SF Green Festival 09 - Elephant Poo Paper Saves Pachyderms


Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

A familiar face at San Francisco's Green Festival was Mr. Ellie Pooh, a company that makes paper from elephant dung. Elephants in Sri Lanka are killed for their interference with agriculture, but they interfere with agriculture simply because they're running out of space of their own. By making a lucrative market for paper from their dung, they're given a better chance at survival.

The company likes to make the paper-making process clear to everyone, since it's novel and, well, might be considered kind of gross to some.

"Since an elephant's diet is all vegetarian, the waste produced is basically
raw cellulose. Thoroughly cleaned and processed, the cellulose is
converted into a uniquely beautiful textured product, marketed as "Ellie
Pooh Paper"
. This acid free, linen-like papyrus-type paper can be formed
into art and construction projects, notebooks, cards and assorted gift
items where the only limitation is ones imagination. These products have
proved extremely popular among many in the local population and among
foreign tourists."

The collection and use of the dung creates an economy around it that can help offset costs farmers incur when elephants ruin a crop. The run-ins are inevitable, but at least with farmer's being compensated, the likelihood of elephant deaths is reduced. We wrote about Mr. Ellie Pooh back in June, so to see them at the Green Festival was encouraging.

Check out the beautiful products.


More on Alternative Paper
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The Genes and Politics of Kenaf: Making Paper's Best Alternative Better
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Tags: Activism | Animals | Farming | Gifts

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