"The key to understanding the future is one word:
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 2022
At Woden Valley, our commitment to environmental stewardship permeates every facet of our educational approach. We are dedicated to nurturing a child's profound connection with the planet, and we extend a warm invitation to parents and the community to join us in this shared mission. Sustainability is not just a concept here; it's a foundational value of our early learning center. Within our programs, children actively engage in sustainable practices. They participate in activities like cultivating their own food and caring for animals, gaining firsthand knowledge of these processes. Our curriculum includes initiatives to regenerate the land, encompassing endeavors such as native plantings and comprehensive learning experiences about the intricacies of nature's biology. Through these educational avenues, children develop a deep appreciation for their role in shaping the world and understanding the positive impact they can have on it.
At our Center, waste reduction is a paramount concern, and we've integrated waste minimization initiatives into the core of our programs. Whether it's through creative art projects utilizing recyclable materials or transforming old furniture into new pieces in our workshop, we ensure that children actively engage in these sustainability practices. Our team takes pride in setting a positive example for the children, as we understand that actions speak louder than words. We are diligently working towards a paper-free environment, and any paper waste generated is thoughtfully repurposed – shredded paper becomes comfortable animal bedding, and the remainder is composted on-site. We take a holistic approach to food waste management, using a "Worming Farm" project to partially compost it or feeding it to our animals. Glass and plastic waste are conscientiously recycled through the ACT container deposit scheme, and the funds generated from this process are donated to ACT Wildlife, contributing to the broader cause of wildlife conservation.
CARE FOR LAND
In 2020, we embarked on a transformative journey during our yard refurbishment, dedicating ourselves to land stewardship and creating natural play spaces that enrich the lives of our children. Our little ones take delight in the abundance of fruits and vegetables cultivated in our wicking beds, fostering a deep connection with the earth and the food they consume. The lush greenery in our yard predominantly comprises native plants thoughtfully chosen to attract the local avian and insect populations, adding an element of environmental education and engagement. Children are guided to make mindful choices when collecting flowers, fruits, or seeds, emphasizing the importance of not harming the plants and maintaining a harmonious balance with nature. We instill a profound respect for the land through our weekly Nature Walks, where children learn to cherish and leave undisturbed the treasures they encounter in their natural surroundings, echoing our mantra, "One for me, one for the bees."
Woden Valley takes a proactive approach to sustainability, significantly reducing our grid-energy reliance through a robust 31 KW solar array adorning our rooftop. Notably, the ACT proudly leads the way as the sole Australian state to boast a 100% renewable electricity supply, an inspiring example for us. Our ambitious vision, however, extends beyond this accomplishment, as we strive to transition towards complete energy independence. The goal is to ultimately fulfill 100% of our energy requirements from our solar power infrastructure, complemented by a dependable battery backup system, further solidifying our commitment to green energy solutions.
At Woden Valley, our gardens thrive thanks to a sustainable water supply sourced from our existing tank, and we are actively pursuing the expansion of this eco-conscious practice by adding more tanks equipped with pumps. In an exciting development, we have recently introduced our cutting-edge heat pump hot water system. This innovative technology harnesses the power of renewable energy to heat water, eliminating the need for traditional solar panels. Operating as air-source heat pumps, these systems efficiently absorb heat from the surrounding air to warm water, resulting in a significant reduction in electricity consumption. When compared to conventional electric or gas storage systems, our heat pump system decreases energy use by two-thirds while also curbing CO2 emissions by a remarkable 4 tonnes. Our commitment to these sustainable practices aligns with our dedication to creating a greener and cleaner future.
We are deeply committed to reducing our paper usage as part of our sustainability efforts. By going paperless and utilizing online forms, we aim to minimize our environmental footprint and embrace digital efficiency. Simultaneously, our dedication to recycling ensures that any paper we do use is responsibly repurposed, further contributing to our eco-conscious initiatives. This commitment reflects our belief in a greener and more sustainable future.