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Date Seeds: Harmful Waste, or a Smart Way to Practice Sustainability?

Photo: Unsplash

You may be a fan of the sweet, caramel-like taste and health benefits that dates provide, but have you considered whether the region’s favorite fruit is wasteful?

Food waste is not a new concept to us. Banana stalks, orange peels, and pineapple leaves are notorious drains on the environment, overwhelming landfills as a result. However, in recent years, brands and entrepreneurs have created innovative ways to repurpose discarded parts of food, including date seeds. Here are some sustainable practices you can try using date seeds to do your part for the environment.

Photo: Unsplash

What is a date fruit?

Native to Northern Africa and the Middle East, date fruits grow abundant on date palm trees. In fact, in Saudi Arabia, there are over 20 million date trees that grow over 400 varieties. The country has also secured a reputation for being the number one country for date consumption per year and the second-largest producer of dates for both local use and commodity purposes. Today, however, they grow in other tropical regions and have become increasingly popular.

Dried dates feature a soft, chewy texture and a sweet flavor and are packed with essential nutrients, making them a tasty, good-for-you snack. But again, are dates good for the environment? Date seeds, sometimes called pits or stones, are an essential part of the date fruit, significantly contributing to the date’s overall weight. However, date fruit production and related process industry generate a large amount of waste, discarding the inedible seed.

Photo: Unsplash

Less known uses for date seeds

Fortunately, people have found alternative uses for date seeds to minimize their carbon footprint. Below are some popular methods to repurpose date seeds.

In coffee

Photo: Unsplash

It’s no secret that caffeine is now a staple in modern-day lifestyles. However, those who want to reduce their daily intake have turned to date seeds to replace their regular cup of joe, as they deliver a mild, less bitter coffee flavor with subtle hints of chocolate for a sweet pick-me-up. Though dates have a lighter profile than coffee, they are refreshing and energizing, without the adverse effects of coffee, making them the ideal alternative for coffee connoisseurs.

In hair


Date seed oil contains a high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids that nourish the scalp and encourage healthy growth. It also contains amino acids and riboflavin to limit hair loss, while the presence of copper and pantothenic acids prevent premature graying. As a result, date seed oil is a great addition to include in your haircare routine.

On skin

Photo: Jaoquin Burgueno

Date seed oil is also beneficial for skin, protecting it from excess sun damage. Meanwhile, the high content of phytohormones in the oil can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, effectively enhancing skin’s elasticity and radiance.

In fashion?

Photo: Tina Patni

Though there is no current evidence of brands experimenting with date seed waste for fashion purposes, this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen something of such nature. Banana stalks, orange peels, and pineapple leaves have all gone from harmful waste to being repurposed as sustainable fabrics for fashion accessories. One wouldn’t be surprised to hear about an innovative brand collecting date seeds from production companies in Saudia Arabia to use for creating wallets, belts, handbags, and more. With such out-of-the-box practices on the rise, it’s bound to just be a matter of time!

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