This email is a monthly update from the Child Care Planning Council, which provides resources and support for those interested in greening child care
Pumpkin patch at Davis Street Head Start Center

Green Child Care Newsletter

Updates and resources for greening your center

Volume 2: Issue 2 - January 2014

Happy New Year! What are your green resolutions for 2013? How will you improve your Go Green Rating? Will you eliminate toxic cleaning supplies from your center? Will you start recycling and composting? Or would you like to start a garden?  You'll find many great ideas and resources for green resolutions in this issue of the Green Child Care Newsletter. 

Mandatory Composting Law

Alameda County Recycling Ordinance: 2014 marks the year that Phase II of the ordinance is implemented. Starting July 1st,  all businesses will be required to recycle food and organics waste, not just those with four or more cubic yards of garbage service per week. Business and property owners could potentially reduce costs and time by setting up
compostables collection service now rather than waiting until it is required.

Need Free Recycling and Composting Assistance?

Contact Kim to help get your center in compliance with the new laws.

Green Grant Opportunities

Applications are due March 7 for the 2014 Altamont Educational Advisory Board's mini and project grants ranging from $500-$50,000 to promote waste prevention and recycling, job training and education. For more info see: Guidelines, Mini-Grant Application, and Project Grant Application

January Recycle Crafts

Plastic Bottle waste is a huge problem in the US - we consume 1500 plastic bottles per second! However, plastic bottles can not only be recycled, but also reused in fun and creative ways. Here are some ideas to get you started with some eco-friendly crafts in 2014: 
-- Snowflakes: Decorate the bottom of plastic bottles to create these lovely snowflakes.
-- Milk Jug Igloo: Create an inspiring space for children by following these instructions.
-- Vertical Garden: Transform soda bottles into beautiful hanging gardens, perfect for winter herbs and dark greens.
-- Organization Containers: Simply cutting jugs open makes a great container for organizing crayons or pencils.

Green Cleaning Update: Triclosan Concerns

The Food and Drug Administration announced on December 16, 2013 that there is no evidence that antibacterial chemicals used in liquid soaps and washes actually prevent the spread of germs. The FDA is now revisiting the safety of triclosan and other chemicals common in cleaning products. Studies suggest that triclosan can interfere with hormone regulation and contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. See the full SFGate article HERE
Green Cleaning Made Easy: Use Green Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting: A Toolkit for Early Care and Education, developed by UCSF, UC Berkeley and Informed Green Solutions, to get educated on how to reduce the risk of infectious disease spread without using products that pose serious health risks. All of the materials in the Toolkit and more are available for download free of charge HERE

Professional Development Opportunity

Now Recruiting: UCSF School of Nursing is conducting research on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and looking for child care center directors to participate. Enrolled centers will receive free professional development training for staff, technical assistance, tools, and supplies to support IPM practices. For more information please contact Bobbie Rose at or 510-204-0934. 

Check Out This Video Series!

Got Pests? Don't reach for the spray! Watch these short, helpful videos on controlling pests in your center using Integrated Pest Management (IPM), created by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Also available en Español!

Oh, Holiday Tree... What do I do with you now?

Tips for discarding that tree the green way:
1) Curbside PickupMost waste haulers will accept green (not flocked) trees under 6’ as part of regular curbside pickup through the end of January (Note: The City of Berkeley allows flocked trees under 5'). Contact your waste hauler for more info. 
2) Non-Profit Pickup: Organizations like the Boy Scouts will often collect your tree for a small donation.
3) Mulch ItIf you or a friend happen to have access to a shredder, use it to make rich mulch for your New Year's garden.
4) Get Creative!
-Soil erosion barrier: Coastal and waterfront communities often use old trees specifically for halting soil and sand erosion, so check to see if such programs exist if you’re not living directly on the water yourself.
-Bird feeder: Place tree in backyard and use orange slices or popcorn to attract birds.
-Coat rack: Cut branches down to stubs as shown here.


Kimberly's Corner

I love the feeling of starting a new year - it is a time of new beginnings and endless possibilities. After the holiday shopping lists have all been crossed off, the presents opened and the many delicious treats gone away, it is a great time to collect our thoughts and take inventory about what it is we need from ourselves, coworkers and loved ones. Questions that I like to ponder include: What do I want to create in the new year? How do I want to feel each day? What is the legacy I am creating? What can I give up? Making the choice to go green helps me make sense of these questions. This year my goals are to use my bike more often for short trips, give up high-fructose corn syrup, and most importantly get others to say YES to going green. As the Greening Preschools Coordinator, I am hitting the ground running getting centers to reduce waste and improve their Go Green Rating. Recycling and composting is one of the easiest ways to take the first step to creating a greener child care center and more sustainable world. Plus I have free resources to make it even easier for you! Please contact me today to get on board!

Free Goodies!

Join the Greening Preschools Program and eligible centers can receive complementary recycling and composting bins as well as non-toxic reusable dishes! To join the program, all you have to do is contact Kim at
(510) 208-9653 or Hurry, supplies are limited to the first 15 centers. 

StopWaste Grant Opportunities

Community Outreach Grant StopWaste is offering $5,000 to qualified non-profits serving low-income and disadvantaged community members. The Greening Preschools Program can help you complete some of the required deliverables for this grant. Please contact Tommy Fenster for more information.
Other Opportunities
 include Business and Agency Mini Grants for waste reduction projects!

Rocky the Recycling Raccoon Returns

Rocky paid a visit to The Child Unique Montessori School in Alameda last month to teach kids about how important recycling is and the correct way to do it. Then the kids got to paint old trash cans and transform them into new recycling bins. Would you like Rocky to visit your center? Ask Kim today!
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