Being respectful of the environment and acting to reduce, re-use and recycle resources should be an important part of the culture and routine for both the children and staff in a childcare setting, leading by example and helping to educate a generation of children growing up in a world that is grappling with huge environmental issues.

Through GECCO Cheryl shares the lessons learned through creating a business that now provides the most sustainable childcare and education in the UK. Cheryl is renowned for the 2017 “glitter ban” that brought global media attention to a simple crafting product that represents the ever-growing problem of microplastics in the marine environment.

Since then Cheryl, through Tops Day Nurseries, has become a champion for sustainability in the early years – carrying out local beach cleans, investing in renewable energy, electric vehicles, real nappies and more, whilst working hard to cut out the use of all single-use plastics in the day-to-day operation of her businesses. As a result of all this hard work Tops Day Nurseries has become the first day nurseries in the UK to become a certified B. Corp business. Find out more about how Tops Day Nurseries achieved B.Corp certification. 

Click here to take a look at these 16 steps, selected by experts, to reduce your carbon pollution and persuade others to do the same.

Natural curiosity

Why environmental issues are best introduced in the early years – and how practitioners can do so

by Annette Rawstrone, in Nursery World / Nursery Equipment supplement 2019

Download the article (pdf)

Sharing the learning experiences

Ideas and suggestions you may wish to learn from

Bamboo Toothbrushes

Millions of plastic toothbrushes end up in landfill every day; bamboo is the sustainable alternative!

Sustainable Food & Feeding

Making sustainable decisions for the health of the child and the health of the planet

Nappies & Toilet Training

Everyone wins by potty training earlier (except manufactures of single-use nappies)

Real Nappies in a Childcare Setting

Tops preferred option is the super-absorbent bamboo nappy, because bamboo is more sustainable than cotton

DIY Baby Wipes

A helpful way to avoid the environmental and financial cost of commercially made baby wipes

Sustainable Play & Activities

A helpful set of criteria for considering play activities from an eco-sustainable perspective