S for Sustainability – The ABC of Early Years Education
It’s essential that we, as human beings, leave our world fit for future generations to enjoy a healthy life. Therefore, when it comes to the early years, sustainability should be embedded into every element of a setting’s environment, to help make this happen.
And no action is too small.
It’s important that every time you plan an activity, you ask yourself: “How sustainable is this?” This will help provide a foundation on which to instigate environmental change in your setting.
For instance, if you are using one-use glue sticks, you could buy the Nexus ones – where you can replace the inserts with new glue instead. And if you are using large plastic bottles of cleaning liquids, you could use the Bio-D products that you can dilute on site and return the bottles. You could also use more plant-based products for meals – reducing meat and dairy consumption.
Most importantly, every activity should be reflected upon.
We should implement the eco-sustainable mindset of ‘could this be done for the next 50 years and not damage the planet?’ If not, it would be best to rethink and swap it for something else.
And supporting sustainability shouldn’t feel like a chore – it’s all about centring on what interests already lie within your setting. It should be something that’s role-modelled.
Ultimately, the decisions early years professionals make on a daily basis, from equipment procurement to on-site waste segregation, all add up to a greater cause of creating a space which not only thrives and supports children and staff now but tomorrow, and every day after that.