Sustainability at Pukekohe Early Learning Center

We are committed to protecting the future of our children by caring for our environment & encouraging a sustainable future.

We're on a journey ...

... towards a fully sustainable childcare facility.

Pukekohe Early Learning Center helps develop children’s understanding, respect for the environment, and encouraging critical thinking and discussions around sustainable practices. The things we do daily to actively participate in with our children & their whanau include:

Environmentally friendly.

Utilising environmentally friendly products (where possible) such as non-toxic art supplies and natural educational resources.

Less plastic.

Minimising the use of hard and soft plastic, by actively looking for ways to avoid unnecessary plastic resources or products with plastic packaging.

Worm farms.

Minimising waste through the use of composting food scraps and organic waste, feeding our worm farms and putting worm castings into our veggie & herb gardens.

Re-use and recycle program.

Using recyclable materials where possible and encouraging children to re-use/recycle paper and other materials at home and at the centre.

Green housekeeping.

Promoting awareness of the environment through ‘green housekeeping practices’ such as healthy eating, gardening, minimising waste, reducing water and energy consumption.

‘Garden to table’ activities.

For example, seed sprouting, vegetable gardens, cooking and more.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is ‘environmental education’. Learning about our environment and how the natural systems around us function. It’s about promoting daily actions and decision making that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Our Journey of Sustainability

In our journey, we encourage children to compost all food waste at Pukekohe Early Learning Centre, or we save it to feed our worms! In all of the kai spaces, we have compost collection bins to collect all food scraps and organic waste. By composting organic waste, ‘We Compost’ turn it into a valuable resource which is used to enrich soil. Healthy soils hold carbon in a living form and play an important role in our local food production.

‘We Compost’ collects our compostable waste and take it to Tuakau, where they dispose of the compostable waste at a commercial facility, Envirofert. Over about 9 weeks, everything breaks down with their special composting methods! The compost is then distributed to farms in the Pukekohe and Bombay areas. Fun fact: most of the compost generated by ‘We Compost’ is currently being used on kiwifruit farms!

This full-circle can be illustrated to our tamariki when feeding our worms. They see the organic waste go into the top-level and start to see it breaking down. Eventually, we gather the castings from the worm farms and are able to add this to our veggie gardens – superfood nutrients for our growing plants! When our plants are ready for harvest our tamariki help our cook to gather from the garden ready to prepare in the kitchen!