Sunday, December 14, 2008

California Green Schools

We just got back from the California Green Schools Summit in Anaheim. It was a great event with smart people and companies focused on making California schools greener. We met people from all over the state and it was great to talk with so many educators that are current users of the AusPen dry erase markers.

It was the second conference in the last 30 days we attended in California - the first one was in San Francisco (Green Festival) and this one in southern California. The focus on green initiatives in the Golden State is impressive and inspiring.

The groups of people we spoke with make sustainability a part of their daily routines and they are constantly looking for ways to be greener, whether it is something as easy as changing over to a refillable dry erase marker, or non-toxic cleaners in the schools all the way to major projects like going completely solar, or Leeds-certified construction of new schools.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the AusPen booths, we appreciate it and look forward to speaking with you in the New Year to help you make your schools and companies greener.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Green Schools

We're committed to helping schools become as green as possible and that means delivering a whiteboard marker that is non-toxic, but also one that is made from recycled material and is refillable.

It is always great to be recognized by respected members of the school districts, as we have in the last couple of months on trips to California, Washington State and the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.

As well, when respected media companies also highlight our AusPen markers it makes us feel very good about not only the markers, but the real impact it is having in the everyday lives of students, teachers and office workers - and of course local eco-systems.

Over the next couple of months it looks like several magazines and newspapers will be doing pieces on AusPen markers - we'll keep you posted.

By the way, here is a link to the Fall issue of National Geographic's Green Guide magazine article on the "Greenest School Supplies", which features AusPen whiteboard markers.

Have a great weekend and Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 3, 2008

Teachers - Whiteboard Markers That Don't Stink

We were at an educational conference recently and one of the top complaints from teachers about their working conditions was the smell of the whiteboard markers (dry erase markers) that they have to use.

That smell causes many of them to feel lethargic and have headaches by the end of the day. Many said they often feel nauseous at points during the day due to inhaling the fumes from their whiteboard markers.

Breathing in these toxins all day long is not good for you - obviously. This is a heath hazard and shouldn't be allowed in the workplace.

Make a point of asking your school administrators to only use markers that don't contain Xylene. Xylene free markers are the eay to go for a healthier work environment.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

ABC News Highlights Non Toxic Whiteboard Markers

ABC's Good Morning America recently put together a feature on safe school supplies and green school supplies as the kids head back to classrooms this fall. They particularly focused on non toxic school supplies, products with low VOCS (volatile organic compounds) which reduce exposure of harmful toxins for the students and the teachers.

As they stated, conventional whiteboard markers are one of the top sources of toxic waste for schools, as they contain Xylene. These markers go to the landfills by the truckload, filling landfills not only with non-biodegradable plastic containers, but these little toxic bombs will keep leaking Xylene into the soil (and in many cases, into the water table).

ABC News identified AusPen refillable markers as a safe, green alternative to the disposable dry erase markers, as they are made up from recycled material and they are non toxic.

Have a look at the ABC News feature on their website here

Monday, September 22, 2008

Non Toxic Markers

Just checking out my local stationery supply store and I have to say I'm impressed with how far the product supply has come in the last year, in terms of offering non toxic dry erase markers. There were several brands available. However, be careful when buying a marker that says low-odor, as just because it is low-odor doesn't mean it is non toxic.

But the shift over to eco-friendly products at a retail level has been impressive, whether it is refillable, non toxic markers like AusPen markers, to recycled paper, non toxic glue, like Elmer's new product and more.

So the next time you are looking to buy school supplies or new supplies for the office, think about green, non toxic options.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Green Guide

The latest issue of the National Geographic Green Guide magazine arrived on newwstands and in subscriber mailboxes over the last week. The cover story is "Safe School Supplies" as most kids head back to school.

We are very proud to say that our AusPen whiteboard markers have been included in the article by National Geographic. Not only did they use a good size image of our eco-friendly markers, but they put us number one on their list of "Guide To Greener Schools" with six other products.

It was good to see refillable, recyclable dry erase markers and whiteboard markers make this esteemed list. The big key for them was we have non-toxic markers.

You can pick up the magazine at leading retailers everywhere, or at their website at

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Greening Your Workplace

Even small steps can help to make a big diffeence when making the inside of your workplace more eco-friendly.

Here's a tip that we have seen work very recently at a couple of companies.

"Green" learning lunches have been organized. They are completely voluntary and just a relaxed way of getting people together to discuss ways of being more green and brainstorming ideas of what might work in the office.

One company we work with has started to show movies with a sustainability theme during lunch hour. This has really had a big impact, as it gets people thinking which leads to positive actions around the office.

