We are living in a society where our natural resources are being heavily consumed every day, placing pressure on the planet & affecting environmental, economic & social systems. As consumers, we need to seek products that are more sustainable for our planet. So what do we really mean when we say ‘sustainable’?
The term sustainability relates to environmental sciences where the aim is to avoid being harmful to the earth & cease from depleting its natural resources whilst supporting long-term ecological balance. So where do we start? Let’s look at the humble coconut tree, which provides nutrition, fuel & shelter for many communities.
The cultivation of coconuts is one of the most sustainable practices in the world, as it uses every part of the plant for a myriad of different functions. Many different cultures recognise the significance of this tree for commercial & domestic uses & it is commonly known as The Plant of Life. Holistic uses of the coconut tree include:
Coconut root – used as a dye, mouthwash and frayed pieces as a toothbrush
Coconut trunk – to make furniture, houses, drums and canoes
Coconut leaves – as brooms, baskets, mats, cooking utensils and roofing
Coconut husks – for plant pots and flooring materials
Coconut shells – musical instruments, bowls and handicrafts
Coconut meat – for coconut oil, milk, cream and nectar
Coconut sap – candy, coconut sugar and when fermented palm wine
Coconut coir – brushes, fishing nets and ropes
Coconut water – sports drinks, coconut wine & when fermented, coconut vinegar
So how can we do our part to become a more sustainable society? Look for products that are Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance, which are organisations that encourage good farming practices whilst ensuring the local farmers & producers are receiving a decent living wage. And remember to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!
Like to read more about the coconut? Read Say No to Coconut Oil Capsules!