An Eco Warrior has been appointed at every MercyCare Early Learning Centre – a dedicated educator with a passion for protecting the environment and championing eco-friendly learning activities with our children.
The program is part of our commitment to environmentally sustainable practices and education as part of MercyCare Early Learning’s Philosophy and our Mission Ethos Shapers.
The environmental learning activities are fun and teach children that every little action can make a big difference for our world.
In many of our centres, children learn to take care of our worm farms and chickens, which eat all our kitchen scraps and reduce green waste. Our little ones are so proud to harvest ‘homegrown’ vegetables from our garden beds, watered with collected rainwater.
We love getting creative and using upcycled materials in our art and craft activities. All our centres have recycling programs in place, diverting as much waste as possible from landfill.
Here are just a few of the great initiatives actioned across our Early Learning Centres.
- Children empty unused water into buckets at mealtimes to reuse on plants in our gardens
- Waterwise native plants (especially bush tucker plants) selected
- Counting fun while washing hands! Education on water use for our children
- Half flush toilets and reduced use of harsh chemicals to protect our waterways
- Lights not in use? Turn them off
- Composting and worm farms
- Limit the use of the dryer
- Turning off air-conditioning and opening windows
- Incorporated natural elements like leaves and rocks for children to further develop curiosity about the natural world
- Replaced plastic items with natural or recycled elements
- Maintained and renewed our vegetable gardens
- Educate children about biodiversity
Purchasing and waste
- Encouraged children to use both sides of the paper for artwork and re-use items for craft and activities
- Collected soft plastics for recycling
- Removed or reduced use of plastic wrap by using reusable covers
- Purchased environmentally friendly or recycled items
Community and Family
- Encouraged families to bring re-usable wash bags to eliminate use of plastic bags
- Participated in events like National Tree Day and Earth Hour
- Many centres acted as collection points for recycling
- Several centres were part of Keep Australia Beautiful’s Adopt-a-Spot program
Transport and Air
- We shop local to reduce needs for long transportation
- Educating our children on the effects of air pollution