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Environment

Elephant poop paper could be you next holiday card

Elephant Poo Poo Park and “poo paper” is changing the way the world sees and smells paper by making paper products--card, journals,etc.--from elephant poop.

Want to be as eco-friendly as possible with your next holiday card? Or maybe you inherited a bizarre sense of humor from your dad and know he would appreciate an elephant poo card for Father’s Day.

Either way, poo paper has got you covered!

The Poo Poo Paper Store makes and sells cards, journals, and even paper bouquets of roses all made from elephant dung. I guess some animals poop really does smell like roses...or in, this case, it looks like roses.

Did you know it takes 75,000 trees to print a Sunday edition of the New York Times? And it takes a 15 year old tree to produce half a box of fresh printer paper. Producing new paper is highly taxing on scarce resources such as trees and water. In addition, as climate change escalates, the world should be protecting trees and forests, not chopping them down.

Every 48 hours the world loses a forest the size of New York City, according to Stand For Trees.

Fortunately, there are both new and ancient alternatives for paper products. Some are even as fun as investing in some elephant poop stationary as seen in the video above.

How is it made?

At 1:00 into the video you can see what the park employees refer to as “poo soup,” which is 100% fiber. This is then dried out and mixed into a machine to make “poo balls,” aka elephant poo paper pulp. One ball can make a whole sheet of paper! The process of soaking the poop overnight, sifting out the separated fiber, and drying it in the sunlight kills all harmful pathogens so the paper is completely safe to use and make. 

Elephants diets are primarily grass, so it’s really not that gross when you dry out the leftovers from their lunch and are left with the fiber from the grass they consume. “Regular” paper is made from tree fiber so elephant poo paper is not too different from paper made from trees. It’s just a way of truly recycling things.

The paper is chlorine and bleach free, chemicals that are often involved in making paper. Ink is soy based, and all the waste is “re-pulped” into the next batch so that nothing ends up in a landfill. The dye you see in the video is natural food coloring as well.

You can even visit the park where the paper is made in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  

So next time you have a card to send or want to jot down your adventures, try out elephant poop paper as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative.