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   Sustainability

In a world where our actions have an ever-growing impact on those around us, we firmly believe that it is up to each and every one of us to do everything we can to take care of our beautiful earth. 

 

We also believe that businesses, no matter how large or small, have a special responsibility to reduce their environmental footprint and work towards a goal of zero-impact.  And of all the businesses out there, childcare is not just any business; for in nurturing the future generations who will inherit this earth, how can we be honest about truly caring for these precious little ones if we are not safe-guarding their future here?

It is for these reasons that we carry out our mission to not only nurture young children's growth and development, but to make sure that we do so in a sustainable manner.

Waste Reduction   -   Our goal is to throw away as little trash as possible.  We recycle everything that we can: plastics, paper, cardboard, cans, tinfoil, printer cartridges, etc.  We make conscious decisions when purchasing items, preferring those with the least amount of packaging possible, and recyclable packaging over non-recyclable.  We also re-use plastic bags, scrap paper and other materials wherever we can.

Fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, leaves, paper towels and whatever else we can compost goes into our compost bin in the garden.

Energy Conservation   -   In December we replaced all the old, single-pane windows with low-energy, dual-pane windows.  It has already made a big difference in our energy costs. 

In the summer, we use an evaporative cooler to cool the building as well as shading along the south side of the building.

We have replaced all our regular light bulbs with compact flourescent bulbs and we minimize our use of indoor lights whenever natural lighting is sufficient. 

Currently we are looking into other energy-conserving measures such as solar panels or wind-energy credits to offset our electricity consumption.  We are also considering incentives for encouraging staff and families to use alternative forms of transportation. 

Healthy Environment   -   All-natural, environmentally-friendly materials and supplies are used wherever we can.  We clean our hardwood floors with vinegar and hot water, we use citrus-based air fresheners, phosphate-free soaps and detergents, and other natural cleaning products in order to reduce children's direct exposure to toxins as well as the byproducts that wind up in the environment.

When selecting toys we examine carefully the materials they are made of, preferring wood and natural material over plastics, and BPA-free plastics and recycled plastics over their more toxic, un-sustainable counterparts.

Outside, we never use pesticides or herbicides when tending to our landscaping.  Instead of traditional fertilizers we use compost and compost tea and rather than a gas-powered lawnmower we use an electric one.  Not only are these choices healthier for the children, but they are also healthy choices for the earth.

In our kitchen we cook the children's meals in ceramic-based, eco-friendly cookware.  We buy all- natural foods, and organic and local produce whenever feasible.  We don't serve foods that are heavily processed or that contain food additives such as flavorings, dyes or preservatives. 

Community   -   We are now a certified Eco-Healthy Childcare Center.  You can visit the Eco-Healthy Childcare website to learn more about this certification.

It's important to us to support our families in their efforts to reduce their impact on the earth so we are in the process of setting up a system for bringing in their used batteries for recycling. 

We are always open to suggestions that our parents, staff or community members might have to help us in this mission!  Please let us know if you know of other opportunities to form community around the ideas of sustainability and zero-impact.