Wednesday, September 18, 2013

From the coconut tree to your garden: The coir manufacturing process




Coir, extracted from the husk of the coconut, is the fibrous material found between the internal coconut shell and the outer layer. The extracting and processing of coir is performed in accordance with a series of activities, resulting in coir that is used for the manufacturing of various environmentally friendly products; these are then used to help prevent soil erosion and in many horticultural procedures. The complete process that CoirGreen™ follows in creating coir is entirely environmentally friendly and has no negative impact on nature.

Fully mature green coconuts are either plucked from the tree after twelve months or picked once ripened and fallen from the tree to extract coir while unripe coconuts are spread on the ground to be dried.
There are two types of coir:
  • Brown fibre
  • White fibre
 Brown fibre, which CoirGreen™ mainly uses, is obtained from mature coconuts that are ready to be processed into copra and desiccated coconuts. The outer fibrous layer of the coconut is manually separated from the hard shell using a steel-tipped spike or a machine.

 Converting the fibre into coir


The extracted husks are then placed along river-banks, concrete tanks or suspended by nets and soaked in a slow-moving body of water so that the fibres swell and soften. Earlier, this action was carried out for 6 to 10 months; however, recently introduced mechanical techniques allow this process to be completed within 7 to 10 days. 

The fibre pulp is then beaten with wooden mallets in order to separate the coir fibres from the pith and outer skin of the coconut. Traditionally, this process was carried out manually, but in recent years, motorized machines are used to increase efficiency. The resultant fibres are washed and subsequently spread loose on the ground to dry.

Next, the fibres are combined with mechanical or manual carding tools and then spun to form fine yarn, which is later twisted to make long and strong coir strings. Finally, these coir strings are wound into bundles. This is carried out using hand spinning tools or automated spinning machines.
 Fibres that will not be immediately processed are collected and tied into loose bundles for storage and shipment.

Environmentally friendly coir making process

 CoirGreen™ ‘s ultimate goal is to be an ambassador for the environment by promoting the use of environmentally sustainable products. We spend an enormous amount of energy in making sure that our coir products do not harm the environment in anyway.

In the manufacturing of coir products, we make certain that all activities are carried out with minimal impact towards the environment. Such measures ensure that CoirGreen™ is conscious about its products and operations and reaffirm that the environment is indeed the lifeblood of the company. CoirGreen™ - Environmentally Friendly!

Visit us on www.coirgreen.com or follow us on facebook www.facebook.com/CoirProducts


Monday, June 17, 2013

CoirGreen™ : Helping you think and act green

Many of us depend heavily on the environment to make a living. Yet, knowingly or unknowingly to us, our actions can have negative impact on the environment, such as leading to soil erosion and loss of vegetation. Therefore, it is vital that we take all necessary steps to protect and preserve the environment, while continuing our work.

Natural, bio-degradable and sustainable, products made of natural coir-fibre help you do just that!

Why coir?

A natural fibre extracted from the husk of a coconut, the uses of coir are varied. There are two main types of coir: The more commonly used is brown fibre, which is extracted from mature coconuts. Brown fibre is used to manufacture products such as coir brushes, coir doormats, coir logs, coir pallets and coir rugs. White fibre is obtained from immature green coconuts, and when spun into yarn is used to make products such as coir rope, coir geotextiles, erosion control blankets. Given its resistance to salt water, white fibre is also used to manufacture fishing nets.

Coir products offers a range of environmental benefits. A renewable resource with a low decomposition rate and having high strength compared to other natural fibers, it is also widely used to address the challenges of erosion and promote sustainable vegetation. A range of value-added products have been manufactured using natural coir fibre for the erosion control, horticultural and agricultural sectors. Environmentally-friendly and sustainable, products made of natural coir fibre are durable, absorbs water, retains moisture and provides good soil support. They are also 100% biodegradable, having high strength retention and a low rate of degradation.

Why CoirGreen™?

CoirGreen™ supplies a host of environmentally-friendly products made out of natural coir fiber for the erosion control, horticultural and agricultural sectors, helping you and your organization think and act green, while you go about your work. With preserving the environment at the heart of what we do, we are also committed in facilitating the efforts of others to do so. An industry leader, all CoirGreen™ products are cost-effective and are manufactured according to the highest industry standards, with our Q&A Department monitoring the entire process from the selection of raw material to the finished products. At CoirGreen™, products can also be customized to meet the needs and requirements of our partners.

For the horticulture industry….

We, at CoirGreen™, bring to you a range of products that are widely used in the horticultural sector, including Coco Peat, Husk Chips, Grow Bags, Coir Disks and Coir Pots. All these products are 100% natural, organic and bio-degradable. They absorb water better and ensure a strong and healthy root system.
Environmentally sustainable, these coir products are renewable and can be re-used for several crop cycles, depending on your needs and preferences. Environmentally sustainable, coir products does not alter the physical make-up of the environment. After use, coir can be added into the ground as a soil conditioner, having no adverse impact on the environment we live in.

