By Matt and Adam
The bit by Adam
We are all up in Chiang Mai just now and there are lots of different things you can do. You can get your photo taken with tigers at Tiger Kingdom about half an hour away, or you walk 100m further along from there to the Elephant Poopoopaper Park. You can go to an elephant show or you can help on an elephant sanctuary.
We all decided that instead of going to Tiger Kingdom we wanted to see elephant poo paper being made because it sounded interesting and fun (and it turned out to be brilliant). Mum and Katie are going to help on an elephant sanctuary next week.
The poo park comes with a purpose, and it’s about helping the environment not using bleach or other industrial paper making processes. I don’t really like the idea of Tiger Kingdom because the tigers are in small cages and there is no purpose really except to get a photo of you and a tiger. I think it’s cruel and touristy. But I know some people might like it.
Ecotourism is getting more popular and I think my generation want to see more ecoprojects. It’s a form of tourism that is intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial tourism.
In Thailand there are a few ecotourism projects/sites, for example:
Juicy4u at 5 Ratchamankha Road, Chiang Mai, which is a cafe famous for its health drinks and vegetarian food.
Cottage Cafe, Thapae Road, Soi 4, Chinag Mai, is a small cafe along the road from us. They serve good organic smoothie drinks and traditional food.
You can do jungle treks and bikeriding or rafting.
The Poopoopaper Park which we visited and Matt will explain in more detail…
The bit by Matt
On Friday we went to the Elephant Poopoopaper Park, it was very interesting. It was my favourite day do far. It’s been open for 6 months and the lady who owns it is really nice. To get there we took a Tuk Tuk well 2 actually me and mum, then Adam, Katie and dad in the other!! It was about 15mins away, when there was traffic we just went to the side and overtook all the cars.
Our Tuk Tuk needed to stop for gas, they use LPG instead of fuel now because it is a bit less polluting than the leaded petrol which used to be used. So Adam, Katie and dad went a bit ahead, but we caught them up later on. At the park we learnt all about how they made paper from poo.
Before paper was invented, people used clay, bark and animal hide to write on. My mum said that in her old job she had to sometimes read old title deeds written on cow hide – she said it was a bit smelly and difficult to read.
A man from the Imperial Court in China called Ts’ai Lun presented his invention of paper made from different leaves to the Emperor in 105AD. Later on the 24th of July 1806 Henry and his brother Sealy Fourdrinier invented a machine that could make a continuous roll of paper, and it could make any size of paper very quickly. Now even with computers we use paper every day.
First they collect the poo, then filter it in drums to remove the dirt and sand. Because when they collect the poo they also scrape up sand and dirt. Once it’s filtered, they put it in a big sort of pan over a fire for 4-5 hours to remove all the bacteria. This gets rid of any smell – it smells of nothing.
Once that’s over they take it out of the pan and all that is left is the fibres. Then they dry it.
To make the paper a bit stronger they add 5% recycled paper so that the new paper holds together better.
They mix this all up with water and they make it into balls. They can also add colouring for other types of paper.
This is us, we all chose a colour then put it in a big sort of sieve which spreads out the ball all across the sieve to make a thin layer of fibre basically.
That they leave to dry in the sun for 5-6 hours.
Finally just peel it off and that’s the paper!! They also make it in factories but still do the same method but on a bigger scale, so the paper is a bit smoother than the one by hand.
We got to make things with the paper too!! We all made a card and an envelope or even 2.
Mum, Katie and I also made a notepad, that you could decorate.
After we visited the park, we went to their cafe to have a coffee, an apple shake and also a Poopoochip Cookie!!
Our Tuk Tuks we about to leave and my apple shake wasn’t made yet so we asked them to put it in a plastic cup to take away.
So on the way back with an apple shake, disco music in our Tuk Tuk.
Our driver was a big softy, he was so nice we bought him a beer.