Quaggy Development Trust is working to change the way we work across all of our services. From simple things like reducing the use of paper through to changing the way children see and care for their world through the provision of ‘green’ activities. We have a children’s ECO Committee who are involved in decision making about making Quaggy nurseries and Children’s Centres greener places. We recognise that this is a long journey, but it is one we have to make to make a difference to our world. We believe that there is no action too small to recycle, reduce and reuse and we are continually reflecting on our environmental impact. We want to provide an environment where children and families not only recognise our commitment to these issues but also see us as a way of supporting them to change the way we live and help protect the world we live in. This hub exists to highlight the work we are doing and to also provide information, resources and ideas for families.
Eco Schools Green Flag 2022
We are proud to have achieved the Eco Schools Green Flag accreditation for 2022. This is a national accreditation that empowers children to have their say and cause real change to nurseries and schools. Our Eco Committee is made up of children who attend the nursery. They meet once a month with the support of staff. At the first meeting they decided on the 3 topics that they want to focus on for the award. You can find out how we achieved the award here.
Eco Schools Green Flag 2023
We are continuing to develop our work in 2023 and will be aiming to achieve the accrediation again but with different areas of focus. The children’s committee are working hard with staffon the following areas:
Global Citizenship – Playing an active role in the community
Waste – Refusing, reducing, reusing, repairing, recycling
School Grounds – Improving the grounds for people, animals and insects.
The ECO Committee meet regularly to move the project forward.
You can download our Action Plan here to see how we are going to achieve the award and the activities we are going to do over the year.
Quaggy Eco Committee Adopt a Hippo
The children’s Eco Committee and Quaggy staff have adopted a Hippo called Harvey. You can watch the video of Harvey swimming with his mum Grace. This video was shot in October 2022. Harvey lives in Zimbabwe in Africa. The children get a certificate of adoption and will receive regular updates of how Harvey is getting on. Its a great opportunity to learn about Hippos and some of the amazing things about them. Visit again soon to get updates on Harvey.
Quaggy are developing ways that we can compost our green waste. This includes food and other compostable materials collected. We have built compost bins that are situated in the Forest School. This enables us to not only recycle but to educate and involve the children in the process and also teaching them about caring for their environment. The composted matter is used in our garden and allotment to complete the cycle.
Quaggy have an allotment that we use to engage children in learning about growing and eating plant based foods. Children get the opportunity to plant and observe observe vegetables and fruit and to harvest them to be used by our cook at Quaggy. We try to use as much fresh produce in our home cooked meals for children so this enables the children to experience seeing food from the allotment to their plate.
Learning about Growing
We believe in giving children the experience of growing their own vegetables and fruit. We regularly have visits from our garden teacher Alison who share her wealth of knowledge about growing plants. Not only does the environment look beautiful with all the colourful plants growing around the building, we also grow different foods.
Children can see how fruit and vegetables grow and are then used as food for them to eat.
Growing in our garden and allotment site provide an enormous amount of learning opportunities for children and families. These experiences embed the importance of the natural environment and how we all need to take care of the world we live in.
Our environment within Quaggy reflects our commitment to the principles that we believe in. That’s why our displays show how we work with children and families to reflect on and make changes to how we support the environment. Children are involved in creating the displays. We use the work that children have produced to show our commitment to caring for our world and doing what we can to help save our planet.
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1. Check before you recycle
Many items such as textiles, electricals, pots and pans wrongly end up in household bins, which can cause problems at our recycling facilities. These items can be recycled but they need to be taken to your local Household Waste and Recycling Centre. If you’re ever unsure how to recycle something, it’s always best to check your local council’s website.
2. Make sure recycling is empty, clean and dry
You don’t need to scrub or sterilise your recycling, but items do need to be free from food residue so they don’t contaminate the other materials. Rinse plastic tubs clean of leftovers and leave them to dry before placing them into your recycling bin for collection.
3. Remove plastic film
Plastic film can’t be recycled, and if it wrongly ends up at recycling facilities, it can get tangled in the machinery, which interferes with the recycling process. Always remove plastic film from bottles, plastic pots, tubs and trays before recycling the the item.
4. Keep lids on plastic bottles
Our motto is simple; lids on, films off. Lids are recyclable, but when they aren’t screwed onto the bottle, they slip through the recycling machinery. To make sure all your lids are recycled properly, keep them on!
Watch this video to find out about recycling electronics.
