Early Childhood Education

Nelson Environment Centre provides a programme designed for Early Childhood Education Centres (ECEs) to inspire young children to connect closely with their environment and assist ECEs in setting up systems and policies to become more sustainable.  There is a charge for this service.

Particularly effective for young children are our workshops in:Auck Point pigs 008

  • Looking at what we throw away
  • Worm farming
  • Building a compost heap
  • EM Bokashi
  • Zero-waste lunches
  • Plastics in the Ocean
  • Reduce Reuse Recycle.





Details of our workshops and the prices of each can be found in our brochure that is available here and below.

Interactive & Engaging Sustainability Workshops for ECEs

Below is an overview of programmes our facilitator can deliver to your ECE. We can adapt any of these workshops to meet your individual needs so if you have a specific request give us a call.

Looking at what we throw away / waste audit

Conducting a waste audit at your organisation can be a real eye opener. For schools and community organisations, our facilitator assists in sorting one day’s rubbish and encourages participants to explore the different options for dealing with their waste and examine why landfill is not an ideal choice. This session often ends with a challenge – to have a waste-free lunch day.

Zero-Waste lunches (all ages)parent eevening lunchbox photos

In school settings the waste audit often identifies that the non-recyclable waste at school often comes from plastic lunch packaging and food waste. Participants explore how to reduce these two waste streams: the ‘Stack-a-lunchbox’ activity helps students compare different lunch packing choices, leading to a personal challenge of creating a waste-free lunch.

Plastics in the Ocean (all ages)

Reducing the amount of plastic in our daily lives, especially single-use plastic, reduces our reliance on fossil fuels and benefits the environment, especially marine life. Participants learn how plastic is made, how it breaks up into small pieces rather than breaks down, and the harmful effects on the marine environment. A hands-on simulated feeding game reveals the effect of plastic on marine animals.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Reduce comes first!

It is a challenge for us all at times to understand that sometimes less is best. Through a series of visual displays, participants explore the environmental and financial impacts of consumerism and think about the changes they could make to lessen their own impact on the planet.


Worm farm workshopHardy kids recycle workshop 2

A hands-on demonstration of how a worm farm works and how these incredible creatures turn organic waste into a valuable resource. This is an interactive workshop where participants watch worms up close and consider what organic waste they should put in a worm farm.

Build a compost heap

A hands–on workshop where students build a compost heap, learning which ingredients make a healthy compost: greens are rich in nitrogen and browns are rich in carbon. Getting this balance right makes healthy compost for your veggie garden!

EM Bokashi

Many organisations and schools are now opting to deal with their organic waste using an EM Bokashi system. This workshop introduces participants to the process and benefits of composting using effective micro-organisms.

Workshop Face to Face Delivery Time Guide Price
Waste audit & syndicate presentations (schools) costs vary according to size of organisation/school4 hrs $120-$240
Zero Waste Lunches workshop40 min$65
Compost workshop45 min$65
Wormfarm workshop45 min$65
Bokashi workshop35 min$50
Plastics in the Ocean45 min$65
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Reduce comes first!45 min$65

The above prices are exclusive of GST & discounted for delivery to community organisations and schools.

Contact Sarah Langi to arrange a visit or discuss any needs you may have
on 03 545 9176 or email her.


Enner Glynn Playcentre created this sculpture for the Hyperwaste Art expo in June 2012.  001 - Pledge Tree - Hyperwaste Art Expo - 22.6.12They involved all their families in making a pledge tree out of used soft drink bottles. Each family wrote a pledge of what they would do as a family to become more sustainable and put it inside a bottle.  This sculpture created a lot of discussion at Ecofest….Kei te pai!


These videos are a good resource for early childhood.

  • Our Creative Children
  • Ours – NZ Nature for Children

They are available to stream (rent) or download (buy) from Vimeo On Demand at the link above.  This provides a zero waste way to access the videos – no plastic dvds and no paper waste.