For erosion control…

CoirGreen™ provides a variety of solutions and techniques to address the challenges of soil erosion, landslides, and water erosion. CoirGreen’s natural coir products, such as Geotextiles or Coir Netting, Coir Blankets or Erosion Control Blankets, Coir Logs and Coir Pallets, can help stabilize sediments in the bank.
Resistant to rod, mold and moisture, provides adequate strength and durability to protect slopes from erosion while allowing vegetation to flourish. Hazardous chemicals or synthetic materials are not used within the matrix, and over time, coir completely disintegrates, leaving only humus, which enriches the soil!
For more details on our natural, environmentally friendly coir products, their usages and how CoirGreen™ work, please visit - http://www.coirgreen.com or simply email us on info@coirgreen.com

Thursday, June 6, 2013

CoirGreen™ Growbags combine the benefits of coir and growbags


The global gardening culture is changing. In the days gone by, people had to till the soil, get dirty and possibly sweat after a gardening workout. However, now,  gardening has become easier and we have a variety of tools that do the work for us. One such tool is the CoirGreen™ Growbag, a 100% biodegradable product.

A combination of the benefits of coir and grow bags

Combining the benefits of both growbags and coir, CoirGreen™ Growbags provide more growing space and planting options. They are also easy to use and are less messy. They provide high yield from a small space and thus are ideal for patio gardening; the bags are also extremely versatile.

Coir has become popular as a potting medium in greenhouse and nursery production. Qualities of coir that make it a good growing medium include high water holding capacity, excellent drainage capacity, physical resilience, and the fact that it is a renewable resource.

It has also been demonstrated that coir can suppress certain soil borne plant pathogens. Combining the disease suppressive properties of coir with other management strategies such as fungicide application in an integrated pest management program may result in more effective and less costly management of soil borne diseases in greenhouse and nursery production.

Benefits of CoirGreen™ grow bags

• High quality consistent product.
 • Stability of structure during culture.
• Steers your crops for maximum yield and fruit quality.
• Equally good for vegetables, flowers and fruits.
• Minimizes the risk of disease with stronger plants.
• Purpose made slabs with pre cut plants/ drain holes reduces labor costs in installation.
• Ideal air water ratio.
• Optimizes the use of water and fertilizer.
• Faster and dense root establishment due to porous structure.
• Fully organic environmentally friendly substrate with no disposal problems.
• User friendly product.
• Convenient and cost effective transportation and storage of compressed slabs.

The CoirGreen™ Growbag can be used to grow tomatoes, paprika, cucumber, aubergine, gerberas, roses, ornamental plants and other vegetables and fruits.

How to use the CoirGreen™ growbag
●    Cut 3 – 5 holes per bag (depending on size of bag)
●    Insert water, gradually, until medium expands fully
●    Insert relevant seeds
●    Ensure there is an outflow of water at the bottom of the bag


Growbags Properties 
        pH Value                            -    Between 5.4 – 6.8
        EC Levels                          -    Below 1500
        Air water ratio                    -    20/80% - 70/30%
        Organic Matter                   -    95%
        Dry matter                          -    85%
        Cationic exchange capacity  -   (meq/1 OOg) - 60 - 130

More information on how to secure CoirGreen Growbags, please visit our website on www.coirgreen.com

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CoirGreen™ Geotextiles - An Effective Soil Erosion Prevention Method



“The different coir types and their characteristics have made coir the most versatile natural fiber to combat erosion and to restore waters and wetlands. Thus, coir seems to be the miracle fiber of this century to save the earth, its waters and wetlands” – Land and Water Magazine

The use of natural fibers for erosion and sedimentation control dates back to the beginning of this century. The main problems in the early natural fiber textiles (example jute mats) were low tensile strength, high elongation and low durability. These drawbacks restricted their use to only less severe erosion problems. An alternate natural fiber that has drawn the attention of the erosion and sedimentation control industry is coir, the coconut fiber.

One of the most effective and yet natural soil erosion prevention techniques is the use of coir geotextiles (coir netting) fabrics. CoirGreen geotextiles have no synthetic material but are instead made out of organic fiber coir, which is extracted from the husk of a coconut. Coir is strong, durable, waterproof and one of the few natural fibers that is salt water resistant.

