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Sustainability for all ages . . . Waimataitai Kindergarten teachers Sarah Bryce (back left), Kelly Martin (back, centre) and Angie Mansfield (back, right) have been helping pupils (back, from left) Lilly Rae and Rocco Spiteri (4), (middle, from left) Angel Hurst (4) and Mckenna Snow (3) and (front, from left) Patience Murray (3), Lennix Buckingham (4), Hayden Palmer (4), Jago Walker (2), Zion Snow (4) and Indi Dunn (4) make reusable bags to replace taking home wet or dirty clothing in plastic bags. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

by Claire Allison

The South Canterbury Kindergarten Association has joined the Enviroschools programme and all 12 of its kindergartens are embracing the concept.

General manager Dave Hawkey said Rhona Day Kindergarten in Temuka was already an individual Enviroschool, but now the association had joined as a body, and all other kindergartens – in Timaru, Temuka, Fairlie, Twizel and Lake Tekapo – had been able to make their own decision about buying in to the concept.

“We left that decision to all kindergartens, and all have made the decision to join.”

Mr Hawkey said most kindergartens had already been practising sustainability, with vegetable gardens, worm farms, using crockery plates and cups instead of plastic, and being conservation-minded when using water for outdoor play. One kindergarten had a rainwater collection tank.

“It means giving consideration to the environment in all decision-making.”

Moves such as changing from plastic to reusable bags for taking dirty clothing home were a tangible outcome of the environmental focus.

“Those sorts of things are the practical tasks, and they’re all very important. Those are the visual things that can be seen, but what’s also important is having that whole culture change – keeping that culture of sustainability in mind when we are making any decision.”