Nursery up for award after ditching glitter, sequins and googly eyes

Hope Cottage Nursery promotes sustainable living by cutting out plastics and encourages children to be eco-friendly.

An Edinburgh nursery that encourages children to be eco-friendly by cutting down on its plastic use has been shortlisted for an award.

Hope Cottage Nursery in Newington has been nominated in the Scottish Education Awards for ‘Making a Difference’ in Early Years and Childcare after ditching micro-plastics such as glitter and sequins and reducing use of felt tips, cellotape and poly pockets.

The facility has been practising sustainability for many years but in 2021 bosses decided to ramp up their efforts in response to COP26.

The aim is to teach children to be more eco-friendly and to encourage them to continue these habits at home and throughout their life.

Now the nursery is hoping to inspire other early learning centres and families in Scotland to adopt their Reduce, Reuse and Recycle ethos.

Hope Cottage Nursery principal, Lisa McLaughlin, said: “We introduced an eco-pledge in 2021 and that was to cut out and cut down on the use of plastics in our setting and also to use natural and not synthetic resources.”

In the last two years, the nursery has cut down on using materials like felt tips, cellotape, glitter and sequins and have introduced more natural and sustainable products for children to use.

Hope Cottage Nursery has implemented its own eco pledge

Diane Sime, Senior Early Years Officer said: “Our children are the future citizens of this world.

“They are inheriting a world that needs care and needs looked after, so by giving them this information and supporting their knowledge we’re going to enable them to make informed choices in the future, to look after our world and do the best they can.”

Education, Children and Families Convener, Councillor Joan Griffiths, visited the nursery for the first time following its nomination and said was blown away by the staff commitment to sustainability. 

She said: “It is absolutely amazing – they’ve taken it another step. I have learned things today that I didn’t know before.

“It’s so important that what they’re doing here gets out to other early learning centres and that they start to take some of that on.”

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