Who Knew What We Could Do With Elephant Poo!

Written by Liv Carisch, Age 8
Did you know, that paper can be made from elephant poo? I wouldn’t have believed it either. When we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand we went to the Elephant PooPoo Paper factory. Unfortunately, Ali fell asleep and Emily didn’t want to actually touch the poo. That may have been partially my fault. At the beginning of the tour there were different kinds of animal poo labeled “Touch Me!” or “Smell Me!” and I made the comment “Sorry, but I’m not Alice in Wonderland, and we all know what happened to her.” Although, I wound up touching it anyway.
Liv holds the poo

When we first arrived, a woman sitting behind a desk in the gift shop told us to “Follow the poo poo to find out how we make the paper.” We followed piles of elephant poop, and we got to the “Alice in Wonderland” exhibit. It’s a little weird following poop around. The next exhibit was about six barrels filled with poo soup. They mix the poo with water and cook it. You could see the heat coming off of it. Kind of gross.
Stirring Poo Soup

The poo boils for a while, making it softer and easier to dye. After a few hours of the poo simmering, a woman will take the poo, cool it off and dye it a color. Then she rolls it into a big, fat ball and puts it in a basket with other pieces of poo dyed the same color. It keeps getting less and less gross, doesn’t it?
Poo Balls

Next there was a long water trough with lots of strainers lined up. Another woman puts a ball of poo on a flat strainer that’s shallow and rectangular. The woman spreads the poo over the strainer until it’s even. This allows the woman to make it into a paper-shape. She then puts the strainer laden with pretty colored poo out in the sun to dry. Two hours later, voila! Poo-paper!
Screening Process
Carrying the poo paper to drying
Peeling the dried paper
The finished poo product

Seeing the Poo Poo Paper factory was definitely a learning experience. One of the good things about paper made from elephant poo (other than getting to kind of freak people out when they find out they’re writing on something that was once a piece of poop) is that it’s great for the environment. We don’t have to chop down trees for paper and it’s a resource that will never run out as long as we have elephants. But if elephants go extinct then all the trees will continue to be cut down, and there won’t be any more! Please help the elephants and the trees!

So, here’s to Poo Poo Paper! One more reason I love elephants.

About the Author

I'm 8 years old and traveling the world with my parents and two sisters. I love to read and I've started writing books too. If you'd like you can read one of the books I'm currently working on here. A Bears View

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  1. Liv, We carry greeting cards made by that company at the Tennessee Aquarium gift shop. I’m surprised to learn it takes only two hours to dry. Are there only women working in their factory, or are there men, too? I can’t wait to read one of your books! Virtual hugs to all of you; looking forward to some real hugs soon!

  2. Great writing, Liv!!! I don’t know if my class would ever recover from the fact that they were writing on poop paper! You know how second graders can be 😉 but what a great solution to cutting down trees.
    Miss you so much and I absolutely LOVED the bear story. As always, you are such a fun, creative gal!

  3. Liv,
    Very interesting story, and written in such a way as to hold my interest throughout. Nice! The question is …. “What of value can we make out of Roxy and Max’s poop?” We’ll have to work on that issue when you get back to the U.S.
    Granddad Jim

  4. Lovely post! It did seem kind of a gross concept to start with however you’ve explained the process so well and I’m totally convinced! Great piece of writing and awesome photos. Hope you and your family are having fun in Fiji. Anisha (from Teacherhorizons)

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