Replacing Animal Ivory with Botanical Ivory

This is the first of a three part series about One World Project’s passion to protect wildlife by promoting alternatives to ivory like tagua.

Our last blog addressed the need to protect the earth’s dwindling elephant population by reducing the demand for ivory. One way we can do this is by working together to increase demand for more sustainable alternatives. One such alternative is tagua.

Tagua Carving

Tagua is a hard white material that comes from the fruit of the Phytelephas, a palm-like tree that is native to central and South America. Also called corozo, tagua can be made into virtually anything that has been traditionally made from ivory including jewelry and figurines. Tagua harvesting usually takes place after the fruit has fallen off the tree, making it a sustainable product. Once the fruit dries and hardens, it is then polished and carved by skilled artisans into the desired shape.  Tagua can be dyed, or it can be left in its natural white state. Tagua’s natural color will change over time, starting out as porcelain and gradually taking on a rich ivory-colored tint.

Tagua Tree

Tagua is sometimes called botanical or vegetable ivory, reflecting its ideal quality as a substitute for traditional ivory. The eco-friendly advantage of tagua is clear. By replacing demand for ivory with demand for tagua, illegal ivory trade becomes less lucrative to elephant poachers. Tagua harvesting also discourages destruction of rainforests since no trees are harmed from collecting the fruit. Protecting fragile elephant populations as well as the precious flora found in central and South America, tagua is a superior choice for the environmentally conscious. By making informed purchases, consumers can help increase demand for this sustainable good while making the world a greener place.

 

Please check the blog again soon for the third part in this series to learn more about tagua projects offered by One World Projects .

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