As global conversations surrounding environmentalism continues to build momentum, entities both large and small are looking into ways that they can act as good environmental stewards in order to ensure that future generations are able to live and thrive on this planet. One way that this conversation has cropped up is in changing the designs of new public works projects such as playgrounds to be more environmentally friendly. Today, we’ll be discussing some of the ways that you can create an environmental playground so that neighborhood children have a place to play that combines safety and a smaller carbon footprint.
Recycled Plastic Containers Make for Durable Fun
Gone are the days of bespoke plastic playgrounds that are only designed for a singular purpose. Today, playground equipment can be made from recycled milk jugs. The jugs are cleaned, flattened, and shredded. This material is then heated to bond the plastic, and a coloring agent is added in order to provide uniformity and create a fun, dynamic piece of playground equipment. After that, a machine cuts the recycled plastic using specifications for playground equipment, ejecting plastic in various post sizes that can then be cut to length and used to construct swing sets and other equipment as part of a plastic playground.
Finding alternate uses for plastics is critical: between 2004 and 2014, global plastics productions increased from 225 million to 331 million tons, a percentage of which is dedicated to single-use items like plastic water bottles and milk jugs. Finding alternate uses for these products allows people to cut down on the number of plastics that end up in landfills where they will not biodegrade for centuries.
Recycled Rubber Can Make for a Safe Place to Land
In the past, playgrounds were typically made of sand, pea gravel, or wood chips, none of which provided an especially safe place for the slips and falls that are bound to occur in any children’s play area. In trying to create a safer alternative, many playgrounds have utilized recycled rubber tires. The tires are shredded into a rubber mulch, which allows for a cushion for impact in the event of inevitable slip and fall incidents. Not only do these recycled materials offer a safer place to land, but they also give a new life for the tons of tires that have outlived their usefulness and safety on the road.
Natural, Sustainable Wood is Critical
If you’re trying to create a playground that’s reminiscent of old, wooden playgrounds, you don’t have to sacrifice environmental consciousness in order to have beautiful, rustic looking playground equipment. In fact, recycling wood from other projects can allow you to have a play structure that’s as durable as it is beautiful. Using this recycled wood spares new trees from being cut for a project, as well as keeping scrap wood from winding up in landfills. It’s important that wooden playground structures be properly sealed in order to prevent rot, but if the right steps are taken, then you can have a beautiful, rustic, durable playground that children can enjoy for years to come.
Regardless of the aesthetic direction your design team wants to take in creating a play space for your community, there are options in place that allow for environmentally friendly choices every step of the way. With a little research and the help of expert professionals who are committed to providing children with safety in the present and a promising, sustainable future, your environmentally friendly playground can be a bright spot in your community.
If you have questions about what kind of environmentally friendly playground system might be right for your community, contact us today. Our team is committed to helping you find the equipment that meets your community’s needs within your community’s budget.