Louise Lloyd-Evans, owner of Young Friends Nursery and Nature School in Hove, has launched an initiative encouraging early years settings to ditch plastic in the name of environmental sustainability.
Sustainable Nurseries Against Plastic (SNAP) is an online resource forum where nurseries can share ideas and advice on how to operate more sustainably.
While a SNAP website is currently in development, nursery settings can get involved in SNAP by joining the Facebook page.
Sussex-based nurseries can join regular SNAP meetings, the next of which takes place on 24 July.
Young Friends Nursery and Nature School’s approach to running a sustainable model of childcare provision prompted Ms Lloyd-Evans to create a method of sharing ideas with other settings.
The nursery has achieved the Eco-Schools Green Flag award and offers a large outdoor classroom, regular beach cleans and a plastic-free ethos as part of its nature-based curriculum.
Ms Lloyd-Evans said, ‘SNAP was born from a passion to change and provide a better world for our children. In today’s climate we have a duty to educate young people, staff and owners from day one so it becomes a natural responsibility.
‘I was disturbed by the lack of care about the environment in nurseries which are terrible at using single-use plastic – shoe covers, glitter, wet wipes, nappy sacks, disposable nappies, balloons, the list is endless. People are scared by change so we started to make them one by one and teach the children why we were doing so.
‘SNAP is about helping nurseries wake up to sustainability. It’s not just about providing statistics and information on the harm we are doing. It’s creating a ground level discussion for early years professionals on how we can change, improve, identify and share the problems we may face in doing so, and most importantly how we can overcome these together.’
MP for Hove Peter Kyle said, ‘The climate and environmental crisis is finally rising up the political agenda and it’s inspiring initiatives like the SNAP scheme that show what a difference we can make as communities and as individuals when we put our minds to it.
‘I support the SNAP scheme wholeheartedly – it’s an amazing idea that is rightly getting the recognition it deserves, and I’ll be doing everything I can to be its champion!’
Ms Lloyd-Evans added, ‘I’m realistic, I don’t expect everyone to become an eco-school but we really ought to be doing the basics, SNAP can teach other nurseries to do this in a cost effective and user-friendly way.’
- See Nursery World's Nursery Equipment supplement for more ideas on sustainability.