The idea of Ecological Intelligence embraces the possibility that an aptitude for seeing and understanding complex social systems exists and that it is a skill that can be cultivated and developed intentionally within the framework of an educational paradigm. Since Montessori Education embraces the idea that a child is seeking orientation to their place and time, there exists an opportunity to connect even the youngest child to systems that prioritize living in balance with our environment.
We introduce young children to the ideas of reduction, reuse and recycling at a foundational level. Reducing waste is a practice that is a thoughtful and deliberate part of our curriculum. By preparing snacks and meal for all the children, rather than packing individual lunches for each child, we are reducing the amount of packaging and waste by buying in bulk. When reduction of waste is a goal in our school community, and strategies for reduction are modeled by adults, children are oriented to a culture of reduction.
Our use of cloth diapers and freedom from diapers at an early age support the idea of reuse in our culture. While the use of cloth diapers is consistent with Montessori pedagogy, it also models a principle of sustainability – reuse.
We recycle extensively, bagging hard to recycle items and doing so when possible. We are an Oregon Environmental Council Eco Friendly Childcare, and in the process of becoming Oregon Green School Certified.