Are Coconut Shells Recyclable?

There’s nothing as relaxing as taking a sip of cool coconut water during a hot summer day. Not only is it deeply hydrating but it also has tons of health benefits.

All things considered, it is quite beneficial to have a steady supply of coconuts.

There is one downside though – coconut shell disposal can be tricky, especially on a large scale.

So how do you sustainably dispose of coconut shells? Can you recycle them? Or should you just throw them out?

These are the questions we intend to answer in this post.

Can you recycle coconut shells?

Yes, coconut shells can be recycled. In some places, you can even throw them in the food recycling collection bin.

How can you recycle coconut shells?

If you live in an area that accepts coconut shells for recycling, ensure you break them into small pieces before throwing them in the food recycling bin.

Apart from using your area’s recycling facilities though, you can also “recycle” them yourself by turning your coconut shells into bowls. The process isn’t even complicated – here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Pull off the hair from the outside of the coconut shell.
  2. Use 80-grit sandpaper to smoothen the outside of the shell and follow it up with a 240-grit one and then a 400-grit one.
  3. Saw the shell into even halves and smoothen its insides using 80-grit, 240-grit, 400-grit sandpapers.
  4. Rub some mineral into the two halves and let them soak it in for 20 minutes. Afterward, wipe away any excess oil. Repeat this process at least 3 times.
  5. Care for your 2 new bowls appropriately. Use water and mild soap to hand wash them – don’t use a dishwasher.

How do you properly dispose of coconut shells?

If you can’t recycle your coconut shells at home or at a local recycling facility, the only options you have left are to reuse, compost, or throw them away in the trash.

If you choose to compost them though, keep in mind that they take a long time to fully break down – it could even take years.

This means that even if you throw them out and they end up in a landfill, they will be there for a long time.

Ultimately, it is more sustainable and practical to reuse coconut shells. Fortunately, there are several ways to do so.

Some of the most common ways how to reuse coconut shells are:

  • Using them as plant pots: One of the easiest and fastest ways to repurpose your coconut shells is to cut them into halves and use each piece as a plant pot. Just ensure that each half has a few holes at the bottom for drainage and then place them in your garden. If you’re planning to plant indoors, place the pot in another coconut shell half instead.
  • Using them as bird feeders: You can easily make two bird feeders by cutting a coconut shell in half, making holes at the bottom of each half, and filling it with seed, lard, and other bird foods.
  • Using them as candle holders: Coconut shells make surprisingly good candle holders. All you have to do is clean them, place wicks inside and add some wax.

Seek to reuse and recycle

At the end of the day, the best way to get rid of coconut shells is to reuse or recycle them. The more of these shells you reuse or recycle, the better!

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