Nido Seven Hills makes meaningful sustainable steps
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Nido Seven Hills pursues meaningful sustainability through shared waste scheme

by Freya Lucas

June 28, 2024

For educators and leaders at Nido Early School Seven Hills sustainability is more than just a box to tick on the path to compliance with the National Quality Standard. Rather, for many of the team, it’s a passion and a sense of responsibility, which drives them to find innovative ways to carve out a more sustainable future. 


“We believe that our actions directly impact the environment and future of our world,” early childhood teacher (ECT) and Curriculum Leader Jessica explained. 


As part of the service journey of continually finding ways to be more sustainable, Jessica recently supported the service to become involved in a shared waste scheme. 


What is Share Waste? 


Share Waste is an online community which allows participants to either share their waste or collect the waste of others, with an overall goal of reducing the amount of waste which is in the rubbish and recycling systems. 


Donors will typically offer up waste such as food scraps, green waste, or other items, while hosts (or recipients) will use the waste for gardening, composting, feeding chickens and other options. 


Meaningful connections with community 


As well as being a sustainable action, joining the Share Waste community has seen Nido Seven Hills make a meaningful connection within the community, partnering up with Share Waste host Eloise, who collects food scraps every Thursday for her community garden, and for feeding chickens Yolko, Eggweena, Meehni, and Florence.


Eloise is passionate about the Box Divvy Prospect Urban Forest , a local residential community garden which aims to teach the relevant skills to anyone eager to learn to cultivate their own home gardens, and grow spray-free produce for donation to the community.


She was seeking the support of local businesses to generate a steady supply of compost for both the garden and its chickens including vegetable scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds and sugarcane waste.


Aside from nourishing crops, using these resources for the garden keeps them out of landfill. The collection, transport, and processing of food waste into compost reduces emissions by 96 per cent, compared to throwing it away. 


To ensure the food scraps which go out are chicken safe and friendly the Nido Seven Hills team has developed a Food Scraps Menu and system for the Share Waste process. 


The Food Scraps Menu details information about the chickens, their diet, and collection days.


The menu is displayed in the service food preparation area, and is treated with the same respect as the menus and dietary requirements for the children. 


Extending the learning 


To support the children to feel meaningfully connected to the importance of sustainability and of the Share Waste scheme, educators collaborated to produce The Story of Share Waste, a resource that has also given families an insight into the value of the scheme. 


Children engage in scraping their leftovers for the chickens after every meal in special buckets with pictures of the chickens on them. One of the images on the buckets is of Eloise’s chickens eating and enjoying the scraps.


Jeremy the Gnome has also joined the Nido Seven Hills family. He travels home with a new family each week, and helps the children and families of the service to share their sustainability tips and what’s happening in their homes. 


Both Jeremy (a small plush gnome) and the following text are sent home with a new child each week. 

I heard there was a big interest in planting, leaves, and gardens throughout most learning spaces at Nido so I’m here to help bring this interest to life.


I will be looking for a home on a weekly basis.


I will stay at your house every week where I will help tend to your garden.


Take me with you while you water your plants, mow the lawn, or harvest your crop.


I brought you a little gift to say thank you for hosting me. I have brought a bottle of worm tea from our worm farm in the kinder 2 room for your plants. Pour this onto the soil of your plants for a healthy boost!


Please use this book to document our adventures in your garden.


Further resources and support


Services who are interested in learning more about Nido Seven Hill’s explorations of sustainable thinking have been invited to email Jessica ([email protected]) to learn more. 


Information about Share Waste is available here. For further information about sustainability initiatives in an early childhood education and care (ECEC) context please see here

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