Pennies Green Initiatives

At Pennies Day Nurseries, our ethos is to do all we can to operate as environmentally sustainable as possible.  We are aware that there is always more we can do, and that we are at the very beginning of our sustainability journey, but our aim is to take small sustainable steps forward.  Take a look at some of our initiatives below.

Bug Hotel 

We all know that insects need somewhere safe to live so our children are getting involved in our bug hotel project. They are going to make a safe place for insects to shelter, lay their eggs, raise their young and seek safety from predators.

This project will provide the children with lots of learning opportunities.  They can explore and learn more about their natural environment and there’s no better way to learn, than through first-hand experiences.

We are going to try our best to make a lovely little haven for lots of different minibeasts.  This will provide a way of enriching the ecosystem in the Pennies’ gardens, restoring a balance in the food chain, ensuring that all species can thrive.

It’s also a great way to teach children about insects and the importance they play in our environment, with plenty of ways they can get involved in the construction of the bughouse. There’s no doubt that building a bug house can be rewarding and very therapeutic.

Vegetable Peelings Composter

As one of our initiatives at Pennies, we are introducing composters so we can compost the kitchen vegetable peelings.  We are going to have an eco-friendly tumbling composter, which means we will be able to create compost for our vegetable patches within a month.

The children will help by placing the vegetable peelings into the composter and turning the handle, to allow the composter to do its job.

Vegetable Garden

In our planter areas in the nursery gardens, we are planning to grow our own herbs.  Once they are established the children can pick the leaves and be able to smell the wonderful aromas they give off, before being used to flavour their lunches with.

In the mud kitchen areas, the children are going to plant their own potatoes, carrots, dwarf beans, runner beans, courgettes, butternut squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.  Once they have grown and ripened, the children will pick them to be cooked in their lunches.

We have joined the RHS campaign for school gardening.  They will give us guidance on what to plant and when.  When we have reached each level, we will be able to receive certificates and vouchers to spend in garden centres.

Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juicing At Mealtimes

We are very excited to be introducing juicing at mealtimes.  Each room in the nursery will have its own juicer and their own supply of fruit and vegetables, which the children can help press their own juice drinks.  This healthy option allows all our children to benefit from the goodness of the vitamins produced from their fresh produce.  It’s a fantastic way for them to learn about the process of planting a seed to drinking and eating the produce.

Introduction of Plant-Based Foods

There are so many reasons that Pennies have introduced a plant-based menu to its 4-week rolling menu, but one of the main reasons is conserving land.  We understand that a plant-based diet is better for the environment.  Introducing a plant-based menu is a win for environmental sustainability and moves us forward towards a more sustainable environment.

Tree Adoption At Vinters Valley Nature Reserve

Pennies have adopted a silver birch tree which is located to the southeastern edge of the main lake, near to the lifebelt stand of the Vinters Valley Nature Reserve.  Pennies tree adoption is a thank you to all our families and children for how well they’ve coped and how they’ve supported us in the pandemic. We chose this tree in this location because we know it’s popular with families and kids locally (apart from anything else it’s near a well-loved pond in the nature reserve where our children go to see ducks and other birds).

Pennies Pears Off with Local Farm

As one of several eco-friendly measures we are taking this year Pennies is proud to become a sponsor of a pear tree at Little Fant Farm, East Farleigh. This is more than simply sponsoring a tree because those supporting the Little Fant initiative are helping to preserve an orchard that goes back to the middle of the last century (crudely when many of the grandparents of Pennies children were around the age those children are now) and helps preserve a traditional orchard; one of very few remaining in our area. As the weather gets warming and the trees come into full-bloom we will be able to share photographs and talk to the children about where the fruit many of them love is grown.