The lighter varieties of coir woven geotextiles are used for immediate soil erosion and ordinary soil conditions while the heavier coir geotextiles are used for embankments, slopes or vegetation. CoirGreen geotextiles protect the soil until the vegetation permanently covers its mesh.  It gives the plants adequate room to grow and decomposes naturally into humus which will enrich and nourish the soil. Lasting between two to five years the coir fiber, compared to other natural fibers such as jute, has several unique features. CoirGreen geotextiles have the ability to retain water three times more than its actual weight preventing the need to frequently water the plants. However, at the same time with its adequate space within the mesh it drains the excess water easily preventing water logging. With an easy installation method the CoirGreen geotextiles need no chemical treatment as it lets in the right amount of air and light for a deeper rooted plant. It can also endure animal and human movements that would generally lead to more environmental decay.


“Recognition of coir for sustainable vegetation and erosion control arises from the fact that it is an abundant, renewable natural resource with an extremely low decomposition rate and high strength compared to other natural fibers. Coir is woven into thick textiles which are applied like blankets on the ground in erosion prone areas. Geotextiles made from coir are durable, absorb water, resist sunlight, facilitate seed germination, and are 100% biodegradable. These blankets have high strength retention and a slow rate of degradation meaning they last for several years in field applications”.

Studies conducted have proven that coir geotextiles are effective, inexpensive and environmentally friendly. In one study conducted in 1998 on coir geo textiles, Schuerholz found out that coir retained 20% of its strength a year later  and 90% humidity whereas jute biodegraded fully after eight weeks.  In another study, conducted in Kerala, India, with a farmer community in 2005, scientists found out that coir combined with local grass  prevents soil erosion.


CoirGreen geotextiles have varying densities depending on their application, but as a whole they serve as slope stabilization agents prior to re-vegetation. CoirGreen geotextiles promote new vegetation by absorbing water and preventing topsoil from drying out. They absorb solar radiation just like natural soil, and unlike geosynthetic materials, they provide good soil support for up to three years, allowing natural vegetation to become established. The greater the geotextile density, the steeper the embankments it can be utilized on. Applications have included ski slopes and bottom reinforcing material in water courses.
 
The uses of CoirGreen geotextiles can be summarized as below,

     Stream/River bank protection
     Shoreline stabilization
     Slope stabilization in railway cutting and embankments
     Separation application in rural roads, railways, parking and storage areas  and storm shuttering
     Reinforcement of rural unpaved roads, temporary walls providing sub base layers in road pavements
     Filtration in road drains and land reclamation
     Containment of soil and concrete as temporary seeding
     Concrete column curing
     Waste protection and forestry re-vegetation
     Control of shallow mass waste and gully erosion
     UV protection for underground crops
     Rooftop landscaping
     Protection from wind erosion and wetland environments
     Plant and tree protective systems


More information on CoirGreen Geotextiles or other natural products, please visit www.coirgreen.com.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

CG Coir pots – An environmentally friendly alternative to plastic pots

From cell phones and computers to water bottles and bags, plastic has moulded society in many ways that make life both easier and safer. However, this ease of living has come at a huge environmental cost.

Since mass production of plastic began in the 1940’s it has grown to become an essential item in the society. More than 280 million tons of plastic were manufactured in 2012. In fact, according to a report by the British Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society the amount of plastic manufactured in the first 10 years of the 21st century is equal to the entire amount produced in the 20th century.

Plastic is an environmental nightmare. The chemical building blocks that make plastics so versatile are the same components that harm people and the environment. For example:

• Chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by human bodies. Some of these compounds have been found to alter hormones or have other negative human health effects.
• Plastic debris, laced with chemicals are often ingested by marine animals and can injure or poison wildlife.
• Floating plastic waste, which can survive for thousands of years in water, serves as mini transportation devices for invasive species, disrupting habitats.
• Plastic buried deep in landfills can leach harmful chemicals that spread into groundwater.
• Around 4 percent of the world’s oil production is used as a feedstock to make plastics, and a similar amount is consumed as energy in the process

Plastic is widely used in agriculture and the plastic pot has become a common sight in flower gardens, greenhouses and nurseries. At CoirGreen, we have always been driven to create products that are environmentally sustainable and this mindset led us to create the coir pot as an environmentally friendly alternative to the plastic pot.

CoirGreen pots (CG pots) are 100% biodegradable and transform into organic matter on decomposing. They are made for use in horticultural farms, flower gardens, greenhouses, and nurseries. The coir pot provides nutrients like zinc, magnesium, copper and iron, all beneficial to healthy plant growth, and its high resistance to mold is great for greenhouses. Commercial growers can use the pots to grow plants- skipping the transplanting step which often leads to ‘transplant shock’.

Plants growing in traditional plastic pots tend to develop tightly massed root systems that do not take full advantage of the allocated growing area. If grown in coir pots, plants grow throughout the whole pot, and grow into the pot wall. Once the roots reach the outer edge of the wall, they stop growing out and continue to grow inside the pot; contact with the air stops the roots from growing, root buds start to appear and secondary roots start to develop throughout the pot. This phenomenon is known as “aerial root pruning”.

