Caring for the Planet
Tops Day Nurseries believe in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible world for all. Educating the children of today in order to influence the way future generations live.
Dorset Business Awards - Top Environmental Business Award
The way we currently live our lives are environmentally unsustainable and, therefore, ultimately socially and economically unsustainable too. Tops believe the education sector has a vital role to play, so what better place to start than in the nursery.
You may have seen in the paper or on the news that Tops Day Nurseries have put a ban in place for any more ordering of glitter.
Glitter microplastics are an increasing problem. These tiny, shimmering specs of microplastic are virtually impossible to remove from the environment once there. When we’ve finished using plastic glitter for play, in decorating a card, sprinkling it into playdough or glue or painting with it, it goes into a bin or into the sink. It can’t be recycled because it isn’t practical to do so, it’s too small to separate out.
We already know that 100% of mussels found off France and Belgium have ingested microplastics and many fish have too; so if you eat shell fish you more than likely have eaten microplastics already, along with the toxic additives that manufacturers use (for colour, flexibility etc.) which are known to copy oestrogen, and affect human fertility.
Children Love to Explore
Tops believe that children of all ages should have the opportunity to learn about their natural environment.
Your children love the outdoors, assisting them to develop the knowledge, skills and values that will help them thrive in a more environmentally sustainable world.
We are excited to announce that Tops Day Nurseries has now invested in bamboo toothbrushes for the children to use, supporting our ethos as a green, sustainable company. Tops will not be buying any more plastic toothbrushes for the children.
In the nurseries...
Nursery colleagues have already made huge improvements to the nursery environments; you may have noticed them wearing lovely pink aprons (that are washed and re-used).
Rather than the one use plastic aprons we were using, they are not buying straws or balloons or one use plastic cups, cutlery or plates. Nurseries have started to grow their own herbs and vegetables with the children, using water from the water butt, meaning children can sample their home grown produce during snack and meal times and they learn a huge amount of biology at the same time.
Tops Day Nurseries have recently invested in electric vehicles for staff to use in order to produce zero emissions when needing travel at work. These cars are fully electric and have many different benefits when it comes to helping the environment and being sustainable. The biggest benefit of which being that the cars do not emit toxic gases or smoke as they run on a clean energy source.
Tops Day Nurseries already provide the most eco-sustainable childcare and education in the UK, so it is ideal to continue this practice on the move. Being respectful of the environment and acting to reduce, re-use and recycle resources is an important part of the culture and routine for the children and staff.
Our children, our future
Children at Tops Day Nurseries are encouraged to be considerate with their actions by recycling and caring for the environment just as part of everyday play and being in the nursery.
We talk about nature and the importance of respect and caring for the environment every day, whether it be through a mud kitchen, bug garden, clearing up after lunch or Tops Forest School.
Switch it off!
Tops Day Nurseries gave ‘Switch it off’ stickers to every child and put them up in the nurseries and offices to remind ourselves, parents and children to switch off the lights and electrical appliances when not in use.
Cutting the costs on printing
The nurseries have also reduced the amount of welcome packs handed out to new parents by sending them via email.
The original welcome packs contained information such as terms and conditions, enrolment forms, policies and more. By creating an e-version of this, the nurseries save approximately £750 on printing per 500 visits, savings which we will pass on to further improve our green actions such as paying for our food waste to be collected and anaerobically digested rather than put into the general waste.
All communications are sent via email now rather than issuing paper copies – this includes sickness notifications, event details, staff updates, photography visits and much more.
Tops Day Nurseries are proud to support the local charity GECCO
GECCO, the Green Early Years Choices Champion Organisation not for profit was started as a way to share best practice in caring for children in a sustainable way. We have sections on activities to do with children, whether you are an early years teacher or a parent, on things to consider when buying furniture, cleaning materials and toys for children, and on the background to why waste, global warming and the extinction of animals and plants is a problem now and especially for the next generations.
Green Pea Initiative
As part of our commitment to a better environment for ours and our children’s futures we have joined the Green Positive Environmental Action (PEA) scheme and we are delighted to announce we have now accumulated four peas out of 5, mostly for reducing our carbon impact by 10%!
We’ll get the 5th pea if we reduce by 20%. We have done many small things, one at a time, such as changing our light bulbs for LED bulbs, making use of time and light sensors, putting printers to sleep rather than standby when we aren’t using them and installing timers on our water coolers, water heaters so they aren’t on when we don’t need them on. We’ve also fitted fuel-saving magnets on all the gas and water mains and the older cars across the nurseries. In some cases the heating was on for 17 hours a day as well as weekends when the nursery was shut, so with these new measures the bills could be cut by 50%.