How can I reuse or recycle fruit stones and pits?

Avocado stoneWe went out for a Mexican meal the other day (mmm, mexican food) and while eating a giant pile of guacamole (mmm, guacamole), we had one of those wonderings about what must happen to the many, many leftover avocado stones. From that, our wonderings went onto other fruit stones – what could we do with plum stones, or peach pits?

They could be planted to grow a new fruit plant (although trees from seeds don’t tend to be that productive) or composted (they’d take a good while to break down) but aside from that, are there any fun ways to use them? What do you use fruit stones and pits for?

Avocado stones are usually beautifully smooth so could they be made into (GIANT) beads? Any other suggestions?

Best Suggestions

  • Reuse: Some people use them for crafts – but they need treating so they don’t dry out.
  • Compost: The stones will compost – eventually. If you want your compost quickly or to be very fine, consider leaving them to break down somewhere else first before adding them to your main pile.

(Photo by tpacific)

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37 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle fruit stones and pits?”

  1. anon says:

    I saw an artist selling pendants that were made out of slices of avocado pits once… he’d taken a slice of the pit, carved a design into the flat side and then dried it – they were gorgeous.

  2. John says:

    I worked in the kitchen at a summer camp a few years back. Avocados were a regular feature at our meals and people started to carve little bugs out of the halves of each stone. Someone made me a little box, too small to hold anything, but nice none the less.

  3. Fshbonz says:

    I have grown many of them as house plants in a container of water and planted many of them outdoors later. Poke tooth picks near the big end (3 or 4)and suspend in the top of a glass of water till a little above half way up the seed Takes a while, but the seed will split and eventually put out a root. Keep topped off with water. Have to have a male and female plant to make more fruit, so plant a bunch outside.

  4. SoOreBeer says:

    Here is one suggestion from a website..

    Avocado pits are dried then grated with a fine grater and used in enchilada sauce. This is a traditional ingredient in parts of Northern Mexico. Don’t use too much or you will make the sauce bitter.

  5. Nigello says:

    You could varnish them with clear nail polish, or something that is greener (as in enviro-friendly, not the shade) and put them in a glass vase when you have enough. You could mix them up with conkers or snail shells or sea shells etc. Nigello

    • Katz says:

      I found that any fruit stones that are nice and shiny go dry and wrinkly after a while, so they are not that pretty anymore.. So no point varnishing them.. If anyone knows a way to keep them smooth – it would be great!

      • renee says:

        With enough varnish you can prevent it from drying out. getter yet use an epoxy resin varnish.

  6. Christovir says:

    I’m a big recycler and gardener. I like all of the suggestions for decorative use of fruit stones, but I should let you know that most fruit seeds produce inferior fruit trees – if you want edible fruit, buy fruit plants or make cuttings from existing trees. You can grow from seed, just don’t expect good fruit from it.

    Here’s an idea for avocado stones: dye them near-black with tannin (you can boil acorns for this – eat the acorns and then soak the stones in the tannin-water). Then use a saw to cut off the bottom and top thirds of the stone. Hollow out the top, and you have a stylish, natural candle holder.

  7. Joshua says:

    How about drying them and using them as juggling “balls?”

  8. shawn says:

    how about you just throw them out and they eventually decompose because they are organic and quit losing sleep?

    • Liliroze says:

      1) things in plastic trash bags don’t compost
      2) landfills don’t allow things to compost either. Compose needs air and heat.

  9. Ethan says:

    I recommend composting the pits. This is the best way to recycle organic matter in that it returns to the earth and cycles through new organisms which feed on the nutrients. A good, hot compost pile or worm bin will be able to break down an avocado pit.

  10. Janet says:

    I’m with Ethan. My fruit pits all go into the compost heap. It’s true that the outer shells of, say, peach pits may remain intact long after everything else has broken down, but no harm there!

  11. mike says:

    Whenever I put them in the heap, they sprout. Or at least they have a better chance of success than the other methods I’ve tried. The toothpick thing just makes them turn to rot in my house. I think that the warm temperature, combined with the constant moisture, may be the real trick. I read that somewhere. They take quite a while to break down, anyway.

  12. Andy says:

    Sounds to me as if the stones are pretty useless really. Let’s start another string about what to do with all that avocado skin that you get as well!
    Compost them and have done with it. Actually they really do sprout well in the compost bin!

