At Ekidna, we believe that sustainable practices should be part of the everyday, and that children should be encouraged to be mindful of the impact we have on our environment. Sustainability goes beyond recycling, and has a great deal more to do with awareness, empathy and respect for ourselves, for others and for the world in which we live. Empowering children to make ethical choices happens spontaneously as well as through intentional teaching. Creating an ongoing dialogue which encourages children to think about ways to minimise wastage, for example. This may vary from considering when to turn off lights, turning off taps, reducing food waste, being mindful of their use of paper, using rainwater to water plants and drying clothes on the clothesline. The children are also involved in caring for our environment at Ekidna by looking after our plants, recycling and reusing materials, and taking care of our worm farm. These experiences offer opportunities to engage the children in conversations to deepen their awareness and respect for both the natural environment and the environment of Ekidna as a whole.
"The underpinning ideals of the national Early Years Learning Framework ...strongly recommend that sustainability be ‘embedded in all daily routines and practices’ (DEEWR, 2009, p. 29) within early childhood settings, and that early childhood educators need to discuss with children that all ‘living things are interconnected’ (DEEWR, 2009, p. 29) through the considered use of intentional teaching."
(EVERY CHILD – VOL. 18 NO. 3 2012 SUSTAINABILITY AND INTENTIONAL TEACHING IN EARLY CHILDHOOd)