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At Enya’s Childcare, we endeavour to operate as environmentally friendly as possible. Enya describes her setting’s progress in the last few years as they work towards sustainable practice.

Becoming a more eco-friendly setting


What does eco-friendly mean to us? At Enya’s Childcare, we endeavour to operate as environmentally friendly as possible. Although there is still a lot more we can do to become fully sustainable, we have made huge progress in the last few years. Whenever we make decisions from management, resourcing and design, to educating our young children, we always consider our environmental responsibility.

Here are 10 ways you can become a more eco-friendly setting:

1. Start your journey to become an accredited Eco-School!

Enya’s Childcare has been awarded the ‘Green Flag’; the highest honour in the Eco-Schools England programme for going the extra mile in considering the environment in our organisation. Why not help your setting to become accredited too? You will create an Eco-Committee with your children and then work your way through achieving bronze, silver and finally the green flag award. With your support, your children will complete Environmental Reviews, Action Plans and incorporate 10 environmental topics into your curriculum. The Eco-Schools programme has encouraged our children of all ages and abilities to work together to develop their knowledge and environmental awareness. We have seen increased confidence, development of leaderships skills, improved well-being and greater motivation for learning. Start your journey now at

Green Flag Award Eco-friendly schools

Green Flag Award Eco-Schools

2. Appoint an Environmental Officer within your setting

We have adopted several ways to help us in our eco-friendly mission, including having a dedicated Environmental Officer and an Environmental Policy in place. This is an easy step to implement and ensures that your team has a common goal and understands their responsibility towards this. Here is what our Environmental Officer has to say:


“I am very proud to be part of such an incredible movement in early years. As educators, we are given a precious opportunity to help promote environmental awareness in our littlest citizens, which will hopefully go towards a more sustainable future for our planet. As part of my role as Environmental Officer, I plan activities and facilitate learning around climate change, plastic, overconsumption and other global issues affecting our home. I am very passionate about my role and find it a truly rewarding position to be in.” – Tracy Darke (Environmental Officer)

Creating an eco-friendly bug house

Contribute to biodiversity

3. Consider what eco-friendly changes you can make within your business management

As a business, Enya’s Childcare are members of Mossy Earth, where we make a repeat donation to plant trees and restore wild ecosystems every month. Our donation plants 24 trees a year to offset our carbon footprint which was calculated by assessment. Mossy Earth ensure that the trees they plant survive to maturity and replace any lost trees so we can be certain to offset 24 tonnes of CO2 each year. Furthermore, all of our computers are signed up to the Ecosia search engine. This server runs on 100% renewable energy and every search request removes 1KG of CO2 from the atmosphere by planting trees. Since switching to Ecosia our internet searches have planted 245 trees. You can download the Ecosia search engine here at

Other things you can consider for your own setting is moving over to renewable energy providers, using eco-friendly cleaning products and choosing recyclable options for staff resources such as recycled pens, notebooks, folders and even toilet paper! Reducing your setting waste is also of huge importance to operating responsibly.


4. Take your consumer responsibilities seriously

As a consumer of children’s toys and resources, Enya’s Childcare take our environmental responsibility very seriously. We are thoughtful in the products that we purchase and consider their material and longevity. As a rule, to minimise our carbon footprint, we commit to using mostly natural loose parts, recycled plastic toys or wooden toys.

Here are some forward-thinking eco-friendly resources available at TTS that we can recommend:

Wooden Hollow Blocks - eco-friendly

Wooden Hollow Blocks

Recycling Game

Recycling Game











Eco friendly, Recycled Coconut Shells, Coloured Shapes

Recycled Coconut Shells, Coloured Shapes

Eco-friendly Recyclable Plastic Curved Seating Unit

Recyclable Plastic Curved Seating Unit









Recycle It game - supporting children to be eco-friendly

Recycle It








5. Sign up to be a collection point for Terracycle UK

As our childcare service is at the heart of our community, we are able to offer opportunities for local families to make a positive contribution to the environment. An example of this is that we have been authorised by Terracycle to act as a collection point in collaboration with Walker’s crisps. Being a collection point means members of the local community can drop off their empty crisp packets to us at Enya’s Childcare. We then coordinate counting and delivering these to Terracycle, a specialist recycling centre. So far, we have saved 6,304 crisp packets from landfill or our oceans.

