Sustainability is just one word and yet has invoked hundreds of definitions.
A widely accepted definition of sustainability is to "...meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (Brundtland Commission, 1987).
How to build sustainability in your childcare centre.
*Include recycling as part of everyday practice at the education and care service.
*Discuss sustainable practices with the children and families as part of the services education and care curriculum.
*Provide information to families on sustainable practices that are implemented at the education and care service and encourage the application of these practices in the home environment.
*Use a worm farm or composting bin to reduce food waste in the education and care service. Children will be encouraged to place food scraps into separate containers for use in the worm farm or the composting bin. Educators will discuss with the children and families which scraps worms can eat and which foods can be composted. The children will be involved in maintaining the worm farm and compost.
*Aim to purchase equipment that is eco-friendly where possible. Educators will reduce the amount of plastic and disposable equipment they purchase and select materials that are made of natural materials and fibres.
*Use local Council and Government departments as sources of information on sustainable practices used in the local community. They will liaise with the Council and Government departments for possible grants available to put in place water and energy conservation practices in the education and care service. These may include water tanks, grey water systems, converting toilet cisterns to dual flush and converting to water saving taps.
How we are being sustainable in the work place at EIM?
This month the students in the Early childhood and Education class contributed to the world around them, their eyes were opened up to sustainability just as you would open up the eyes of a 3 year old.
They participated in recycling their drink bottles and making them into a vertical indoor herb garden.
We plan to use the herbs in some cooking and tasting experiences in class. YUM!
The students thoroughly enjoyed this activity and learnt about the sustainability processes along the way.