Children are where looking after the planet starts. We place lots of emphasis on recycling, sorting and the actual process to give them knowledge and understanding but also with elements of achievement, teamwork and fun. The children love to feel they are doing something good and useful, and learn empathy and to enjoy looking after our world, plus it ticks all sorts of developmental EYFS boxes too.
The recycling station in our woodland garden, plus our parent recycling area in the lobby takes their understanding to another level. Each room has its own recycling are and when these are full the team periodically take the waste from their rooms with the children to stamp on it (lots of fun) and separate with them and explain why etc. They help us recycle plastic, glass, paper, cans, ink cartridges, batteries etc. When these boxes are full they then load up their trolley and pootle off down the road to the community recycling point. Anything collected that can’t be recycled in the community bins will be taken at various times by the team and children to the correct recycling depot in the city. We have all sorts of collections – batteries, pens, crisp packets and much more. The educational value to the children in doing this is priceless.
The children also compost food waste, shredded paper, animal waste and more. We have a large double composter in the garden, a wormery and leaf mulch area. The children learn and understand how to use them, what they are for and why they are so valuable. Waste at Young Friends is minimal – the children take the end products to our allotment (Nature Plot) and use it to grow their own food.