Elephants are some of the most intelligent and emotionally complex animals on Earth. Elephants are important because they are a keystone species: without them, entire ecosystems cease to exist.
But today elephants are in danger and it is the last chance we have to save them. With one elephant being killed for its ivory tusks every 15 minutes, almost 100 per day, these majestic, iconic creatures could be extinct within the decade.
Elephants are being killed at an unprecedented rate for their ivory tusks to meet the demand from China. Today, the price of Ivory has skyrocketed, fetching thousands of dollars for a pair. The following figure shows how Ivory from Africa reaches China and all the other countries through a very complicated supply channel.
While many efforts are underway to reduce the ivory demand, brought on by the increasingly wealthy Chinese middle class, there is still an enormous amount of work that needs to be done to limit the supply. One of the largest contributing factors that need to be addressed is the extreme poverty that exists in many African countries. If people are unable to provide for their families, any job will do, even if that job is poaching. For poachers, elephants are worth way more dead than they are alive.
Our mission at Elephant Pie is to reverse that thinking by providing income opportunities to the locals. We have to make them realize that AN ELEPHANT IS WORTH WAY MORE ALIVE THAN DEAD.
How did we design the products?
Having developed the paper, we were faced with two challenges.
1. To develop products made from the dung paper that are practical & creative enough to ensure a continuous demand so as to make it possible for us to procure dung and pay the locals.
2. To make products that can spread awareness and educate people about the crisis at hand.
Help us inspire locals to fight against the horrors of poaching to save the elephants! Don't let us be on the wrong side of history. Make a stand and support this project by pledging, sharing the project with your friends and spreading awareness about the crisis.
Everybody needs a place on their desk to store pens and display business cards. But what if your pen/card holder was multi-functional AND helped support elephant conservation efforts, too? Named after the Greek goddess Artemis, the protector of wild animals, our desk ornament functions as a Pen Holder, Vase, Business Card Holder, and Docking Station! At 7.9” high, this graceful beauty made of fine Poly resin will enhance your desk/home and be a visual reminder of your love of elephants!
ARTEMIS can be completely personalized with a combination of words (a maximum of 20 letters) and logos as shown in the photos below.
You can send your logo/text in any format. Our design team will render a picture of ARTEMIS with your logo/text and send for approval. The reward also includes up to two revisions.
According to recent estimates, more than 10 billion business cards are printed in the U.S. every year, while 80% of the cards distributed are discarded within a week. However, the remaining 20% really do work. For every 2,000 cards distributed, it is estimated that sales increase by about 2.5%.
You can upload your existing design or send us your logo and details. Our team will design the best card for you and offer up to 2 revisions.
Elephant Pie offers three beautiful journals: A Tribute to Qumquat; 10 Years Until Extinction; and Keep Calm and Go Vegan. Each journal is bound with a hard cover and is made of 100gsm elephant dung paper with a smooth, double-rolled finish. The journals are available in three page formats: both pages lined; one page lined and the opposing page blank; both pages blank. Each notebook is 100% vegan (just like elephants!) and measure 8.3”x 5.8”.
My Elephant Activity Book has a range of fun-filled activities to educate children about elephants and teach empathy for other sentient beings.
Contains a range of Creative Puzzles, Mazes, Coloring Pages, Stories, Word Searches etc, to help kids learn in a fun way.
Never lose your place in a book or magazine again! These adorable bookmarks are made of durable elephant dung cardboard and measure 4" long. There are five sweet designs - three elephants and two trees - and come in two packs.
This reward will give you an opportunity to experience a trip of a lifetime. A five day Safari will be provided by one of the top tourist companies in Tanzania along with a visit to Elephant Pie's collection Center.
This package includes air fare, accommodation, travelling & food.
This mini version is designed with a few limitations keeping the environment and eco-system in consideration.
1. A complete set CANNOT process more than 150 kg of dung a day. This is roughly equal to the dung coming from three elephants.
2. Sale is limited to sanctuaries/organizations involved in conserving elephants. A sanctuary/organization will not be sold more than one complete set.
