Cleaning with Coconuts: A Faster, Safer, Cheaper Response to Spills

Maureen McMullen | Energy Media Group.

An innovative mind can detect a resource amongst rubbish and formulate a solution from scraps. Joe Davids spotted an unlikely answer to workplace hazards— coconuts.

From baking and cooking to health and beauty remedies, this versatile crop fills a variety of roles on a daily basis. While we often credit products made from coconut palm—the plant’s fruit—for oiling our cooking pans, quenching our thirst or soothing our chapped lips, the coconut’s robust husk, or coir, often goes overlooked.

While traveling through Sri Lanka in the 1980’s, Davids watched as the coconut fiber industry accumulated piles of discarded coir. It’s estimated that coconut fiber industries across Asia process more than 70 billion coconut husks each year. While industry had little use for the robust material, its abundance and organic nature inspired Davids. [read full story]