At Cherubs Nurseries, we are committed to making the communities we serve better places to live, work and grow up in. With COP26 recently coming to an end, it felt time to think about what we currently have in place and share ideas that can be implemented not just in our nurseries but also in the homes of our children and their families.
When it comes to our responsibility as a childcare provider, employer and business we have strict practices and procedures in place, especially when it comes to single-use plastics and recycling, food and procurement. These include:
- Reduction of paper usage across the business with the introduction of paperless tracking, children’s learning journeys and parent communication.
- Recycling stations and collections from all nurseries ensuring paper, card, tins and glass avoid landfill.
- Use of single-use items only when unavoidable for operational reasons. This includes a ban on disposable aprons, balloons and plastic cutlery and paper plates at nursery events.
- Donating used toys to local charities, toy libraries and playgroups – or recycling what we can if they’re broken. When replaced, wooden alternatives are purchased if available.
- Refillable janitorial products across all nurseries including D10, soap and hand sanitiser.
- Installing hand dryers and non-concussive taps in bathrooms (where practically and operationally possible) to reduce the usage of paper towels and water.
- Using reputable suppliers to purchase consumables, equipment and furniture.
- Educating children that attend our nurseries about the environment and how to properly care for it and raising awareness throughout participation in awareness events throughout the year.
- Carrying out community clean ups across our nurseries to keep our communities safe and to avoid rubbish affecting nature and wildlife.
We recently introduced Meat Free Monday across all nurseries too. Reducing the amount of meat on our menus means we have a direct impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Small changes really do make all the difference!
Looking forward to 2022, we will be:
- Exploring ways to reduce over ordering of food and minimise waste – including asking our nurseries to make spare fruit available for children to take home with them at the end of the day.
- Introducing a “pre-loved” corporate wear system for our front-line staff to ensure it is re-used, where possible. If not, then it will be properly recycled instead of being sent to landfill.
- Reviewing the disposal of our nursery sanitary waste, to avoid this going to landfill.
- Introducing training for our people on how to positively contribute to our goal of going green.
- Encouraging our people to car share for their journey to and from work or use public transport – reducing the amount of cars on the road.
If we’ve inspired you to think about what you can do at home to minimise your impact on the environment, have you thought about…
Walking to and from Nursery
If possible, we would love to encourage more parents to walk to nursery, if possible. It’s not only great for exercise and to teach your child about the world around them (including road safety) but it will reduce emissions released into the atmosphere that contribute to global warming. Alternatively, if you’re not able to walk to and from nursery then why not consider public transport or car share?
Reusable nappies are nothing new – in fact, they were around before disposable nappies ever came to be. However, over the past few years reusable nappies have become even more robust and a great way for environmentally-conscious parents to do their bit for the environment and save money in the process. Over the course of an average two and a half years before babies are potty trained, they will need around 4,000 nappy changes. This comes in at around £1,875 (if using own brand nappies) and considerably higher for branded products. On average, reusable nappies will cost you around £400 over the same period, bringing in a saving of £1,475.
Many of our parents are making the decision to move to reusable nappies. Our Educators are more than happy to support with this and we have worked with some of our existing parents (who use reusable nappies) to get their recommendations on the best companies and brands to use.
The Nappy Lady
The Nappy Lady has a great range of nappies to choose from. Their website is great too, if you’re just starting out on your reusable nappy journey – as there is a survey you can complete to get your personalised recommendation based on budget, drying method and a couple of other factors.
Baba and Boo
Baba and Boo is another great website. If you’re new to reusable nappies they have a section called Nappy Know How which answers some frequently asked questions.
When it comes to reusable wipes there are lots of options. Cheeky wipes have their own starter kits, priced around £40 to get you started on your reusable wipe journey. Plus if you sign up to their newsletter, you’ll get 10% off your fist order. If you’re not quite ready to take the leap just yet, then why not try making your own? We’ll be sharing another blog post soon on how to make your own disposable wipes.
Some local authorities have reusable nappy schemes in place. Nottingham City and Nottingham County currently don’t run these schemes but those parents living in Derbyshire can take advantage of their scheme which gives you £25 cashback when you spend £50 on Real Nappies. You can find out more here.
Reusable Nappy Sacks
Just like reusable nappies, reusable nappy sacks are a great way to cut out single-use plastic. From around £6 each these aren’t just great for storing your reusable nappies until you’re back at home – they can be used for storing wet or dirty clothes or for protecting shoes when travelling. We’ve found some great ones from Little Lamb and Bambino Mio.
Giving old (but still totally lovable) toys a new lease of life
With Christmas coming up, many parents will be “clearing out” and making way for new toys. Unfortunately, our nurseries are unable to accept donations of toys. However, we would encourage parents and families to either donate toys to local charities, toy libraries and playgroups or using online recycling schemes like toys4life. You can find out about them here.