Its not everyday that waste materials are the inspiration for new materials but in Indonesia the clever craftsman have created coconut tiles, a unique wall covering made from the by product of trendy coconut water. This latest in waters and super foods is all the rage these days and is being touted as the best natural source of electrolytes and that it is more effective than sports drinks. The product comes from the younger green coconuts and is the clear liquid found in the center of the coconut. This is the actual interior nut that is protected from the environment by the hard tusk that you typically think of as a coconut. If you have ever had real coconut water from the shell you can attest to the fact that there is not a lot of liquid per shell. So naturally, to provide you with a pint of coconut water requires quite a few shells. And that means tons of waste in the form of husks and the internal coconuts. This waste material is naturally biodegradable but the internal shell is also a very hard and durable material that is ideal for creating decorative wall coverings.
Coconut tiles are made of the internal coconut shell. The shell is cut into 1"X1" chips which are then hand assembled by Indonesian artisans and glued together with low VOC glues( environmentally safe) to form a thin wall covering that is lightweight, durable,natural and exotic. The tiles are formed in 16.5 X 16.5 inch panels that are very light weight and can be easily glued onto any hard surface. The thin profile and light weight also allow this wall tile to be applied over existing tiles which eliminates costly demolition making this an extremely cost effective interior decorating option. Coconut tiles wall coverings also give you a more ecologically responsible choice in decorating walls, ceilings and custom furniture while at the same time helping make use of otherwise wasted coconut shell materials.
Because coconut wall tiles are created from waste material they also considered part of a new genre of art, environmental art ( eco art). The term "environmental art" is used in a variety of different contexts but can be used to refer the practices of ecological artist, whose work directly addresses environmental issues ("ecological art" or "eco-art") through educating people about the natural world, or intervening in and restoring the natural world. Ecological artist Aviva Rahmani believes that "Ecological Art is an art practice, often in collaboration with scientists, city planners, architects and others, that results in direct intervention in environmental degradation. In Indonesia waste material is more often burned rather than buried and so the re purposing of wasted coconut shells eliminates additional pollutants in our atmosphere and the negative effect of greenhouse gases.
The high density of coconut shells means they are easy to clean and maintain and they are very durable. In fact, some of the larges installations are commercial spaces like restaurants, sushi bars, Lancome Boutique in Paris and most recently the Ritz on St. Thomas, US virgin Islands. Clean up literally consist of using a damp sponge or duster like you would on wall paper to remove any surface dirt that may have accumulated. But because the tiles are non porous, smearing and staining will not occur.
So if you are looking for an exotic, hand made, natural, ecologically friendly ( actually beneficial) material that is durable, super easy to install as a DIY and very affordable take a good look at coconut tiles.
Tell us what you think! Do you like this as a wall covering? Would you install it yourself or use a pro?
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