If roots are not exposed to air (aerial root pruning) they continue to grow around the container in a constricted pattern. The roots may spiral, twist, kink or become strangled. When the plant is later installed it will likely fail to establish a normal root structure, and instead will have reduced uptake of water and nutrients. Eventually abnormal growth should be obvious and could cause the plant to fail. Damaged root systems also cause leaves to turn yellow or brown, shrivel or drop. Healthy, highly branched root structures allow a plant to more efficiently uptake water and nutrients while increasing growth and overall plant health. A strong root system will make a plant better able to establish itself when installed in a restoration project.

Benefits of using CG Organic Coir Pots
● Pots remain stable above ground for a year and biodegrade in the soil after 2 – 3 months
● Pots add texture to the soil as they degrade
● Can also be added to the compost heap as a valuable source of carbon (brown material)
● Plants grown in these pots benefit from air pruning
● Plant roots will grow through the pot walls, encouraging a strong root system.
● There is no transplanting shock
● Ideal for cucurbits and courgettes in particular
● Absorbs water better
● Moderates moisture and increase microbial activity
● Has high tensile strength and lignin content
● Is environmentally sustainable

Contact CoirGreen for more information on Coir Pots ( marketing (AT) coirgreen (DOT) com

More information on CoirGreen's Biodegradable products, please visit www.coirgreen.com.   

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Coir Logs - A proven way to prevent soil erosion

“Soil erosion is second only to population growth as the biggest environmental problem the world faces. Yet, the problem, which is growing ever more critical, is being ignored because who gets excited about dirt?” DavidPimental

The importance of soil was emphasised by The great Indian guru, Mahathma Gandhi, who said that ‘to forget how to tend the soil is to forget ourselves’. The Mahatma made this emphatic statement in order to stress the importance of soil. Soil provides eco-system services critical for life: soil acts as  a water filter and a growing medium; provides habitat for billions of organisms, contributing to biodiversity; and supplies most of the antibiotics used to fight diseases. Humans use soil as a holding facility for solid waste, filter for waste water, and foundation for our cities and towns

Nevertheless soil erosion is now a global environmental problem; according to a study conducted by GLASOD, around 15 per cent of the Earth's ice-free land surface is afflicted by all forms of land degradation. Worldwide, farmers are losing an estimated 24 billion tonnes of topsoil each year.  In developing countries erosion rates per acre are twice as high as the standard, partly because population pressure forces land to be more intensively farmed. When soils are depleted and crops receive poor nourishment from the soil, the food provides poor nourishment to people. Losses of soil take place much faster than new soil can be created.  It takes thousands of years to form just a few centimetres of soil.

Protecting the Earth’s soil has always been a priority at CoirGreen and many of our products are tailor made for this very purpose. One of our most effective soil protecting products is the coir log. CoirGreen’s coir logs are made out of cylinder or square shaped netting packed with coir fiber. The logs are eco-friendly and biodegradable. CG coir logs are used globally to stabilize stream banks, to protect shorelines, to mitigate wetlands and as a channel edge liner.

When creating the coir log, we made efforts to make it as user friendly as possible. As a result, the log is extremely easy to install. It is also 100% natural, biodegradable and eco-friendly.  The logs can easily be anchored with wooden stakes. Over a period of time the logs completely disintegrate leaving only humus. The coir fibre acts as mulch on the surface and as a wick in the soil mantle and the excellent microclimate provides establishment, natural invasion and balanced healthy growth. Coir Logs are designed to withstand wave impact and storm water sheet flow forces, thus are the preferred product for stabilization and revegetation of sites where you encounter steep slopes or exposure to waves or currents.

CoirGreen coir log (Waterlogs/Biologs) is another environmentally friendly product from an environmentally friendly company. Our vision has always been to be an ambassador for the environment. The environment is the lifeblood of CoirGreen and taking care of the environment by creating eco-friendly products, such as CG logs bring us great pleasure.


The advantages of CG logs are as given below

• Easy to install, 100% natural, eco-friendly and biodegradable
• Water absorbent coir fiber acts as mulch on the surface and as a wick in the soil mantle.
• The excellent microclimate of coir provides establishment, natural invasion and a balanced healthy   growth.
• Coir meshes provide restoration of terrestrial and aquatic riparian habitat.
•The logs allow the deep rooting of plants while providing nutrients
• Customised to specific requirement for projects (Eg: 30cm X 2m with 7kg of fiber per LM….)
• Root strength provides superior shear stress protection
• Naturally resistant to mold & rot. Hence there is no need for chemical treatment
• Native vegetation means robust growth and less maintenance

More information on how best to secure CoirLogs (Biologs / Waterlogs), please contact our team at CoirGreen by visiting our website on www.coirgreen.com