  13. Catherine says:

    Keep a few of the smooth stones (eg avocado) for use a massage tools

  14. artsiecl says:

    I use the peach pits to make peach seed angels and sell them at craft shows…..I make a head of sculpy clay…I used the peach seed as the body …I drill a hole in the body to hold the wire that I run thru the head to hold them together. Before baking the heads with wire thru them….make an indentation for the mouth (like an angel singing)….Then I combine them (having already painted the body (seed) with 3-6 coats of pearl fingernail polish…..I glue some type of wing on back (ultra-suede, ribbon, wire, etc) ….and I use some pretty yarn for hair…(can curl the yarn by wrapping around a 7-12 inch piece of clothes hanger, wetting it and baking on 200 for a couple of hours) …. also can add a halo of pearls or gold tiny tinsel…..I make as pins or necklaces…..Can do all of this for ornaments too……

  15. mary says:

    Walnuts- I opened up the green pulp, soaked the black walnuts in a bucket, let it sit in the cold cellar, removed the walnuts with a slotted spoon, set aside to dry and crack. I kept the “walnut bath” and put the black liquid in old honey jars. I have had this walnut black stain for years. It has never spoiled. I use it on old household woodwork, stain for my art projects

  16. Gulia says:

    Pet toy.

    • yank says:

      Avocado leaves, fruit, seeds and bark contain a chemical that is toxic to Dogs.

      • Kylie says:

        I think this is a myth as my parents have an avocado orchard (over 700 trees) and when we gather fruit their dog eats several a day off the ground. She loves them. My dogs wont touch them however. I’ve also heard the leaves/fruit etc is toxic to cows, yet cows often get into orchards all through the area and eat the trees and to no effect. I’ve also heard they’re toxic to horses, but our neighbour feeds her horses avos. So there you go.

        I use the pits as a kind of mulch in my outdoor pot plants. The chilis in particular love it. Eventually a papery skin comes off the stone, then it dries black or dark brown and splits in half. I just pile more avo pits on top as I eat them. I also use the skin as a mulch too as it dries to a thin bark. The birds will often toss it back on the lawn though.

  17. Gulia says:

    Turn into beads for your garden’s scare crow.

    Turn wild field into an avocado orchard.

  18. Duggie says:

    I say eat them – see comment above re. Mexicans using a bit shaved up to add to guacemole to give it a bitter taste. Sometimes bitter is good; maybe there’s antioxidants there which could be good against cancer. Any old wife’s tales?

  19. Aniel says:

    Avo stones I’ve best seen in the compost heap, bringing inspiration to a rotting world.
    I just tried slicing the brown skin off, to look at (and taste the bitterness) only to find in minutes the creamy nut had turned bright orange1 I guess the oxidisation is the net result of bitter chemicals inside guarding the seed.
    I guess i’ll toss it into my burner and see how it gets on now.

  20. Lee says:

    How about recycling into skin care products such as scrubs ?

  21. Gabrielle says:

    Recipe from Guadeloupe for an aphrodisiac wine: grate the stone in a liter of wine. And smashed, they make good fodder for goats.

  22. Anthony Powell says:

    Will they burn in a stove? This could save some of the wood we use.
    Do they need to be dried first?

  23. sfrederickson says:

    There’s no reason that they couldn’t be burned in a stove Anthony. They should be dried first.
    I have turned many a avocado pit into biochar using a tlud stove.

  24. Linda says:

    I think you all need to know that my brother’s dog ate an avocado, seed and all. The dog had to be put down.

    What have you recycled if you leave something around that could harm someone?

    Unless that compost heap is dog-proof, I wouldn’t be putting any stones in it either!

  25. anna says:

    There’s a better way to make an avocado pit sprout and grow than the old toothpick method. Clean the avocado pit, and put it in a glass, covering 1/2 to 2/3 of the pit with water. After a few days, you can carefully remove the brown skin. It will make it sprout faster. Keep the pit in the same amount of water (change every few days), and within a month or two it usually starts to sprout. If you have two avocados, at least one of them likely will sprout. Once there’s some root you can plant it in a pot, or you can even wait until it starts to grow the plant part before planting.

  26. John Thingwall says:

    When I have any stones or such I take them out with me and throw them into the hedge rows. If they grow great, if something eats them great. If they rot down and provide feed for other plants -great.
    Cannot say anything about avocados.

  27. Stina says:

    When I was googling about on this subject, I found a site for a company that uses fruit stones to make flooring. It sounds a bit complicated, with much sanding involved, but the results looked nice. And I bet it’s extremely durable.

    As for avocado pits, I remember my mother’s futile attempts at sprouting avocado trees from pits all throughout my childhood. She said she finally discovered that the secret is to use pits from tree-ripened avocados.

  28. supergeeky says:

    I once dried a bunch then painted them and used them as vase fillers.

  29. tony says:

    I would replicate what would happen in nature and throw it on the ground

  30. George says:

    Burrrrn them. Bwahahahaha!

  31. jason cziok says:

    Just a thought, maybe if we were to drill holes through them they would breakdown alkt faster. Or maybe put them in a vise and have a bowl or something to collect the pieces. I’d putnit in a paper bag first to eliminate shrapnel.

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