We have now teamed up with Ella’s Kitchen to be a collection point for baby food pouches and packaging; another product that is not currently recyclable in mainstream recycling centres. This is a fantastic scheme to involve your setting in as the children can be fully involved in this process. The preschooler’s at Enya’s Childcare help to count out the crisp packets and make special displays for our parents. They are also very good at remembering to put their own crisp packet from their lunch box in our dedicated crisp packet bin each session! You can sign up to the Terracycle scheme here


6. Get involved with National Initiatives

Involving the children in initiatives such as, ‘The Great Big School Clean’, ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ and ‘Plastic Free July’ is a great way for us to teach them about littering and how we can “choose to refuse” plastic. For example, each week our Eco Committee remove plastic from our online food delivery and give this back to the supermarket delivery driver. This is a hands-on, child friendly way of showing the children that they have choices. We also engage in activities that show the preschoolers all the different alternatives to plastic household goods, such as tooth brushes, shampoo bottles, straws, cutlery, bags and so on. Parent’s were able to discuss this with their little ones at home when we held a ‘plastic-free lunchbox’ challenge.

Eco-friendly activities - litter picking

Keep Britain Tidy

7. Start your own Forest School!

At Enya’s Childcare we use approaches like Forest Schooling where the children can learn firsthand about the natural world.  The children engage in activities such as making homes for wildlife and planting trees to give back to mother nature. With three Wilderness Pathway sessions a week, all year round in our dedicated woodland, we hope this will develop a lifelong understanding of just how important all the elements of nature are in creating a safe and happy home on Earth. Starting your own forest school can seem like a daunting task. But you don’t necessarily need an entire forest. Even a natural, wild garden with trees and untamed areas for exploration can work just as well when you incorporate tool use and healthy risk-taking.

Eco-friendly practice- start a forest school - children in the forest under canopy with practitioner

Start a forest school

8. Show your children how they can make a positive difference to the world

At Enya’s Childcare, we discuss many environmental issues that are happening around the world, most recently we learnt about the Australian bush fires.

The children discussed different ways to raise money or provide aid – coming up with ideas both big and small. As a team, they prepared banners for a march, crafted postcards and baked goodies like biscuits and cupcakes to sell. We asked the children what they would like to do with the money they fundraiser. They simply said “we want to help save the koalas and the animals”, so that is what we did! With the support from our staff, families and the local community the children raised a total of $200 AUS! This was donated to the family-run Dimmocks Retreat in New South Wales, Australia, to help care for the animals affected by the fires; just as the children had hoped.

Being able to forge links with a country over 10,000 miles away through the magic of social media, gave our setting and the children the opportunity to make a difference to the wider community. It has been revolutionary to share these connections with the children and to be able to show what a difference they can make, now and in the future. Have you considered helping your children to make banners to go on an awareness march for climate change or to help save the bees?

Children and practitioners marching to stop the fires

World wide issues

9. Create or volunteer to maintain community gardens

At Enya’s Childcare we have teamed up with ‘Crowland in Bloom’ to help maintain Crowland’s beautiful Community Gardens! We feel this is a fantastic way to allow our little ones to make a positive contribution to their hom

Eco-friendly activities - watering a community garden

Tend community gardens

e and local community. It also goes hand in hand with our eco-friendly ethos as the children learn about sustainable living and biodiversity. They are responsible for weeding and watering the raised beds and maintaining the surrounding area. All the while they are learning more about the Edible Garden, including different herbs and homegrown food through sensory exploration; what they look like, smell like, feel like and taste like! Are there any community gardens in your area that you could partner up with?


10. Share your knowledge with the wider community

Our eco-friendly approach at Enya’s Childcare allows us to promote more sustainable ways of living. Staff, families and the community have commented on how our approach has given them the tools to make changes in their personal life. This in turn is continually benefiting the environment. This includes initiatives such as placing a leaflet in our local town magazine on how to be eco-friendly at Christmas. This was delivered to 3000 homes in our local community. What eco-friendly knowledge and ideas could you share with your own community?

Do you recycle? Recycling awareness marches

Recycling awareness marches

Thank you to Enya Mooney for writing this blog. Enya is the Owner and Founder of Enya’s Childcare, an ‘Outstanding’ Reggio-inspired and eco-centric setting in South Lincolnshire.


Recycled displays - eco-friendly practice

Recycled displays

Earth Day - Eco-friendly practice

Earth Day

Take a look at our sustainable early years resources page at TTS: 

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