It may not be a life skill as much, but taking care of planet earth is incredibly important for children’s futures. Learning how to do the right thing by the environment is something that we can teach children from a young age, so why not start going green in child care?
Encouraging environmentally friendly habits in child care aged children doesn’t need to be complicated. Simple strategies in centres and homes can guide children in the right direction and the smallest changes count towards the bigger picture.
Going green in child care is a great place for children to begin learning how to create a sustainable future and take care of the planet.
Get started by encouraging these environmentally friendly habits with the children in your care.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Reduce waste by buying less. Avoid purchasing items with excess packaging for example. Reuse where possible — art and craft in centres can make great use of boxes, egg cartons and more. Old stained t-shirts make great art smocks too! Recyclable materials should always go into the recycle bin. Help children identify recycle bins by displaying images of materials that are allowed in there.
Wise with water
Water is a valuable resource and should be treated as such. Next time rain is expected, set up some catchments around the centre for children to collect the rainwater. This water has countless uses, including washing outdoor items, watering indoor plants — brainstorm with children how you can use the water they collect.
Taps off tight
Speaking of water… Children can often enjoy the tap running but it’s important to break this bad habit. While brushing teeth or washing hands, always use the tap to begin with then turn it off tight until needed for rinsing.
Don’t let turning the lights on inside become something you and children do automatically. Save power by assessing the natural light in the room and making a conscious decision of whether the lights need to be turned on. Some centres and schools have even had light monitors where children are responsible for looking out for lights that are on that don’t need to be.
Hit the pavement
Encourage families and children to walk or ride to school more often — great for the environment and for physical health. If walking or riding isn’t possible, public transport can be a greener option than the car too.
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