It is the month of October and is the season of the machete. You think that the machete is the tool of the season because of its use in horror films. However, it might surprise you to know that the machete can offer more than the decapitation of zombie heads.In fact, I would like to encourage horror film makers to re-think the use of the machete. This tool has been pigeonholed as a defense tool only; it being the preferred tool for zombie hunters. In reality, this tool has many sustainable uses that go far beyond defense.


Anyone who has traveled to other countries knows that the machete is the utility tool for every person. Friends of mine lived in the Dominican Republic for a couple of years for service with the Peace Corp. These two informed me that everyone in the community had one of these and knew how to use it. The community uses are included in this list of 15 sustainable uses for the machete.

  1. Nut and and fruit splitting; The hard shell of nuts or coconuts can be opened easily

  2. Lawn Mowing

  3. Cutting and maintaining trails

  4. Bush clearing

  5. Chopping compost

  6. Carving or cutting wood

  7. Fending off wild animals or killing poisonous snakes

  8. Claring a campsite

  9. Snedding - (Snedding is the process of stripping the side shoots and buds from the length of a branch or shoot, usually of a tree or woody shrub)

  10. Cutting back vegetation to stimulate growth

  11. Pruning and trimming of vines, bushes, and trees

  12. Making poles, teepees other other shelters

  13. Crop cultivation and harvest of rice, sugar cane, oats, millet, rye, barley, buckwheat and corn.

  14. Butchering and meat processing

  15. Used as a snow know to cut and shape snow shelters, scrape and clear snow and ice, and cut branches to put under tires for traction in deep snow.

Many of you might have already known about all of these uses for the machete, but for many the practices are not practiced. When was the last time you opened raw nuts with a machete?  While others view the swiss army knife as the ultimate tool, I would argue that the machete has far more heavy duty capabilities. While many people use an axe for similar uses like chopping and cutting wood, a machete has a sleek design and can be lighter and easier to use and handle by those practicing sustainable living.
Pin It

Written by Emily Thunberg — October 20, 2013

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.