Building an eco-empire with coconuts

Planet, people and profit

October 26, 2020
 sanny11 Getty images

sanny11 Getty images

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A trip around Bali caused Jake McKeon to discover coconut bowl souvenirs. He thought the bowls naturally would sell well in his health food business, so he filled a bag with coconut shell bowls and returned home to Austraila and sold them. After selling out on two batches quickly, Jake got to thinking about turning coconut shells into a lucriative eco-friendly business.

There are billions of coconuts harvested each year for the coconut oil, water and the flesh, with 99 percent of the coconut shell being tossed and burned. The waste contributes to a large amount of CO2 and methane emissions. Coconut shells ended up becoming part of the solution to this environmental problem. 

In 2016, Jake started Coconut Bowls. A company that supports all three pillars of planet, people and profits. He works with several smaller family farms where he pays farmers to sort and package the coconut shells into the sizes he needs. This makes it so the families receive income from the products they otherwise would have to pay to dispose or burn the shells. Rather earning $1-$2 dollars per day, a single collection from Coconut Bowls can total hundreds of dollars. The income from discarded coconuts can be more than what the farmers earn for the actual coconut.

The coconut shells are sent to local craftspeople and artisans who sand and polish the shells. Many of the workshop artisians are family. They cut, clean and sand the coconut shells. Finishing them with organic virgin coconut oil polish. Turning the shells into beautiful coconut bowls that you can eat from. 

Coconut Bowls is a growing eco-empire focused on plant-based eating and mindful living. Environmental sustainability involves doing your part everyday with positive decisions that will work towards a sustainable future for us all.  “The reason sustainability is so important is very simple; our future and the future of our children depend on it.” - Jake McKeon

Coconut Bowls Mission: Inspire people to be conscious about the food they put in their body, and the impact products that are used have on the environment. Learn more here. 

Coconut Bowls can be purchased here on Biome where over 5000 everday use eco-friendly products are sold. You can get your eco-shopping on!