Which bin does this go in? Children at the UCAR Child Care Center demonstrate their recycling skills.
The UCAR Child Care Center is the first among its Colorado peers to be certified through the Eco-Healthy Child Care (EHCC) program.
“The endorsement certified the eco-healthy practices that we’ve been doing, such as recycling materials and avoiding chemicals that are particularly harmful to children,” says Cortney Fillion, the center’s director. “These practices are especially important to implement around children, so that they have a safer, healthier environment.”
The EHCC program, based in Oregon, ensures that child care settings are as environmentally healthy as possible. Facilities qualify as eco-healthy by completing a checklist that highlights 25 steps aimed at reducing children’s exposure to toxins and environmental health hazards. They receive a placard and poster to inform parents and others of their certification.
Cortney says that parents who see the placard are excited to know that the center makes eco-friendly practices a priority. “They’re happy that we’re taking these steps to better the health of the children we care for,” she says.
She and her staff go beyond the practices promoted on the EHCC checklist by recycling ink cartridges, encouraging children to use both sides of their paper, and saving scraps of paper for art projects. One challenge, she says, is that the center is bound by state licensing regulations to use certain products, such as chlorine bleach, that are non-biodegradable. She also wishes the center could recycle diapers.