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Elephant Dung Recycler Wins Co-op America's 2008 Green Business Leader Award

Company Finds Innovative Way to Defuse Conflict between Farmers and Elephants in Sri Lanka

December 3, 2008

Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA -- Brooklyn, NY company Mr. Ellie Pooh, which sells 100 percent handmade journals, stationery, office supplies and various grades of paper made partially from Sri Lankan elephant dung, is the Co-op America’s 2008 Green Business Leader Award winner.

The award was presented at the Green Business Conference in San Francisco on November 13, 2008 by the 2007 Green Business Leader Award winner, Organic Valley. Awarded since 2003, the Green Business Leader Award recognizes the extraordinary leadership efforts of one business that has used its position in the marketplace to organize consumers and businesses together to build a more socially just and ecologically sustainable economy.

Sri Lanka is home to about one out of 10 of the world’s estimated 40,000 Asian elephants still living in the wild. Elephants are not killed in Sri Lanka for their tusks, their hides or for meat – they are killed because they interfere with agricultural crops. Mr. Ellie Pooh is working towards finding ways to change the perceptions of farmers, who are being encouraged to see the elephants as a sustainable economic resource.

Along with Maximus, their Sri Lankan partner and paper-production company, Mr. Ellie Pooh plans to introduce “Project Peace Paper,” which would open paper re-cycling plants in rural areas, train villagers in paper making techniques and sell finished goods worldwide in order to contribute to the local economy.

Green Business Program Director Denise Hamler said: “We’re pleased to announce that green business peers awarded the prize this year to Mr. Ellie Pooh, which works towards resolving the elephant-human conflict in Sri Lanka to try and prevent more of the world population of Asian elephants from disappearing. This company’s green and sustainable aims and practices are truly a model for other corporations.”

Mr. Ellie Pooh founder, Karl Wald said:“Mr. Ellie Pooh paper products are 100 percent recycled, made up of 75 percent elephant dung and 25 percent post consumer paper. There are no toxic chemicals used in the paper-making process, only basic bonding agents such as alum and rosin, along with water soluble salt dyes for coloring. As no bleach or acids are introduced during manufacturing, the handmade papers are pH neutral and can be used in multiple situations.”

Past winners of the Co-op America award include Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, T.S. Designs, and Organic Valley Family of Farms.

Along with Mr. Ellie Pooh, the 2008 Green Business Leadership Award nominees were: Social(k); Ecowood Displays; WorldofGood; and Activist Design Studio. The nominated companies are all members of Co-op America’s Green Business Network™ and were nominated by their peers and fellow business leaders attending Co-op America's Green Business Conference.

ABOUT CO-OP AMERICA

Co-op America is the leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Co-op America provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today's social and environmental problems. Co-op America’s green economy programs encourage corporate responsibility, tackle climate change, build fair trading systems, advance healthy, local communities, and provide green purchasing and investing information for families and businesses.

To receive Co-op America’s popular publications, including Real Money and the National Green Pages, participate in Co-op America’s Green Business Conferences or Green Festivals, or to get its free e-newsletter, providing the latest green news, green discounts and opportunities to take action for a green economy, visit http://www.greenamerica.org, email info@greenamerica.org, or call at 800-58-GREEN.

CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or aawolf@hastingsgroup.com.

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