Peninsula Ecology Park
Greenwich Park Revealed
Greener Greenwich Strategy
Greenwich Cycle Routes
1. Think about water usage
Don’t let your water consumption run out of control. Save 6 litres of water a minute by turning off your tap while you brush your teeth. Every minute you spend in a power shower uses up to 17 litres of water . Set a timer on your phone to keep your showers short, sweet and water-saving. Washing a full machine load of clothes uses less water and energy than 2 half-loads . This means lower bills as well.
2. Discover Food Waste Apps
Food sharing apps are growing. These match people with food to give away with people who want it. Imagine you’ve got food left over after a dinner party or are off on holiday and won’t get through everything.
3. Think about food packaging
Look for fruit, vegetables and other food items that can be bought loose, and start making purchasing decisions based on the amount of packaging an item has. Invest in a set of reusable produce bags or simply place items in your basket or shopping trolley.
4. Food Caddy Tips
Empty it out as soon as food nears the lid and you’ll never need to deal with mould or the other kinds of gunk that form when food breaks down. Closing the lid of your food waste bin tightly will stop fruit flies and other winged friends from getting in to lay eggs, and odours from getting out. Use stale bread, food-soiled paper or old newspaper to absorb excess moisture and avoid mouldy stuff getting stuck in the corners. This is also a great way to save your kitchen from bad smells.
1. Don’t buy single use plastic
Pop a flask or reusable bottle in your bag next time you are out and about. Make this a habit and cut your weekly bottle buying altogether, stopping 52 bottles ending up in landfills and oceans.
More than 2,600 plastic bottles a year would be stopped from entering our environment altogether if just 50 people packed a flask instead of buying a bottle. Small changes can make a big difference.
2. Record the wildlife near you
Recording the wildlife where you live provides vital information which helps conservationists protect the environment. The information is used by the government to reveal the health of the environment at national, UK and European levels.
Recording and monitoring programmes help Butterfly Conservation direct our conservation effort where it is needed most.
Take part in world-renowned recording schemes.
3. Reduce your carbon footprint
Even the smallest effort to reduce your carbon footprint can make a difference. On short journeys why not ditch the car in favour of walking or cycling, could you car share with a colleague to get to work or use public transport instead?
How big is your footprint? WWF will find out for you.
4. Plant pollinator friendly plants bottles
Help butterflies, moths and other pollinators without breaking the bank, by adding a container of nectar plants to your doorstep, balcony or back garden this spring. Plots For
Pollinators is a project for everyone; you don’t need a garden or green fingers to be able to grow a plant that will help our struggling butterflies and bees.
Why not Plant a Plot for Pollinators?
1. Start growing food
Growing fruit, veg and herbs is one of the best ways to get children into gardening. Choose easy crops to grow like strawberries, potatoes, tomatoes and apples, or fast-growing veg like salad leaves and radishes. Large crops like pumpkins can be lots of fun, especially if you then carve them for Halloween. If you can, it’s a good idea to give your kids a dedicated space that they can call their own, and encourage them to sow the seeds or plant the plants themselves, so they can be involved in the whole process from plot to plate.
2. Grow some giants
Sunflowers are easy to grow from seed and can grow up to 2m tall if fed and watered carefully. Sow seeds with your children in pots in April and then plant them outside in late May. Protect young plants from slugs and snails. It’s fun for children to measure how tall their plants grow and how they can influence the height of their sunflowers by feeding and watering.
3. Grow fragrant plants
Smelling scented flowers can evoke some of the strongest childhood memories, so growing fragrant plants in your garden is a lovely thing to do for your kids. Encourage your children to pick out their favourite smells and create their own fragrant garden. You could even encourage them to mash up flowers of different plants to create their own ‘perfume’.
4. Make wildlife habitats
Creating wildlife habitats is one of the most joyful, yet educational activities you can do with your children in the garden. Kids will love watching the wildlife and it’s fun working out how to attract specific species. You could do anything from plant a bee border to laying a slow-worm refuge or digging a pond. Why not buy some wildlife identification charts and set tasks for your children to record the wildlife that turns up to the habitats they’ve created?
Visit the Awareness Days website to find out the next event. Click here.
Resources for Children
Why recycling is important
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The Big Bee Challenge
Our world would look very different without our buzzing buddies. They’re vital for a lot of the food we eat: imagine no apples, tomatoes, coffee or chocolate. Our gardens would be a lot less colourful too, because bees pollinate our flowers. But, our bees are in trouble. Thirteen species in the UK have become extinct, with many more in danger. The good news is that there are things we can ALL do to help. Find out loads about Bees and what you can do to help by visiting the Radio 2 website where there are lots of resources, information and activities.
Quaggy Children's Ever Growing Gallery
Our Quaggy Growing Gallery show how Children and Families have taken part in. We want everyone involved to feel proud about the work they have put in to make their community a little greener.