Embedding sustainability into our everyday practices and program is something we strive for at our new Kirrip and Eucalyptus Parade Kindergartens. By teaching children about the importance of sustainable living, we are helping the children develop an understanding of our impact on the environment, and minimising our future impact on the world. Through hands-on experiences children have been exploring environmental issues while also developing their critical thinking skills to think of new ideas on how we can contribute to the health of our world. Some ways we embed sustainable practices at our kindergartens are:
- Creating edible gardens
- Saving energy where possible by turning off lights and opening windows instead of air conditioning.
- Collecting natural resources ethically; ensuring we are not taking away from the native animals that live in the area.
- Re-using scrap paper as confetti and other crafts
- Avoiding single use products where possible; for example using tea towels for drying hands instead of paper towel.
- Creating meaningful learning environments for children to explore ways we can help our earth for example, cleaning up rubbish, recycling and reusing and limiting plastic use.
- Having incursions and excursions to investigate local indigenous environmental knowledge; this term we had an incursion from Merri Creek that explored the animals and critters that live around our local creeks.
By connecting children to the natural world and embedding sustainable practices they construct knowledge, explore values, and develop a deep appreciation of their environment. It is empowering for children to learn how to care for their world and contribute to a sustainable future and a healthy planet. Children are our future; they will be the decision makers and what they learn today is what they will be teaching in the future.