Sustainability and community connections central to Goodstart St Leonards program
The children and educators at Goodstart Early Learning St Leonards see recycling as a key part of community life, with many of the littlest members leading the way as part of a program which sees the service pair up with five local small businesses to collect their empty bottles and cans to take to Return and Earn return points and collect the 10c refund.
The small centre, with 40 children from birth to five years of age, views the program as a key component of their commitment to preserving and protecting Earth’s resources for future generations, with the recycling program coming about after a family approached staff with the idea to develop a recycling program.
Since then, an enthusiastic approach to recycling has taken place across the service, with Centre Director Marlene van Vuuren saying the program “has become an integral part of how Goodstart St Leonards operates – it brings for all the children, team members and community together for a great purpose.”
Last year over 1,500 bottles were recycled as part of the Return and Earn system, with the service donating the funds raised to Cantoo (a cancer research fund). As well as working with local businesses, parents and grandparents often collect containers for the centre to add to its recycling.
Any recycled bottles with caps have the caps saved separately, with the service collecting them to give to charity Envision Hands to turn into prosthetic limbs.
“We have recycled products made from materials that would otherwise be piling up in our nation’s landfills,” Ms van Vuuren said. “It makes a huge difference to our environment, our quality of life, and our country’s future.”
The centre plans to continue promoting recycling in the local community, currently in discussion with other businesses in the area as well to see how far it may expand.
For other services looking to make a difference, the advice from St Leonards is straightforward “it only takes heart and a small idea to make a difference.”
For more information about the Return and Earn program, please see here.