3. We will not be selling the set to any Zoo or place holding captive elephants.
Making paper from dung is a very simple process. Pulp is the primary raw material of the paper industry. While the conventional paper-making industry uses tree pulp to make paper, it can easily be replaced by other environment-friendly sources like dung. Elephant dung is especially suited for making pulp because elephants are poor digesters – the majority of the more than 250 pounds of their daily vegetarian diet is passed as undigested plant fiber, which is long enough to be converted into pulp!
Making paper from the dung is a simple six-step process:
1.The dung is collected and dried.
2. It is boiled for eight hours using a few disinfectants to remove all the bacteria.
3. It is then crushed to make pulp.
4. The pulp is separated based on mesh size and sifted over wooden frames to achieve the required paper thickness.
5. The sheets are sun dried and then wrapped around hot air tubes to remove the moisture and dust completely.
6. Sheets are sprayed with a special finishing agent and double-rolled to achieve the required finish and texture.
WHERE ARE WE SO FAR?
Over the last one year, we have worked really hard on developing this paper to make it smooth and user friendly so that it is easy for people to replace their tree pulp paper with elephant dung paper and support the cause. A special 3 rolled calendar was fabricated to achieve this purpose.
As shown in the picture, second and third roll have steam inlets making it possible to take the surface temperature to more than 100 C. This helps in embedding any fibers on the surface and resulting in a smooth finish.
We took a major stride in our development process when we tried adding a 5 micron natural filler to our pulp. This resulted in a very smooth texture and also helped in improving the color of the paper. We are really thankful to our consultant Mr. Richard James for his support.
An interesting aspect of our equipment is that it is completely portable. The machines were fabricated in a way that packing them up from one location and installing in a new place is very easy and takes less than a day. All the machines except for the boiler are plug and play. The boiler is connected to the mixing bath (dung and water is mixed and boiled for 8 hours) and the tube dryer through steam pipes (takes less than an hour to weld). The boiler is also designed in a way that it has a kiln connected to the chamber housing the tubes. The kiln is fabricated with the view of using cow dung/other environment friendly solid waste as a source of fuel.
We have also finalized a location in the village of Minjingu, Tanzania to kickstart our first dung collection center.
Bulk production of ARTEMIS will take place in Taiwan. We have developed a very strong relationship with the manufacturer & have forwarded the STL files so that they can work on them and make their molds. Once the project ends, the manufacturer will be able to start the production immediately.
We have the process developed, we have the equipment, but we need to reach out and gather support or else the true purpose of this project falls short. We need to show that there is a demand for change, a demand for action, a demand for alternative and viable ways for locals to support themselves.
This project wouldn't have been possible without the support of following people.
Maria Mossman (London) for her suggestions & support
Judy Maxwell (British Columbia) for always being there to support the elephants and this project
Barbara Garrett (San Francisco) for her valuable editing
Virginia Woolf (Auckland) for letting us use her poem
Aafeez Jivraj (Arusha) for highlighting the areas worst hit by poaching
Mr Kamal Ahmed (Arusha) for his commitment to this project
Mr Patirana (Sri Lanka) for helping & training our staff and giving us valuable insights into the art of paper making.
Mr Richard James( Manchester, UK) for providing us the consultancy and sharing his knowledge with us.
We have worked really hard in eliminating all the potential obstacles. Shipping was seen as a possible hurdle but after going through a list of shipping agents, we have finalized the best agent to handle the logistics of our products to and from Tanzania.
We have also figured out a plan for shipping the rewards. Since paper products are generally heavy to ship, we have decided to ship the rewards from two countries to avoid high shipping costs and delays. Rewards for the US and Canada will be shipped from New York while rewards for the UK, Europe and the rest of the world will be shipped from Manchester.
There are inherent challenges with projects of this nature. While we feel that we have reduced the variables as much as possible, they can never be completely eliminated. But we are confident that after a year of working so hard on this project, we are ready to eliminate any obstacle and make this project a success.If you’d like to donate, any amount helps. Please scroll back up to the top of the page and choose a perk to support Elephant Pie on the right-hand side. Thank you for your support!!!