An interesting addition to any topical coconut collection, “coconut mail” is common in the small town of Hoolehua on the Hawaiian island of Molokai.
Through the Hoolehua Post Office’s unique “Post-a-Nut” program, which began in 1991, people can mail a real Hawaiian coconut along with a personal message to anyone, anywhere in the world (except Australia and New Zealand, both of which have strict import regulations). With about 3,000 coconuts mailed each year – that’s more than eight a day – there have been upwards of 85,000 hard-shelled drupe fruits in the mail stream in the past 28 years.
Hoolehua Postmaster Roxann Tancayo is certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an official inspector, adhering with that country’s federal regulations.
Upon inspection, each soon-to-be-mailed coconut receives an official USDA stamp, a mailing address and a return address. Stamps, preferably colourful ones, are added to approved coconuts by postal staff, who then send them as mail according to their customer’s wishes.
It’s reportedly more popular with vacationers on the central Pacific island than sending a generic postcard.
While the cost of postage to mail a coconut varies depending on its destination, many countries can be reached for less than $25.