Sustainability

Our goal is to become the most sustainable we have ever been! Every day we get better!

At Bumblebees we are passionate about sustainable practices that will benefit our local community and our planet.  We are committed to continually improving our environmental performance and education.

Impact on the environment

We are very focused on our impact on the environment and the amount of waste that we produce.  We have implemented the following measures to reduce impact:

Composting

Our compositing practices allow us to give back to the environment and divert food waste from landfill:

  • Two compost bins – which feed our gardens
  • Worm farm – wonderful worm juice as a liquid vitamin for the gardens
  • Chickens – these special pets get the best of our food waste and return the favour to us with fresh eggs;
  • Hot tip – Did you know that even your vacuum cleaner dust can be composted as the mites help to break down the fibres in the compost?  We do!

 As part of our learning curriculum the children, educators and staff alike are involved in the distribution of food waste to compost.

Our next step is to move to a compostable nappy that breaks down and does not contain the chemicals that other nappies do. 

Recycling

  • PET Bottles into the Yellow bin – the children help
  • Cardboard recycled
  • Bags and other packaging recycled through red cycle or by other means
  • Nespresso pods – we are Nespresso recycling centre and have a box in our front garden offering Nespresso pod recycling to our community
  • Water tank to catch the lovely rainwater which we use in play and to water our gardens in Summer

Raw materials

Renovation or upcycling – we have opted to upcycle and renovate much of our centre.  The natural character has been restored rather than replaced.  We have repurposed and upcycled so many wonderful pieces in our outdoor space.  Check it out in our gallery or come for a visit!

We aim to significantly reduce the amount of one use plastics we choose.  Our families have already supported this movement by purchasing reusable wet bags so that soiled or dirty items can be sent home in a hygienic, environmentally friendly way!

Energy

We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint.  Our goal was that by 2020 all lights in the service be switched from halogen to LEDs or solar powered lights.  By using these lights, it significantly reduces the consumption of electricity from our commercial premises.  We upgraded our electricity meter box to ensure that we try to reduce our energy consumption in peak times. 

Part of our Quality Improvement Plan is to power the centre on solar power!

We have actively swapped our paper towels for cloth washers, which are easily washed.  We use a natural, Australian family owned and produced, biodegradable laundry powder.  The washing powder meets Australian and New Zealand standard 4146:2000 for sanitisation in cold water thus reducing our carbon footprint by not using hot water.  

In our Sustainability garden we have a clothes lines and sunshine for drying our hand towels, sheets and blankets.  If absolutely necessary, we use our convection dryer which assists in the drying process and allows us to use the grey water produced to water our non-edible gardens.

Cleaning Products

The cleaning products sourced by Bumble Bees are certified Halal, GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia) and HACCP approved.  They are ordered every two to three months further reducing our carbon footprint.  The packaging is made from recycled plastic and cardboard and all can be recycled.  Our garbage bags are made from 60% recycled car tyre resin.  We try to use flipdisc heads, where possible, to reduce the atomisation of product into the air.

Education and Training

Our teachers and educators are passionate about recycling and sustainability.  Through our teaching concepts this is embedded in our daily program and routine.  Our main focus is re-using as many things as possible.  If we cannot find a home to repurpose an object, then off to the recycling bin it goes!

We embed the practice with the children, so they can carry it into their future.   Our preschool group has a designated “monitor” job each day.   These jobs ensure that our chickens and worms are fed; the compost is added to; the lights and air-condition is turned off when the room is unoccupied and the water is turned off.

Purchasing Practices

One way that we have found to reduce our waste, is to critically consider our purchasing decisions.  We are committed to providing a natural, low-tox, additive and preservative free centre.

We are also committed to Australian owned products and supporting other small businesses where possible.

Examples:

  • Sustainably sourced wood and natural resources over plastic – reducing plastic consumption
  • Locally sourced, seasonal fruits and vegetables – reducing carbon footprint fruits and vegetables go from farm, to market, possible deep frozen storage, to supermarket.  Our produce is from farm to market in season and local. Supporting local farms and small business.
  • We try to grow our own vegetables and have started to grow fruit trees to embed sustainable practices into the children’s education at the service. The children can pick the produce when it is ready and it is then used in the cooking at Bumble Bees.
  •  Our pre-schoolers bake the bread for the service and the food is made from scratch (reducing bread bags). 
  • The sunscreen we provide is a natural, organic zinc based sunscreen which contains no nasties- traditional sunscreens contain oxybenzones which are not friendly to the environment or the body (at parent request we will of course still provide traditional sunscreen)

We are constantly seeking improvement; we are always looking for new ways to enhance our sustainability project!  Join us on our sustainable quest; we would also love any more ideas of ways to reduce our footprint.