- Collect your dung
- Clean the fibres
- Dye the fibres
- Add some natural materials to thicken the mixture
- Once thickened, form the mixture into cakes or patties
- Place the cakes into mesh trays (you can get paper-making kits which include these)
- Allow to dry (for speed you could sun-dry them)
- When dry, pull off the individual sheets of paper from the mesh trays
It’s really as simple as that!
Okay, so this is slightly tongue-in-cheek! The above ‘recipe’ is for making paper from elephant dung.
I found it via a link at Green Orbit as I began my search for eco-friendly art materials. My own hypocrisy was my motivation in this search – in one post I’m complaining about people ruining the countryside by dumping their rubbish in it, while at the same time, extolling the virtues of printmaking using bleach!
Green Orbit ” …promotes good examples of environmentally sound practices and companies that implement them”. Their site provides a directory where people can find these examples and related articles.
The company on Green Orbit who published the above recipe is called Naturally Simple Ltd. One of their products is a notebook made from elephant dung. The notebook’s manufactured by a company called Papeterie out of elephant dung collected in Rajasthan.
Why not recycle our own ‘dung’ into paper? There is no reason, outside of social mores and squeamishness. Not a single tree will have been felled in the making of the paper and you won’t have to fly to Rajasthan to collect the material, as it’s right on your own doorstep, (metaphorically-speaking).
In fact, the elephant dung paper in the notebook contains only 25% dung. The rest is recycled cotton rags. Paper made from cotton is also known as khadi paper. Khadi is intricately connected with the life and philosophy of the Great Mahatma Gandhi. Khadi’s a fabulous paper to work with. Watch out for a blog on khadi.
I have to say I won’t be making paper from my own ‘dung’ … or will I?
If you like my writing, please hire me:
- You: Indian entrepreneur turns pachyderm poop into paper (latimes.com)
- Making Paper (pathtogreen.wordpress.com)