Coconut is such a ubiquitous fruit, almost synonymous with pina coladas, tropical beach vacations, and good food. It’s certainly true—the coconut has been used for years as a culinary staple in many countries: the water makes a deliciously refreshing drink, the meat is nutty and chewy, and the milk that is extracted from the meat makes excellent curries and sauces. However, did you know that the parts of the coconut that we are most familiar with- the ones relating to food- are only coming from the innermost seed of the fruit itself? The entire coconut fruit is actually much larger, and contains both the seed and a tough outer shell. The exterior husk is made up of tough, stringy cellulose, which forms a protective layer around the edible seed.
This tough husk material, despite being inedible, is still a very valuable part of the coconut, and is used in more applications than you may initially think of! This outer shell of the fruit has very durable and weather resistant qualities. For that very reason the product makes great material for outdoor door mats. Being a natural doormat may bring to mind ideas of less weather resistant materials, like cotton, but the very same material coir is also used in commercial erosion control applications.
Believe it or not, the husk of the coconut can actually be used as a source of fuel! Similar to the way that leftover sawdust can be compressed and then processed into charcoal briquettes, the thick husk can be made into energy-efficient charcoal products through a biomass compression burning process. Another use for the fibers is as a peat-like plant growing material, similar to mulch or fertilizer. The plant-based cellulose in the fibers can help young seedling coconut palms grow to be as strong as the large adult trees.
As you can see, there are many uses for the coconut husk; however, there is one use that is our personal favorite: natural fiber door mats! The tough fibers are actually the perfect material for dirt-trapping, all-weather mats. Visitors to your home are very likely to track in unwelcome dirt and debris, which just causes you unnecessary work. With these bristly mats you can stop that dirt in its tracks! A natural doormat is truly superior to any other type of doormat because of its durability and natural weather-resistant qualities. While other cloth or plastic mats can lose their color or start deteriorating after a season outside, strong coconut door mats retain their shape and color, even after extended exposure to harsh weather.
Many of you have seen these outdoor door mats and may even have them on your front porch now. It is interesting that most of us are unaware of the fact that cocomats are actually coconut door mats. Get it? The coco comes from the word coconut!
Now that you know more about how coconut fibers are used, you can see it in real life…the next time you crack open a coconut, take a close look at the outside fibers and feel how tough they are!