 8 % of the world’s CO2 emissions in 2016 were directly the result of manufacturing cement (Source: bbc.com). When searching or an eco-friendly building material, a durable and strong material is needed. Preferably one that is already a byproduct.

 

 

Although not very intuitive, coconut shells are being investigated as a potential eco-friendly building material. These shells are an abundant by product material that is carbon neutral. They are strong, waterproof, and aesthetically pleasing. A Mumbai based marketing professional (Manish Advani) and architect (Jayneel Trivedi) have spearheaded a project to create eco-friendly houses made from coconut shells. In the heavily impoverished slums of Mumbai, inexpensive building materials are in high demand and this demand could be partially met with the help of coconut shells. The duo uses this eco-friendly material along with scrap wood, metal, and other recycled goods to build small houses for poverty ridden communities all at a price below 200 US dollars.

This project is another testament to the versatility and usefulness of coconut shells and other eco-friendly materials. Not only can they be used to replace everyday household items but they can be used as a household themselves.

20

FEB

The Art Of Eco-War (part1)


The art of Eco-War

–part 1–

Our objectives are to raise ecological consciousness, to encourage and promote a more earth-friendly living and help you create smart strategies to ditch as much as possible your plastic consumption. To make a real difference we need to know that strategy is incumbent upon learning how to effectively minimize our waste and ecological footprint. Unluckily unsustainable habits like plastic are so embedded in our lives that it is impossible to get rid of them easily. Winning this ecological battle needs education, effort, and self-awareness.

So you think that a bunch of governments around the world increasingly awakening to the scale of plastic pollution and banning bags and straws will change the disastrous situation in which we are? Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg and we need to prepare for a wider scale “war” on pollution. Paraphrasing one of the best strategist of all time, Sun Tzu, to win a hundred battles we first need to know our enemy, our environment and ourselves.


Know your enemy:

For some decades plastic has been considered as the “miracle material”. The name plastic has its origin from the Greek “plastikos” which means to mold. The two most widely manufactured plastic is polyethylene and polypropylene. They were first produced in the ’60s for commercial purposes. The first plastic household to be commercialized was a basin and was meant to be a safer and more durable alternative to iron or wooden ones which could last forever. In fact, plastic items were demised to be passed down for generations. So what is gotten to us that we took an immortal material and we started creating single-use objects?

Today more than 50% of plastic production is meant to become single-use plastic and just 9% of it is recycled. Most of it is meant to become landfill or being thrown in the ocean. Our habits have been corrupted by something that insidiously entered our lives like an addiction. We are addicted to the hasty and unsustainable solution that plastic is given to us.  For medical procedures or during humanitarian disasters the use of plastic syringes and bottles is essential. It can save lives if used smartly. An estimated 100MILLION marine animals are killed each year by plastic. It can be a weapon of mass destruction if used ignorantly. By using organic containers, tableware, and reusable bags we can drastically reduce by 80% of our daily plastic waste and our ecological footprint.

KEEP READING PART2

20

FEB

Eco friendly toilet? Why not?

The world population is around 7.5 billion in 2018. An adult goes to the toilet 7 times a day for average.
Older toilets can use 3.5, 5, or even up to 7 gallons of water with every flush (before 1993). New toilets can use up to 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF).
That means ONE PERSON waste 6 gallons – 12 gallons per day.
– Around 3,987 gallons per year for toilet flush
– Average: 279,104 gallons for all life (70 years)
We are wasting 2,093,280 billion gallons for all our lives.
In while the water of the world’s largest freshwater lake – Lake Baikal Russia contains about 5,521 cubic miles of water (23,013 cubic kilometers) around 6,079,267 billion gallons. So just 3 years we can finish all the water of Lake Baikal for toilet flush ONLY.

19

FEB

The Art Of Eco-War (part2)


The Art Of Eco-War

–Part 2–

Know your environment:

We are now aware of the massive impact plastic is having on our planet. It is hard if not impossible to determine how much of these plastic has already fragmented in the ocean, turning it into a gigantic plastic broth. Studies until recently just focused on the amount of microplastic in the ocean. Microplastic particles get broken from bigger pieces( bags, toothbrushes, straws, bottles, etc…) by ocean currents and exposure to ultraviolet light on the surface of the oceans. Worldwide production in 2014 was 311 million tons. Biologists calculated that the total number of plastic particles in that year was some­where between 15 and 51 trillion. Altogether, these microplastics would weigh somewhere between 93,000 and 236,000 tons. 

What we really want is for companies to give us choices of more plastic-free products or products that can be reused or refillable. There is a broad range of materials sourced from nature that we can use as an alternative to plastic. For instance, we use coconut, bamboo, lepironia grass, loofah, and water hyacinth to make our products. We use them to craft loads of items we use every day and we often dispatch too soon.  These are just a few of the incredible range of materials mother nature gave us. Following are other examples of  incredible alternatives to plastic: 


  • Bagasse: Is a natural material similar to polystyrene. It’s a byproduct that comes from sugarcane waste. Perfect for delivery packaging. It’s biodegradable, compostable and sustainable.
  • Seaweed: A British startup called Ohoo created a seaweed water bubble as an alternative to plastic bottles. It’s both economic and very efficient.
  • Corn and Hemp: They are well-known miraculous plants. Their many uses in diverse fields make them two of the best plants on the planet. Ranging from food to medicine, from clothing fabric to bioplastic, we have just started to understand the true properties and functionalities of these 2 plants.
  • Stone: The primordial and fundamental material for the beginning of civilization and civil engineering. From time to time we have been using it for architectural construction, masonry, tools, pottery, and ornaments. Little we know, of the most recent discoveries about stone’s capabilities tho. Surprisingly, paper can be made out of stones with less water and more energy efficiency than conventional paper. Being printable, water-resistant and recyclable, it’s a more than valid alternative to paper and plastic. It could be used for packaging, books or disposable food delivery bags and containers.

KEEP READING PART 3

 

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