A few years ago when I first saw stationery made from elephant dung (pooh), I thought it was a funny gimmick. I didn't know that this process could really help with saving the lives of these beautiful animals. But, it does. Mr. Ellie Pooh is saving elephants in Sri Lanka. ( My cousin lives there by the way - small world - but she is not collecting elephant dung and making paper - she is saving the world in another manner.)
The story basically goes like this - there are about 4,000 elephants out of the estimated global total of 40,000 Asian elephants living in the wild in Sri Lanka. They are running out of space to live. They are being killed off or forced to move along to other areas, not for their tusks or for meat, but because they are encroaching on farm land. The goal of Mr. Ellie Pooh is to make the elephants valuable to the local economy by using their dung to create an artistic and useful product. Because elephants are herbivores, plant eaters, their pooh is really great for making paper. Check out the video for more info on the process and take a look at a recent invitation I did that uses Mr. Ellie Pooh paper (green and orange in this case; the marblized paper is made from plant leaves). Who knows, next time I send you a note, it just might be made from elephant %&*!@. And no, it won't smell!