We have a responsibility to the children in our care to provide the resources they need to live long, healthy, fulfilling lives. Having clean air, enough water and the ability to grow food are fundamental to human life.
At Complete Kids, we are committed to reducing our own impact on the environment as well as nurturing environmental awareness in our children so they can become active participants in preserving their future.
Children learn by watching and doing – by having sustainable practices embedded into our daily routines, our children are constantly exposed to ideas of re-using, recycling and minimizing waste.
Food scraps are scraped into containers at each mealtime – older children do this themselves, staff model this for the younger children and babies. Our scraps are then passed onto to families and staff who have chickens to feed or added to our compost bin by staff and children.
Children are encouraged to turn off taps, use the appropriate flush-buttons on the toilets and to empty any left-over water onto the garden or our indoor plants.
Children are actively involved in planting, maintaining and harvesting our vegetable and herb gardens.
These regular experiences provide valuable ‘conversation-starters’ so that ideas about ‘how’ and ‘why’ are frequently discussed between staff and children.
Our rooms contain recycling bins for cardboard, paper and plastic. Children are gaining an awareness of different types of rubbish and that much of our waste can be made into something else. The older children enjoy taking the room recycling bins outside to empty them into the council bins ready for collection.
Further to this, we use our own cardboard boxes, tin cans, milk bottles, ‘found’ materials such as leaves, sticks, stones, feathers etc in our art and craft experiences. This has the advantage of reducing our consumables but also helps the children form connections with their environment which is important for their development and well-being.
We are always striving to minimise our own impact on the environment. We regularly monitor our practices at staff meetings and via our individual staff review and goal setting processes.
We seek to reduce our power consumption by:
- Turning off lights and heating/cooling where appropriate
- Installing energy-efficient appliances in our kitchen, laundry and office
- Our playrooms are orientated to capture winter sun thus reducing power-consumption for heating
- Conversely, we have installed pergolas which protect our rooms from the summer sun and reduce our power consumption for cooling
- Our centre contains a master switch so all lights are automatically turned off when the centre is closed
We seek to reduce our use of consumables by:
- obtaining our office and art/craft materials from sustainable sources where possible eg: our printer paper is ‘Australian Forestry Standard’
- obtaining room resources from Op Shops where appropriate
- using face washers, towels and cleaning sponges where possible rather than disposable items
- using recycled shopping bags for wet clothes
- making use of technology such as iPads & TiqBiz to significantly reduce our printing requirements
- accessing the local library
We seek to reduce our water consumption by:
- Using our Water tanks to provide water for our vegetable gardens and for water play
- Planting drought-tolerant plants and using mulch
- Emptying water jugs and cups onto plants
- Only putting full loads through the dishwasher and washing machine
- Our bathroom taps and bubblers have automatic turn-off mechanisms
We are very proud of our natural outdoor environments and we continue to explore ways of developing them further – some ideas currently being evaluated are:
- More bird-attracting plants
- Clothes lines for drying bibs, face washers etc
- Solar panels to contribute to clean energy consumption