Bin the plastic!
We are all in this together and we, as a small business, can play a part!
At Tiny Toes Hertford we’ve taken decisive steps to reduce our use of single-use plastic, and to reduce our plastic usage overall. We’ve sourced brands that are more environmentally conscious and have looked at alternative, more-sustainable practices to support our drive to reduce waste and plastic consumption as a nursery.
It’s easy to accumulate a big pile of plastic packaging from food and household waste, and the same goes for any small businesses. We see it as our responsibility to do what we can to find alternative ways and make small changes to our practices to reduce our plastic consumption.
Here’s what we’ve done so far…
Thinking of the future
There has been a swath of recent TV programmes that have looked at the environmental crisis we face due to the use of plastic.
Last year, the Drowning in Plastic series aired on BBC which examined how our use of plastic has had a devastating effect on our river systems and oceans and the wildlife in them. More recently, the BBC aired the War on Plastic series again, looking at the environmental problems plastic causes and some ways we can tackle these problems. Neither of these series is an easy watch, but I think they offer us some insight into the scale of this problem and provide some solutions we can use as individuals to reduce our use of plastic.
Did you know that 90% of wet wipes contain plastic?
It may come as a surprise for many of you (as it did to us) to learn that 80% of baby wipes contain plastics. There have also been drives to actually ban the use of them in the future. This may sound drastic and terrifying to many parents (given how reliant we’ve become on wipes, once you have little ones).
Fear not, there are alternatives!
If you do a little research online you’ll soon discover there are a variety of alternatives to traditional wet wipes. These may cost a little more initially, but are more ecological or biodegradable, reducing our environmental impact.
Ecological wet wipe alternatives include:
You also have the option of using washable and reusable eco-products – these are baby, sanitary and beauty items that can be washed and reused. Some options include;
So how are Tiny Toes Hertford doing their bit?
Last year we moved to glass bottled milk delivered and recycled by the same service. We introduced material aprons to replace the plastic ones we used for foodservice and nappy changes.
Other key changes we’ve made are:
- Using a company called Green Bottoms nappy collections so our nappies are no longer going to landfill. Green Bottoms collect nappy waste and they dispose of them compliantly in the most eco-friendly solution available.
- Introduced reusable bags for soiled clothes to replace plastic nappy sacks. Please help us by keeping your reusable bag in your child’s nursery bag.
- Phasing out the use of paper hand towels, switching instead to washable and reusable flannels for hand drying in all bathrooms.
- Using Who gives a crap who provide 100% recycled toilet paper (and some other paper toiletry supplies) and who also donate 50% of their profits to building toilets and sanitation in the developing world.
- Switching to Cheekywipes (reusable baby wipes) for nappy changes. Initially, we’ll try these in the baby room, and will roll them out to all the rooms if this goes well. These will be used for nappy changes and will replace wet wipes (in rooms) used for snacks, meal-times and messy play.
- Ordering our cleaning fluids (for surfaces) in bulk, to refill our spray bottles.
- Moving to more eco-friendly laundry powder which is packaged in cardboard not plastic.
- Phasing out the use of plastic cups and crockery across all of the rooms. Using real china in ALL rooms.
- Instigating a nursery ban on single-use plastics at work. If staff bring in single-use plastic items to work we ask that they take them home with them to recycle them.
- Collecting up plastic packaging and are taking this home to be recycled.
- Joined the SNAP (Sustainable nurseries against plastic)Facebook group, to share ideas and solutions for reducing plastic in nursery settings.
TerraCycle – a solution to recycle items that usually end up as landfill
Terracycle is an innovative recycling company, who offer recycling solutions to items that usually end up in landfill or that are difficult to recycle.
We’re investigating the possibility of becoming a collection point for this scheme, as part of the Ellacycle sponsored by Ella’s Kitchen. This would mean recycling any brand of baby food pouches and Ella’s kitchen snack packaging. Watch this space for more news on this and how it would work.
We are extremely proud of the small steps we’ve taken so far and remain enthusiastic about other changes that we can look to make in the future.
We’d love to hear about which eco-friendly products you use at home, or your ideas on how to recycle and reduce your own plastic waste.
There are more tips on reducing your plastic use in this handy post from GreenpeaceTags: Curiousity Approach setting, early years, Eco-friendly, Environmental, EYFS Setting, Hertford, No more plastic, Recycling, Reduce plastic, Sustainability, Sustainable nursery, Tiny Toes Hertford
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This post was written by TinyToesHertford