Our Eco-friendly approach

How can St George’s and our children make a difference?

The way to a more sustainable planet depends on how we educate the next generation. We want children to grow up with an understanding of how to look after the planet, and in turn go on and influence others with their behaviour. The earlier we can teach these principles, the better.

For this reason, your children’s awareness of the planet and the environment should be promoted through their daily activities, the resources that they use, and the interactions we all have with them.

Being more sustainable

St George’s provides reusable cotton tote bags for parents to use instead of plastic bags when bringing their children’s wellies etc into the setting. We also ask them to provide a long-life sustainable water bottle for each child.  

St George’s offers a ‘Cycle to work scheme’ to all employees in order to promote cycling instead of driving.

Recycling

St George’s recycles paper, cardboard, plastic, cans, and tins or we reuse them for arts and crafts. In the rooms and in the garden we have kid-sized bins so the children can get involved in the sorting.

All rooms use recycling food waste caddies for leftover food from snacks and meals. The content is then put into our garden compost bins.

Reusing and repurposing

We don’t throw away materials that could be suitable for play, so we collect cardboard, paper, plastic to use in arts and crafts activities.

We organise second hand clothes sales to recycle and fundraise for our Charity.

Using less paper

Most, if not all, of our parents and carers’ communications and invoicing are made electronically by email, so we print as little as possible.

Our interactive app ParentZone allows us to share a child’s pictures and updates with their parents without the need for printing.

Online banking and the use of finance software like QuickBooks is helping us move towards becoming a paperless business.

All our marketing is done through social media.

Making use of the outdoors (and little green fingers!)

We are lucky enough to have great outdoor space, so the children are able to grow flowers, fruit and veggies in our allotment.

With the aim to have a greener outdoors area, we invest in plants and plant trees where possible.

We host weekly Forest school sessions for the children in a specially developed area of our allotment.

We have plans to develop our allotment and our playground to bring more nature and greenery. 

What we buy

Where we can, we buy in bulk to reduce packaging waste (and save money!). We collect natural materials for play, like feathers, conkers, pine cones, or sticks.

When we buy new things, we try to make sustainable equipment purchases – wooden toys and tables, rather than bad-quality plastic which we would have to replace in a few years.

We buy locally sourced products for the meals which are prepared in our kitchen each day; our butcher and greengrocer are based in the Tunbridge Wells area.  

Water conservation

With water being such a valuable resource, teaching children to use it wisely is vital. At St George’s, we make sure children do not waste water by playing with the toilets flush or taps etc. ‍

Rainwater is collected in our water butts so we can water plants and our crops sustainably.

We also carefully monitor the use of our hosepipes within the garden and playground so no waste is made.

Watering plants: tips on what to do, when to do it, and more | Gardeningetc

Energy saving

When possible, we lower the temperature of our washing machines to 40 degrees.

We turn down or switch off our heating system when not needed.

We are looking at introducing smart switches around the building to avoid wasting energy and save on electricity.

The upcoming replacement of our building windows with new double glazed UPVC ones will improve the building energy saving, rating and insulation.

The power of the early years

Encouraging a sustainable mindset will carry through to when children head to primary school and onwards.

Not only this, children will take their habits and understanding back home, getting their families on board. That is why our role in the early years is so important.

By choosing more sustainable practices, children will build their knowledge and values while developing an appreciation of the environment and the way it affects their world. In turn, this is setting the foundations for an environmentally responsible adulthood and a planet that starts to look a lot more secure.