Going Green in Your Early Childhood Setting

191201Everyone is talking about going green, and now is the time to take action. In his research-based self-assessment, Go Green Rating Scale for Early Childhood Settings, author Phil Boise provides 64 guidelines to help you evaluate practices or conditions that may be present in your facility that can impact children’s health and safety.

The Go Green Rating Scale for Early Childhood Settings covers topics in the categories of

  • Air-quality management
  • Cleaning products and practices
  • Pests and pesticide management
  • Chemicals found in plastics
  • Chemicals found in soaps, lotions, and sunscreen
  • Lead and other contaminants
  • Green living and stewardship

Use the resource as an educational tool to explain the importance of environmental health, a rating scale to help evaluate and improve your facility’s environmental health, a guide to develop policies to improve environmental health, and a reference tool to guide new construction and the purchase of equipment and materials.

You’ll learn many things about safe, environmentally friendly, and healthy practices in early childhood settings. For example,

  • Have you heard of thirdhand smoke? It is a residual contamination from smoke that remains after a burning tobacco product is extinguished. The residue of cigarette smoke contains up to 250 toxins that may adhere to hair, clothing, carpet, or fabric and be released after the smoking event. Encouraging all staff, volunteers, and others caring for children to wash their hands before coming into contact with children and wearing a designated overgarment when smoking during the child care day are a couple of ways to reduce children’s exposure to thirdhand smoke.
  • Did you know that heating plastics, particularly in microwave ovens, accelerates the release of potentially toxic compounds? If food is heated in plastic, the volatile compounds may leach into the meal. A claim of “microwave safe” does not mean a container is free of toxins—only that it will not melt in the microwave.
  • Did you know that children’s high skin-to-body weight ratio and predisposition to absorb contaminants through their developing skin membranes make them more vulnerable than adults? Many skin products are designed to penetrate skin tissue to avoid being immediately washed off, making the chemicals in those products potentially more damaging to children.

To learn more about these and many other green topics that apply to your child care setting, check out the Go Green Rating Scale for Early Childhood Settings and its companion handbook.

Watch author Phil Boise explain how his resources help you create and maintain a green child care program that contributes to healthier and safer children.

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