Tops are going green, but what does that mean for parents?

going green

Tops Day Nurseries have made a pledge to become more environmentally friendly.  We have learnt a lot about the ecological dangers we produce via our day-to-day actions and would like to share that with everyone!

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%.

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.

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.

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.

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.  Do you have one – or would you like more?

We will be working with Eco Food Recycling teaching practical food recycling both in the nurseries to the children as well as doing the recycling in both the nursery and care home kitchens.

Starting on February 13th any food waste generated through Tops Boscombe will be used to provide heat and energy, as well as fertiliser for farmers. After the 3-month initial trial, this will be spread across the business including the other 17 day nurseries!

We hope that our future generation will be more conscientious about their impact on the environment that we have been – honestly we weren’t that aware of the damage we have been doing with all the plastic going into our bins and into the water and we’re trying to improve our own practice – so if you spot anything you think we should or could be doing, please do let us know, we believe this is a cultural change in this generation which will benefit us but our children even more.

We are developing a green page on our website, and a Green charity called GECCO which arranged the showing of a Plastic Ocean recently – all to help spread the word.  To find your local Tops Day Nursery, please click here.

Posted in: General, Going green, News from our Nurseries