Thursday, February 4, 2010

The value of refillable markers – not what you’d think

Whenever something that belongs to my kids doesn’t work, there’s a moment of hesitation, and then, fling! Away it goes. So much in their world is disposable, replaceable and broken. So many of their things hold no real value.

That’s why the concept of the AusPen refillable whiteboard (dry-erase) marker may take a moment to wrap our minds around. Add drops of ink to the marker and keep on using it? When eventually the nib frays, turn it around and use the other end? After countless refills, when the aluminum marker has had its day, throw it in the recycling bin instead of the garbage? Well, it must cost a fortune.

The irony is that goods that are designed to have a short user-lifespan, such as regular whiteboard markers, cost considerably more, 70% more in the case of regular whiteboard markers compared to the AusPen.

Consider the message to children in a class where a teacher can hold up the AusPen kit – 6 markers with their refill inks – and say, “Because of this kit I am not going to throw away 246 toxic, non-biodegradable markers into our local landfill.” Imagine the children’s thoughts. Imagine the impact on their actions. Imagine the value in that.