Reducing plastic waste and single-use plastic at nursery

Plastic seems to be found everywhere but there are many ways we can reduce andeven replace the use of plastic with more eco-friendly alternatives. This blogexplores how we can make these adaptions in our daily lives. This blog willspecifically look into the changes we are making in our day-care setting and sometips for parents.

There has been a rise in awareness of the increasing impact that plastic has on ourenvironment in terms of climate change. A great documentary to watch is BBC BluePlanet 2 which reveals the alarming impact plastic has on our environment.

It has been quoted by Sue Asquith that the ‘UK produces a whopping 5.2 million tonnes of plastic waste every year!’ and ‘some of this plastic is difficult (or too expensive) to recycle and shipping it abroad is not sustainable’. This is a substantial amount of wastage which in turn is contributing to climate change such as sea levels rising which is putting the human race becoming in imminent danger. Most scientists have quoted that we have around ’12 years’ to save the planet, this is a scary figure and we need to act now! Fortunately, the importance of the climate change has been implanted into the current manifesto and a bigger emphasis is being implemented on how we can help save the environment.

The present action we are taking here at Little Crickets Day-care is that we are slowly moving away from plastic resources and replacing these items with more natural resources. As you are all aware, we love the outdoors here at Little Crickets so we are trying to bring more of the outdoors into our indoor environment by bringing in branches, leaves twigs and anything else we find on our nature walks.

There was a quote from Swedish activist Greta Thunberg in a recent climate change conference that really stood out to me. She quoted ‘Some say I should be in School but why should any young person be made to study when no one is doing enough to save the future? What is the point of learning facts when the most important facts given by the finest scientists are ignored by our politicians’? This quote made me realise the importance of implementing and imbedding these changes through the younger generations. We would like to work closely alongside all our parents to move towards a more eco-friendly environment. It is so important that we teach children from a young age to care for the environment as they are our future generation.

Lunches, Nappy changes:

We are no longer using single-use plastic such as cling film. During lunches at Little Crickets we do not use single-use plastic/ paper cutlery and plates. We always use reusable cutlery and plates that are durable and long lasting. For workshops and special events held at Little Crickets, we use ceramic plates or children’s reusable cutlery and plates.

During nappy changes we are reducing the amount of nappy bags, plastic or gloves, plastic aprons by keeping it to a minimum.

Parents may consider doing the following at home:

 You could invest in biodegradable nappy bags

 You can reduce the use of baby wipes by using face cloths to wipe hands and faces

 You could go back to basics such as using cotton wool to wipe babies.

Nursery food and shopping

At Little Crickets we recycle food as compost for our plants as well as buying food when it is in season. We also teach children so that they are aware of where their food comes from by visiting our allotment area. They learn how to care for plants and develop their understanding of the world.

Parents may consider doing the following:

 Buying food sourced locally. When food is transported it has an impact on the

environment. It’s also great to support small business close by.

 Although ‘bag for life’ is a great improvement, paper or material bags would

be better to use as it is more durable and the paper is biodegradable. We can

also choose loose fruit and vegetables instead of putting it in plastic bags

 Let’s try and move away from ‘perfect’ looking fruit and vegetables and move

more towards accepting that not all fruits and vegetables look the same

 Buying milk from glass bottles instead of the plastic bottles

 Great bargains can be brought from charity shops and car-boot sales. Old

items can be recycled on apps such as ‘Shpock’. If there are household items

that you no longer need then please do donate. The day-care would make

great use out of these items and it is fantastic for children’s learning and

development as it encourages open ended play for the children to use their

imaginations. Donations may include: buttons, wooden resources such as

spoons and kitchen items, materials and old clothing, ect.

Thank you for taking the time for reading this blog. These changes are adaptable, it just takes planning and conscious purchasing. Let’s work together to look after our planet by making these small changes, let’s do it together for future generations.

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