Sustainability hacks for early childhood services

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  Published on Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Sustainability hacks for early childhood services

Library Home  >  Sustainability
  Published on Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Do you need fast, efficient ways to meet compliance with the sustainability standards in ACECQA's Quality Area 3.3? The bad news is there is no easy way to dodge these important environmental requirements. The good news is that there are a range of hacks available to help meet them more easily and with the passion and commitment that they deserve. Our sustainability expert Kiri Combi from the Backyard in a Box Series spills the beans:

What is a hack?

A hack is as a quick clever work around that produces the necessary result using an appropriate application of ingenuity or, a clever technique.

A hack demonstrates cleverness or ingenuity, solves a meaningful problem, is not a common or well-known solution to the problem and may not be the most straightforward or obvious solution.

What is sustainability?

Largely people perceive it to be about the environment, manifesting in services as the greening of spaces. But sustainability is comprised of 4 fields or pillars:

  1. Environmental sustainability, relating to the physical environments across the globe, the earth, its resources, its creatures, landscapes rivers, oceans and atmosphere.
  2. Social sustainability, caring for ourselves, others, individuals and our communities.
  3. Cultural sustainability, recognition and care for how people feel, their being, belonging and becoming is intrinsically linked to their sense of wellbeing. The preservation and evolution of IT is integral to healthy individuals, communities, societies and cultures. important.
  4. Economic sustainability, ensuring the dominant systems of trade honour and respect the environment and the particular socio-cultural ways of being specific to any said location on the planet.

Top 10 sustainability hacks for early childhood educators

You are important. Leadership and service management should be Quality Area 1. All things start from the top. Take your power back and don’t be fooled by being number 7 on the A AND R list. You are number 1!!!

Find your story, find your passion. Set a personal goal for sustainability that you can explore in your professional life.

Take your hobby seriously. This is where your heart is. Nurture that.

Partnership. Find one other person in you service to share this goal with. Talk to others and find out what their goals are and form a small team of 2 or 3 people.

Identify the passion in your team members. When introducing any new system assign a team leader who takes a personal interest in the project.

Engage online. If you don't know where to begin, start with the Backyard Collective. We have Facebook groups for each of our 9 themes.

Specialise in one thing. Don't try to do 6 projects at once. Choose one or two and do them well.

Be transparent. Once a project has been decided up, hang a maintenance or work roster in each room. Your team – children included, work to together to support the changes in behaviour necessary for long lasting change.

Broaden your horizons. When you see something, anything – assign it to one of the four sustainability fields. The more you do this the sooner you will start to see the connections between all aspects of sustainability in your service. Do not limit sustainability to Quality Area 3. EVERYTHING you do relates to sustainability.

Push the pilot. Always be prepared to take ACECQA head on. The assessing officers have limited training in sustainability. If you feel strongly about a certain practice, find and present the evidence.


To access 100s of classroom hacks for your centre and learn how to integrate seamlessly into programs, interactions and reporting contact Backyard in a Box now. The Full Series of 7 themed boxes will embed sustainability and generate sustainability projects in your centre. It includes resource recycling, worm farming, composting, guinea pigs, chickens, organic gardening and water recycling.

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Thursday, 22 October 2020



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