An Ivory-Free New Year
The Year of the Pig is already upon us! And with it, the opportunity to travel and purchase souvenirs for your loved ones. This year, Khiri Travel has partnered with WWF to provide a few tips for choosing sustainable and heartfelt gifts that won’t harm the animals or planet, while still allowing you to bring some treasured gifts back home.
Elephants have long been regarded as symbols of good fortune and strength. But each year, at least 20,000 elephants are poached for their tusks. China banned domestic commercial ivory trade at the end of 2017. Since then, it has been illegal to buy or sell ivory in physical or online markets. Transporting ivory in and out of China is also illegal. And yet, many travelers still get caught bringing ivory home, spoiling memories of their trip and having items confiscated.
There are so many alternatives to ivory. Here are some ideas for gifts that are both sustainable and beautiful from some of the many popular markets throughout Asia:
Coconut Shell Lights
Coconuts are very common in Southeast Asia, and their round and tough shells are ideal for carvers. In Thailand’s markets, you can find these shells transformed into exquisite lanterns, bowls and other wares.
Luang Prabang in Laos is a hub for artists, many of whom use local tree pulp and flowers to create delicate, decorative flower paper. Because of its translucent quality, flower paper is most commonly used to make lampshades.
The ancient art of sand painting is done using sand dyed with natural pigments. In Bagan, artists have mastered the art form to create intricate scenes and durable keepsakes.
From all of us at Khiri Travel, we hope you enjoy your travels during the new year period and make sustainable choices along the way.