AusPen's Best of 2010

You might not think that a company that sells non-toxic, refillable dry-erase markers would be on the receiving end of life’s most inspiring stories. 2010 at EcoSmart Products was a year of conversations with people whose personal experiences have changed them, and driven them to create change around them.  Imagine being shut out of a normal working environment due to your intense (embarrassing) reactions to the toxic products that are used all around. Imagine being a teacher returning to school after maternity leave with a new drive to really, really change how the kids see their role in the world. Imagine you're a parent that has just discovered the reason that your child is experiencing [insert one: breathing difficulties/upset stomach/behaviour problems/poor academic performance] is due to the toxic dry-erase markers in the classroom.  In 2010, AusPen sales increased, and numerous schools, companies, NGOs and government departments switched over to AusPen eco-friendly markers. But our favourite moments were the ones like these:
"We've really seen a change in the teacher's attitudes.  Many of them started using reusable markers this year based on our proposal to put them in the classrooms last spring.  Most are exited to be a part of something; they're very open to "going green."

Amy Grant, high school student

 “Don’t give up. Don’t take ‘no’. Budgets can be overcome. When teens tell their schools about ideas for positive change, and if they have valid reasons, the administrators listen. They really do.”

Emily Packer, co-president of Teens Turning Green

Having children changes your life in many ways.  One of ours was that it shifted our focus from our own exposure to the products we use to the exposure of our three girls… The supplies our children and teachers use at school each day can be extremely hazardous.  Thank you for offering AusPen markers and products which help us minimize the risk to our health and environment.

Janette Deruki, PTA

My green lightbulb has always been on, but has burned brighter since I became a teacher. I now have the ability to influence hundreds of students to be greener and more aware each year… When I first started teaching, I realized that I'm not doing as much as I could be to make a difference, which made me a bit of a hypocrite. It's easier to be green when you're hoping that your students will. So, my green lightbulb is powered by my hope that the next generation will be smarter than mine.

Jenn Sanders, high school teacher

 My green lightbulb moment came after having my second child and realizing how difficult their future may become if we leave a legacy of indifference to our current climate change crisis and other examples of ecological unfriendliness.  My message of hope is just to convince people that as long as they start on the journey of ecological consciousness, it doesn’t matter where they’ve come from.  Progress is the key.  Continuing to move forward is what is important.

Jacqueline Butler, teacher

 The Gulf Oil Spill gave my students and I several opportunities to discuss our consumption habits and our relationship to people around the world who experience environmental trauma. The need for oil and the ability to create sustainable products made a great impact on my class…Everyday events like picking up garbage and printing out homework are complimented with the remarkable insight of students who have grown to recognize that we are responsible for doing their own part to be green from just discussing events like those. Just the other day one of the four-year-olds said her salad dressing looked like a small piece of the Gulf Oil Spill. 

Christine Villalobos, preschool teacher

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