How you can create environmentally conscious playground designs

There has been a sizable shift among consumers and businesses over the past few years as the desire for green products and measures has increased dramatically. No longer are the masses satisfied with purchasing products and using services without looking deeper into how and where the materials are sourced, what sort of energy efficient and green measures are being used in production, and even how the item is marketed.

What this means for small, medium, and large sized business owners is that they need to be aware of this need for green measures and not only start to adopt them, but educate their clients and customers on what steps they are taking.

Landscape contractors are not immune to this trend to go green and environmentally-conscious. Where it used to be that they may be asked to include an off-the-shelf playground into their design, today homeowners are demanding more and want to keep their garden as environmentally-friendly and natural as possible. That includes the materials being used for the playground, as well as the actual design and footprint.

In order to stay competitive, contractors need to not only be aware of this trend, but be ready to jump on board and offer a number of suggestions to the homeowner. To help get you started, here are some tips and steps that may be worth taking.

Begin with the material being used
A great place to start with the design process is in thinking long and hard about the material you’ll be using for the play structure. While plastic and steel playgrounds are common, they aren’t exactly giving off that natural vibe. Wooden playground equipment may seem a bit old-school, but in reality, it is the most natural playground equipment out there.

These wooden playgrounds tend to be available in natural looking stains that flow with nature and look as though they would actually exist. Compare that to the brightly colored plastic structures that are common in large parks, and one can be seen as an “eyesore” whereas the other blends into its surroundings.

For those homeowners who have put a lot of time, money, and effort into a beautiful garden design, typically the last thing they want is to place some over-sized, brightly colored structure right in the middle of their haven.

Contractors are wise to shop around and find a company that uses high-quality chemical-free timber from sustainable sources, which is exactly what PlayEquip offers. Its timber playgrounds have been used for individual gardens as well as parks, schools, and commercial properties. The natural timber playground equipment used is not only great to look at, but is built to last and is extremely durable.

Give thought to the actual design
Using sustainable and environmentally-conscious materials isn’t typically enough, even though it’s a great starting point. The design itself will also go a long way in helping to make sure the playground feels natural and organic.

Because you don’t find a lot of straight lines and angles naturally occurring in nature, you can take that same approach with the playground. Incorporate interest through curves and natural looking formations. It’s also a good idea to find ways that you can add greenery to the design with bordering plants, trees or bushes.

Choose an Environmentally Friendly Surface Material
Another aspect of the design is the surface material. While some homeowners will be content to place the play equipment on the existing grass, others want to create more of a dedicated play space. Surface material can help to create this play area as it will act as the border, if you will. There are all kinds of different materials homeowners can choose from, but again some will be more environmentally conscious.

One material that has been growing in popularity as of late is rubber floor tiles made from recycled plastic. They are environmentally friendly, plus they provide an excellent grip when kids are running around. They also tend to be a little softer should a child fall. This can be important for those with younger children. You can even find rubber mulch, again made from recycled plastic. Just be sure you look for plastic that is non-toxic, organic, made from recycled materials, and safe for kids and pets.

Engineered wood fibre is another eco-friendly option that can be used. It provides a more natural look than plastic, yet still offers a bit of cushioning should the kids take a tumble.

Creating a playground design that checks off all the eco-friendly boxes
These are just a few of the tips and steps contractors can use when creating a playground design for clients who want to take an eco-friendly approach. Often these tips can create a more natural and organic looking design, which will help to create that sense of a serene outdoor getaway.

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For more information, please contact Emily Roberts at contact emilyroberts@gmail.com.

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