You might want to try this at your place of work.

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's Back To School

For some regions, it's back to school, or at least teachers are getting ready for the kids to start arriving. Other areas still have a few weeks before the doors fly open to another school year.

When you're getting ready to outfit the classroom with supplies, please try and think green with what you purchase, but also with how you go about your day-to-day activities once school has started. Recycle, reuse, reduce are the keys.

Whiteboard markers are one part of the equation when it comes to making positive changes in making classrooms and schools greener (refillable, recyclable, non-toxic products in any area are great to be looking out for).

For those who are back at school, have a great year, for those with a few weeks of vacation left, enjoy it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dog Days Of Summer

Most students and staff around North America are enjoying their annual summer holiday, but as we get ready to flip the calendar on July thoughts of the upcoming school year start to loom larger.

August is a time when schools and parents prepare for the new term, purchasing school supplies, new school outfits, etc. The rush back to the classroom can be a hectic period.

We want to encourage both to try and think as "green" as possible when making these decisions. Whether it is notebooks, electronics, stationery, whiteboard markers, dry erase markers, folders, binders or books, there are eco-friendly alternatives available in all the categories. Look for non-toxic options wherever possible.

But you still have a few weeks of summer bliss left, so enjoy it everyone.

Friday, June 27, 2008

If by chance you are going to be attending the annual summer conference for Principals in Washington State (Spokane) this weekend, please stop the AusPen booth and say hello.

What you will see there is the most eco-friendly whiteboard marker available in the world (yes, that is a magnanimous statement, but true).

And Sunday night AusPen will buy the beer if you want to join us later and talk about school's and offices going green.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Grads and Dads - Gifts

With Father's Day approaching this Sunday, why not think green when looking at gift ideas. Instead of taking Pops out to a restaurant for brunch, make him breakfast in bed using only locally grown, organic ingredients (or as much as possible).
How about an antique type gift, one that has already been produced and used by someone else, or a great book from a used bookstore. If he likes tech gadgets, do a little research and see what ones have the least impact on the environment - like a wind/solar powered re-charger for his Ipod or cell phone. Found here

And for grads, if you can, try and think green as well.

Have a great Father's Day everyone.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Low Odor Markers

So many schools and organizations are focusing on the toxicity in the classroom and office space. These toxins lurk everywhere and one of the big culprits is disposable whiteboard markers that use ink loaded with harmful chemicals.

Xylene is the major concern and Xylene can be found in the majority of disposable markers. You know that smell, the one that gives you a headache if you're around it enough...that's Xylene.
Google it and you'll read about its harmful's really a pretty nasty chemical.

When purchasing whiteboard markers, take a look for non-toxic ones, you'll be glad you did. And if you are a teacher, using non-toxic markers is not only much better for your health, but it significantly reduces the level of toxicity the school children are exposed to.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Did You Throw Away A Whiteboard Marker This Week?

If you're like the majority of schools and offices in North America I'm guessing you did. In fact, every year, over a billion plastic whiteboard markers get tossed into landfills in North America. The waste is incredible, and think of it, those plastic cylinders aren't going anywhere, ever. They will sit in that landfill for eternity.

This is where the AusPen markers can make a huge impact. Users of our eco-friendly markers not only save money, but they never throw them into landills. They are recyclable and they last a long, long, long time.

Find out more at

Monday, May 26, 2008

Did You Know?

Did you know that the use of disposable whiteboard markers is one of the top sources of toxic waste for schools and offices in North America.

Even a small school can produce hundreds of pounds of non-biodegradable waste that is dumped into their local landfills via the use of disposable markers.
This is why we are committed to an eco-friendly alternative to the disposable dry erase markers.

Thousands of schools across North America have made the change away from the toxic, disposable markers by switching to the AusPen markers.

Check us out online at if your office or school would like to test an eco-friendly, highly cost-effective solution for whiteboard markers.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Non-Toxic Markers

With all the toxins that are currently found in classrooms, it is important to try and reduce these levels wherever possible. It makes for a better environment for the staff and children.

The AusPen refillable whiteboard markers use non-toxic that means no more smell, no more headaches, no more feeling nauseous...there are no chemicals in the ink.

Learn more at

Refillable Markers

Hi everyone

We'd like to introduce the most eco-friendly whiteboard marker in the world - the AusPen markers. They are recyclable, made from recycled material, they are non-toxic and they are refillable.

And the great bonus is that they cost much, much less than traditional disposable markers (28 cents per pen).

Check out for more info.