Number 96 – Environmental awareness in child care centre

The day care centre my daughter goes to has a lot of potential to improve its environmental sustainability(!). Since my daughter has started going there I have been slowly introducing them to different ideas that can lessen their environmental impacts, including setting up a recycling and composting system (see Number 70).

To expand on this, I created an A1-sized poster (mainly for parents and staff) about protecting the environment. My daughter’s day care is a Kohanga Reo – a Maori day care centre where Maori culture is learnt and te reo Maori (‘Maori language’) is spoken. So that it was engaging, I created a poster that was in line with Maori culture and beliefs: reinforcing the cultural belief that the Earth Mother and Sky Father created the world and sustain humanity, and that we must look after them so they can continue sustaining us. I wrote as much as I could in te reo Maori as I am currently learning this language and the parents and staff are helping me learn.

Before I handed it to the staff to put up, I showed it to one of the other parents and she seemed to really like it. Said she was happy I was steering the day care centre in the direction of greater environmental awareness, which really moved me because our family is the only non-Maori family there and so to be appreciated and treated like part of their whanau (family/community) is a great honour. What she said encouraged me and it is my plan to continue working on environmental projects next year, including creating materials that will engage the children in sustainability and pro-environmental behaviour.


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