CHILDREN at MercyCare’s Landsdale Early Learning Centre are setting an example on minimising waste.
The centre will celebrate the practical and sustainable ways it has incorporated environmentally friendly practices into daily routines this National Recycling Week.
Centre manager Tammy Dodd said by finding ways to deal with and reduce waste, children as young as two years old could get excited about sustainability.
It started with a worm farm that the centre set up about six months ago, collecting kitchen scraps from lunches and snacks throughout the week that the children help give to the worms twice a week.
“They get so excited about them, so much so, they are usually the ones reminding us to feed them,” Ms Dodd said.
Organic waste placed in the general waste that goes into landfill would otherwise create methane gas, which contributes to global warming.
The presence of the worms has also created learning opportunities, with the children turning to books about worms to find out more about the lifecycles of the wriggly creatures.
“We can try to tell the children about the importance of the environment but for them to understand they really have to engage with something,” Ms Dodd said.
The success of the worms gave educators the confidence to introduce other ‘green’ initiatives at the centre.
They have colour-coded bins to separate recyclable materials from general waste and have a monitor program that gets children in the Kindy room involved to ensure everyone is being environmentally friendly.
“The children have a special responsibility to ensure that other children and educators are turning the lights off, turning the taps off, limiting their use of paper towels and using the recycle bin,” Ms Dodd said.
She said the children were “always chuffed” when it was their turn to be the monitor and it gave them a sense of responsibility.
National Recycling Week runs from November 12 to 18.