Coconut oil is touted as a healthy alternative to toxic lotions and skincare products. But is it healthy for the environment, too?
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How to Choose Eco-Friendly Coconut Oil
With so many products on the market, touting so many benefits with clever marketing terms, it is increasingly challenging to understand all the different types of coconut oil.
A few of the simplest ways to determine a positive or negative impact on people and planet by any companies are:
Price point – While a low price may be tempting, think about where coconuts come from, how far they travel, all the steps in packaging and preparing for sale, plus the cost to acquire you as a customer and run the company. Still a low price?
Business model – Is the company dedicated to making the world a better place? Or are they out to earn as profit as possible? Do they have any unique partners or accreditations?
Retail locations – In what type of retail locations can you buy the product. This ties into price point a little bit, but people and business’ keep company with others who have similar values and interests. Some retailers are extremely committed to making a positive impact on people and the environment. Some are not.
Quality of the product – Is the product good? Usually, you get what you pay for. Is the coconut oil brown or yellow at the bottom of the jar? Is all of the coconut oil yellow? Does it smell good, or bad? Is it raw coconut oil? These are all important questions. If the product is not good, what else is the company doing that is not good?
*NOTE: Quality, Pure and Eco friendly coconut oil should not be yellow and should not smell bad. The whiter the oil, the better the smell, the finer quality the oil. Of course, everyone has different senses and preferences, but with a little care, you can determine a quality coconut oil from a coconut oil with poor quality.
9 Ways to Choose an Eco Friendly Coconut Oil
Here are the top 9 ways to choose an eco-friendly coconut oil. Some of this information may not be easy to find, but with a little reading and research, you should be able to learn more about coconut oil and the different brands selling it.
- Coconuts picked from biodiverse, organic, rural coconut farms.
- Product travels the least distance from production to your door; save on carbon emissions that come from shipping multiple times.
- Often wasted parts of the coconut are used.
- No fuels are used in production.
- No timber or additional surrounding resources are used in production.
- Hand-processed (husked, chopped with a machete, and pressed) in small batches without the use of large industrialized equipment.
- Kept raw instead of processed with heat (cooked), so that the oil does not need to be bleached or deodorized after pressing. Filtered using a cheesecloth.
- Energy should come from solar panels.
- Machinery and large equipment are not used.
In short, if you choose an eco friendly coconut oil that is made locally using more traditional methods, you’ll get a higher quality, more sustainable coconut oil that is both nourishing to your skin, and the planet.