Teaching our children about being kind to our environment will lay the foundations for sustainable behaviour throughout their lives. It is their future we are helping them to protect. Equally important is that Cygnets Day Nurseries does all it can to operate in an eco-friendly manner. It is better for the planet.
We currently educate the children to understand more about green issues, encouraging them to bring in examples of what they have done with parents/carers and by demonstrating how they can make a difference.
One of the most important sustainability actions we need to be taking involves reducing single-use plastic because of the harm they can cause the environment. We are reducing our use of single use plastics by changing to glass milk bottles, replacing plastic equipment with more eco materials like glass, using green materials like bamboo and melamine, biodegradable glitter and natural soap instead of soap in plastic bottles.
We also use the following additional activities to teach the children about green issues.
- Children grow their own food including buying the seeds, planting them and watching them grow. We have recently grown carrots, potatoes, fruit trees and runner beans. We are also investing in additional planters to extend this and already have fruit trees in the garden.
- We use a water butt to save water and the children have learnt how they collect rainwater to water the plants.
- We would like to encourage fewer car journeys with a walk to nursery scheme that is also about promoting child health and we have in place an employee cycle to work scheme that helps our staff purchase a bike at reduced cost.
- We want to form partnerships with local sustainable groups and professionals such as Forest Rangers who arrange for the children to visit natural environments and educate them about protecting woodland and forest habitats which we are already doing at Pollyanna Pre-school.
- We are progressively changing all our taps so that they turn off by themselves thereby minimising water waste.
- We have introduced LED lightbulbs to cut our electricity usage and will replace them all in time.
- The children often have the opportunity to create characters out of recycled materials including shredded paper and old clothes
- We have replaced plastic crockery with melamine and plastic cutlery with metal as much as possible.
- We have replaced plastic straws with paper straws and use biodegradable glitter.
- We have replaced one-use aprons with PVC aprons.
In the coming months we will be introducing further sustainable activities. We will keep you informed on our blog and parent newsletters as these are introduced. We are considering a range of measures including replacing furniture and toys with those made of wood or bamboo.
We will be encouraging bamboo toothbrushes and bamboo building blocks made from rapidly-renewable bamboo which is lightweight and durable. The newly bio-based toys are derived from leftover sugar cane instead of oil, making them environmentally-friendly. A lot of bio-plastic toys are made of 90% sugar cane which is sustainable raw materials and 100% recyclable.
Please look out for these if considering Christmas presents or even toys made of wood and natural materials.