How to mail a coconut postcard from Hawaii. Seriously.

Reader Greg Wasserman e-mailed us with a surprisingly not-so-unusual question about sending a drupe postcard from the Islands to his friends back home:

In the March/April 2010 issue of HAWAII Magazine, there was a small article on mailing coconuts. Correct me if I am wrong, but the article said one could mail coconuts from any post office in Hawaii. I will be visiting in May and would like to surprise some friends with a rather "unique" postcard. If possible, I will be mailing from Honolulu. Where would I find coconuts to mail?

Greg's referring to our short article on mailing coconut postcards from the post office in Hoolehua, Molokai.

That post office is unique in that Postmaster Gary Lam (that's him pictured, right) will not only provide you with a coconut to mail, but lend you marking pens to decorate it.

In theory, any U.S. Post Office should mail a coconut for you, though the ones in Hawaii are more used to doing so. However, only the Molokai post office will provide the coconut. Otherwise, you're on your own.

Where in Honolulu to get a coconut to mail, then? That can be a problem. There are gift shops that sell already decorated coconuts, if you can find one with room for a mailing label.

Hawaii_mailing_a_coconutHowever, don't buy a fresh coconut in a supermarket. Those are good for eating, not mailing.

You want a coconut that's already dried out, because dried out coconuts weigh a lot less and are considerably cheaper to mail.

Our suggestion: Ask the landscaping crew at wherever you're staying if they can find you one. Or you may get lucky on your Hawaii travels and find a dried coconut under a tree.

A caution, though: Do not stand under a tree and shake it. Falling coconuts can kill you.


Photo: David Croxford