This week on the Fancy Scientist podcast, I talk to my friend, colleague, and founder of the amazing company Elephant Origins. Lisa Mills founded this elephant-friendly tea company to help the conservation of Asian elephants.
The biggest challenge that Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) face is the loss of habitat from human development. For centuries, some of this habitat conversion has been for tea plantations. Farmers grow tea leaves, which then end up in our drinks.
The mission of Elephant Origins is to provide a high quality tea product that supports local farmer while still providing land for Asian elephants to roam on. Lisa and I talk about how she founded Elephant Origins and why it is so important that we work with corporations towards solutions that benefit wildlife and people while still accommodating economic needs.
Specifically we talk about:
- The conservation challenges that Asian elephants face and why they are declining
- Why and how tea farms affect Asian elephant populations
- What is elephant-friendly tea and how do farmers become certified
- How did Elephant Origins come about and how do they use science to inform conservation practices
- What elephant-friendly tea takes like and where you can buy it from
- Why it’s important to support local communities for the conservation of wildlife
- and MORE!
Resources and Sources Mentioned in Elephant Friendly Tea
Elephant Origins website (where you can buy tea!)
Elephant Origins Wins Top Award at World Tea Expo 2020
Our Elephant Friendly™ Certification
Elephant Origins Keeping Wild Elephants in the Wild
Lisa Mills’ Contact Information
Dr. L. Scott Mills, professor at the University of Montana
The Night Forest Elephants Broke Into My Room
#27. Charging Elephants and Fresh Dung: Challenges from the Field
Videos of Baby Elephants Getting Stuck in Trenches (with Happy Endings!)
Stephanie Schuttler is a wildlife biologist with 17 years of experience in mammal ecology and conservation, education, and outreach. Read her inspirational story, “My Unexpected Journey Into Science” to find out how she went from the daughter of a jeweler to a Ph.D. in wildlife biology. Feel free to contact Stephanie here.
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