Going “green” and becoming more sustainable has grown to become an attractive and popular trend for many companies and organizations. Not only is it great for the environment, but those things that are harmful to the environment can also be unsafe for children. When preparing your center for child care, going “green” is likely the last thing to cross your mind. However, making sure that you are conscious of things like wall paints, pest control practices and cleaning supplies is important.
Put parents’ minds to ease and assure them they are dropping their little ones off somewhere that will help them grow and keep them healthy. Here’s a list of things to consider:
- Flooring: Believe it or not, area rugs on hardwood floors are much better than wall-to-wall carpeting, especially if infants or toddlers are spending lots of time on the ground. The glue that is used to seal carpets can be toxic.
- Wall paint: If a building is particularly old it may contain lead paint. It isn’t harmful unless it is peeling or chipping, but it is something to keep in mind.
- Aerosols: These chemicals linger in the air and can be bad for children’s lungs. Direct sprays or wipes are a much safer alternative; even better replace the products your center uses to those that are eco-friendly!
- Cleaning Supplies: Cleaning supplies that are green can greatly improve indoor air quality. Floor polish, bleach and other common cleaners can contain dangerous chemicals and fragrances.
- Activities: Integrate eco-fun lessons into everyday activities and lessons with the children. There are an endless amount of possibilities when it comes to these activities and the more creative the better. For example, children could learn a song about butterflies and then craft them out of sustainable materials while learning about their habitat and how they can help the planet.
- Meals and Snacks: A great way to enforce healthy habits at a young age is to allow the children to be hands on. Local farms can deliver organic produce and the children can learn to identify them and help wash them.
- Waste: An average school generates 99 pounds of waste per student every school year. You should be conscious of your carbon footprint and recycling.
Kids are never too young to learn how to appreciate and care for the environment. A nontoxic learning and play space is important, so provide a healthy environment that children deserve.