SUSTAINABLE Play & Activities
Play activities for our children need to be carefully considered from an eco-sustainable perspective. It is helpful to have a set of criteria to work through when setting up activities, or thinking about purchasing new materials.
- Does the activity use any existing resources?
- Are the resources recycled from elsewhere, e.g. scrap store, car boot, charity shop
- If new, what are they made of?
- Virgin non-replaceable minerals such as plastic made entirely from oil?
- Virgin replaceable materials, certified as sustainable such as FFC wood?
- A blend of virgin and recycled materials, such as some plastics – what % is the blend?
- From a mineral dug from the ground that damages the landscape or the seascape (and the creatures living in that land/water)?
- Has the material been imported and transported to you, or is it local?
- How have the materials been transported – diesel or electricity from renewable sources? Using transport that is already in place or a specially implemented system?
- Will they last for years and be a good investment, or is it one-use?
- How much care will you need to take of them, and can you do this with the children?
- Will the item(s) need painting or varnishing?
- When they reach the end of their life, can you return them to the manufacturers, or will they go to recycling, landfill or incineration? If they escape into the air, environment or water, will they damage the environment?
If you have established that some of the process is not sustainable, has the manufacturer or distributor done anything to compensate for the damage, such as using the quarry holes for water sports, paying a third party to fund sustainable activities or scientific research to benefit the environment? Is there anything you can do to offset the damage?