We are making huge efforts to be as sustainable as we can be. This is a work in progress as we put more and more things in place. We replace and erradicate to eliminate single use plastics and decrease our carbon footprint. Here is an ever-growing list of the efforts we are making for change…

We no longer use single use plastics. What we have cut out is really too much to mention. However, as a taster we have stopped using throw away shoe covers, glitter, sequins, plastic milk bottles, delivery bags, laminating sheets, poly pockets, nappy sacks, baby wipes, disposable nappies. In our kitchen we do not use tin foil, plastic bags or cling film. We do not get our shopping delivered in bags and buy loose food not in packaging wherever possible. We have either eradicated these or found alternatives.

We use cloth nappies. No more horrid disposables going into landfill from us. We therefore don’t have an offensive waste bin with all those nasty yellow bags and nappies releasing all sorts of gases in landfill. We provide cloth nappies for all our children and these are washed and reused. We also use washable liners and washable wipes with natural grape seed oil to keep those little bottoms super soft.

All nursery lighting has been changed to LED’s. These are so much better for the environment than their traditional counterparts.  In a nursery, as you can imagine, especially in the winter months, we have to have more than the average number of lights on at any one time. LED bulbs last up to 100,000 hours of use and compared to a traditional bulb LED bulbs are 60-70% more energy efficient. They convert more energy into more light, helping save our precious polar bears and their friends.


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Our families that are with us are here because they support what we do and what we are teaching the children. Therefore they are willing (and we are grateful) to do things like purchase cloth washable clothes bags for their dirty clothes, stainless steel or silicone water bottles for their children, contribute to mineral sun cream that doesn’t damage our coral reefs etc. We communicate with them every step of the way and gratefully accept their suggestions that will help us be more sustainable.

Wherever possible we reuse furniture or buy second hand. We love to up-cycle. This is because 300 000 tonnes of bulky waste gets sent to landfill each year in UK alone. It is much better to reuse than recycle and this is what we teach our team and children. It is our mantra and have signs all over the nursery that say this. Not only does reuse positively affect the environment, it also has economic impacts for both consumer and manufacturer. In fact it has been studied that if manufacturers actually worked with collectors and / or reuse companies they could help the environment plus saving on costs and boosting employment. Its a win win that we want to support.

As part of our dedication to looking after the environment, and teaching our children to do the same, we are proud to have taken the ‘Plastic Free Pledge’. This is an initiative spear headed by Surfers Against Sewage and which we are 100% behind. Please see our Beach Clean Section of the site for more information on this.

Louise, our manager and owner, has begun the task of spreading the word to other nurseries who we are hoping will follow suit and limit, if not stop, their use of single use plastics. Nurseries by their very nature use so many things in order to keep up the fun levels for the children – but we believe they are not necessary and a much more valuable lesson is to be had in teaching our children to look after the oceans and our entire planet wherever they can.

At Young Friends Nursery and Nature School we have pledged to do the following, though this is by no means the extent of our plastic erradication..

  • Ban plastic bags for shopping and other uses (including sandwich bags)
  • Ban nappy sacks
  • Ban shoe covers
  • Ban baby wipes
  • Ban straws for events and art projects
  • Ban glitter and sequins
  • Ask families to provide stainless steel beakers and cups
  • Use silicone bibs/tablet covers etc. instead of plastic
  • Organize monthly beach cleans
  • Systematically eradicate all plastic plates/bowls and cups and replace with stainless steel alternatives

We are mindful of the damage plastic does to our oceans at all times and are continuously eradicating more and more plastic. We organise activities for the children, not only on the beach, but in nursery to help them understand. our team find this aspect of our care very rewarding. Our most recent big effort was our ‘Ocean Awareness Week’ where the team provided many fun activities for the children whilst educating them at the same time. A Young Friends preschooler can often be found talking about looking after the fish and turtles and how and why we do it.

Hopefully this will root itself deeply within our children and they will carry on their good work and will throughout their lives.

We have been phasing out plastic equipment in our nursery for some time now. Every day we seem get eradicate something else and find it’s natural counterpart – this week we have taken straws off the agenda. These are used frequently for art projects such as blowing paint, making bubbles etc. We now have stainless steel straws which will be a permanent fixture (don’t worry we have enough for a whole group and brushes to clean them with afterwards) in the art cupboard. Please think about purchasing these at home if your children love straws – or keep a couple in your bag for when you go to a restaurant so you don’t have to encourage this wasteful and unnecessary element of fun/luxury.

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