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Hand Made Paper from Elephant Dung
Paper manufacturing industry is one of the most environmentally challenged industries in the world. From the row materials used in the paper manufacturing to the finishing process of paper, the whole process of making paper is doing a big damage to the environment.
The major source of row material is wood which is obtained from cutting down trees. So the paper manufacturing process cuts down huge number of trees annually breaking the balance in the Eco system.
Another environmental hazard is the use of the toxic chemicals in the process. Especially the chlorine compounds used to make the paper brighter are very toxic to the environment. According to secret-life.org and US Energy Information Agency paper making industry is ranked among the top of the industries where pollution is very high.
Therefore it is very important and timely to look in to the alternative ways of making paper which consumes less natural resources, lesser amount of toxic chemicals and releases less amount of pollutants to the environment.
Few Facts about elephant dung
Let’s now look into few facts which why elephant dung can be used in making elephant paper.
- Elephants are poor digesters. Some part s of the food taken are coming back from the other side as it is. So that dung contains the row material needed in making elephant paper. The fiber with enough length.
- Elephants produces over 50 kg of dung /day on average. This is sufficient for making around 115 elephant paper
- Elephant dung has a very small odor which also is eliminated from elephant paper so elephant paper is odor free.
- Elephant dung is 100% bacteria free.
Do you believe that this elephant paper is no longer a dream? It is produced at least in Sri Lanka and Thailand, the links to their sites appear at the bottom of this page.
The process of creating elephant paper
The available facilities that are developing elephant paper are developing them in a complete manual process and in a small scale.
- Collecting elephant dung
- Wash and boil them
- Add colors
Sift evenly into frames
- Dry using sunlight
- Smooth the surface
- Creating products
More details regarding this process can be obtained from one of the elephant paper producers web site
Elephant paper is revolutionary new concept in that regard. Elephant paper is the paper made using the elephant dung. The important thing about elephant paper is it is 100% bacteria free, It is 100% odour free and it is recycled. And again, no chlorine is used in elephant paper manufacturing process. No need to cut trees because the fiber needed in paper making is obtained from elephant dung. So it is a win-win situation. No need to cut down trees. The by-product elephant dung is used as a row material so need to find ways of disposing the dung.
Advantages and the impact of elephant paper in society
The main purpose is we can save our trees, in large volumes. Trees are mainly responsible for absorbing green house gases. It is estimated that if the United states along can reduce its paper manufacturing by 10% (using trees as row materials) it will prevent the emission of green house gases by 1.6 million tons. This is equivalent to removing of 280,000 vehicles from roads!
Another fact is that in countries like Sri Lanka and Thailand sometimes the elephants becomes a pest on their agriculture. Sometimes the people tend to shoot the elephants to prevent their crops from elephants. So some people in the villages where human-elephant conflicts are common tend to think the elephant as an enemy. So another idea behind these projects is to change the attitude of the people to think the elephants as their friends and they are valuable for the people’s lives. If we are able to provide the villages with the technology to make elephant paper, it will become a second income source to them and they will stop shooting elephants. The Asian elephants are endangered species and only 40,000 them are in existence.
Elephant paper products
Variety of elephant paper products is commercially available. The products range from note books, note boxes, Photo albums, to greeting cards. They are a very good gift item. I am using one of them at my office as a note box and I have gifted few note boxes to my friends. Believe me they live it.