Spielwelt German Parents Association is a not for profit organisation running children’s programs in German in Canberra
The IPCC report has been published for 2021 and it is clear that humans have not been doing enough to halt climate change. We have made many “green” changes at Spielwelt, won environmental awards, and implemented our Keen-to-be-Green initiative.
As a parents association responsible for our children’s future, we applaud the ACT government’s efforts, and although we are just one of many organisations in Canberra, we feel we must ramp up our efforts further. We all should. And can.
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale
The place we can make the biggest difference is in education (our specialty!) and leading by example.
Starting straight away, we will:
- Decommission the children’s fridge, and have children store their food in their insulated lunch bags (like in schools).
- Encourage meat-free days.
- Offer more vegetarian options at our special events.
- No longer use plastic googly-eyes, craft pompoms, foam stickers and plastic stickers in craft, as they are non-biodegradable.
- Encourage families to walk or ride to school where possible.
- Ban little plastic toys (like the little collectible toys used in supermarket or restaurant promotions) and educate children about why we don’t want them. (If children bring them to school, they will need to leave the toys in their bags.)
- Run two toy swaps per year.
- Run two clothing swaps per year.
- Ensure Nikolaus gifts, Mothers- and Fathers- Day gifts are “green”.
- Educate and encourage children to use the backs of paper as well as the front; and using recycled paper.
- Replace wet-wipes with reusable cloth wipes.
- Replace sponges with reusable cleaning cloths.
- Gradually replace as many of our plastic sand toys with metal or wooden pots or implements from the GreenShed.
- Replace our many plastic playdough implements with a few simple wooden ones.
- Replace our double-plastic-wrapped rice crackers (that we give to children who are still hungry even after eating all their lunch) with similar products in more friendly packaging.
We are further committing to:
- Install ceiling fans to make our heating and cooling more efficient.
- Provide a reusable yogurt container to each family and strongly discourage single-use yogurt pouches and plastic tubs. (We already provide a bees wax wrap to each child, in their Schultüte, and discourage cling-film.)
- Examine how we can reduce any excess use (or waste) of soap, by changing soap formats and educating children on proper use.
- Explore options for environmentally friendlier cleaning products.
- Teach our scouts about the mountains of waste caused by toothpaste packaging, and ask our scouts if they would like to try making Zero Waste Toothpaste.