Review: O’BON Eco Friendly Office Supplies And Kids Stationery

by Owner on November 18, 2009

There was a pile of materials on my office floor–recycled paper notebooks and recycled newspaper pencils sent to me by eco friendly office supplies and kids stationery company O’BON in hopes of getting a review on this website. I hadn’t quite decided what to write.

Then, a beautiful little seven year old girl with an artistic bent who frequently visits our home startled me as she burst into the room and made a beeline for the lively colored notebooks and pencils. Her artist’s eye was immediately attracted to the bright colors and sharp designs on the stationery. What followed was a long discussion about what “eco friendly” means, and showing her what great things we can make from recycled stuff that people throw away. We even touched on things like deforestation, and how things like these materials helped stop that from happening. As she made me promise that she would own the pencils and notebooks after I was done with them, I reflected on the enviro-lesson we just shared and how O’BON made that happen.

O’BON is a company that seeks to take common school or office items and turn them into something exciting, special and different–something that makes a loud statement about the environment. They succeed with their richly colored notebooks and pencils made from recycled newspapers and other environmentally friendly materials.

O’BON’s recycled newspaper pencils are made possible by a revolutionary process that allows rolling a used sheet of newspaper around a stick of graphite to make pencils at least as good as the environmentally destructive wood pencils all too common today. The eco friendliness of the pencils speak for themselves in their use of recycled materials, and they have the added benefit of being sturdier than their wood counterparts by better protecting the pencil’s graphite against things like dropping (making these pencils last up to three times longer than regular ones). But in addition to all of that, O’BON has partkiwinered with sister company Evoke to render beautiful colors and designs on the pencils themselves. One set I received features the beautiful feather colors you’ll find on a parrot. Another set of pencils are decorated with a kaleidoscope of colors sure to delight any kid or artistic-minded adult.

O’BON’s notebooks and binders feature very brightly colored fruit like kiwis and cherries. (The kiwi notebook’s cover is especially cool, as it offers a rougher feel where the kiwis are displayed open compared to the rest of the cover). O’BON hopes that such vivid depictions of fruit will not only encourage respecting the environment, but also healthier eating among the kids who use the notebooks. (One can always hope!)

Notebook paper is made entirely from Bagasse, the substance left over after sugarcane plants are drained of their juice for other purposes. The left over pulp and fiber has great qualities and can be used to make anything from paper to plastic utensils to boxes, minimizing the use of plastic and wood for making these products. Sugar cane grows like a weed and doesn’t need lots of fertilizer or water, making it a great sustainable crop for these kinds of products. Each notebook comes with an attached note or writing in the back explaining the use of sugarcane paper and why stopping deforestation is so important, providing an important “education moment” for anyone using them for the first time.

The ink and glue used in notebooks and binders are non-toxic and water-based. Not only does that protect the environment when made or disposed of, but you can also rest assured that they are safe to use.

If you are looking for eco friendly office supplies, or school and art supplies for kids, you can’t go wrong with these gorgeous and eco friendly stationery products. Not only do they please the eye with their gorgeous designs, they also create a new market for recycled products and provide a mini-education about environmentalism.

The little girl I mentioned will be picking up the kids stationery I received and taking it to school the next time I see her. But when she made me promise to give them to her I asked for a promise in return: that she would tell every curious kid who asks about the pencils and notebooks about how (and why) they are made from recycled newspapers and leftover sugarcane. She agreed.

And that’s how word about the environment passes on.

(Note: as per new FTC guidelines, I received materials from the featured company for the purposes of writing a review. I have received and will receive no other compensation for writing this article.)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Steven November 20, 2009 at 12:15 am

I was browsing my emails and saw a link to this page, just thought i’d have a glance, but the first few lines of your article engaged me right up til the last word. Thank you for that educational moment on the environment wo well captivated by your words. I really appreciate it will surely pass the message on.

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Joe Barrios November 20, 2009 at 12:30 am

Thank you, I appreciate your comment. :)

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Climatarians | J. Hoogstrate November 23, 2009 at 8:01 am

It is nice to see some companies take a lot of effort and initiative in creating awareness about environmental issues. Guess we should focus more on getting our kids interested in these things. The older generation might be too hard to convince, but kids would readily accept these ideas. We run a global sustainability directory called Climatarians where we feature information on environment issues.

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