A new environmentally conscious trend is rising in popularity: eco-friendly playgrounds. At first glance, they might just seem like any other playground. With a closer look, it becomes clear how unique and special each of these spaces is. From environmentally sustainable building materials to eco-conscious layouts, these seven examples are some of the most sustainable playgrounds out there. Let’s take a look.
7 of the World’s Most Eco Friendly Playgrounds
Let’s take a look at 7 great examples around the world of eco-friendly playgrounds. These playgrounds do a great job of reducing their footprint, incorporating the natural landscape around them, utilizing recycled material, and creating a fun space for kids to be kids.
Rubber Tree Playground, Thailand
Here’s a fun idea: use old tires to build a fun place for kids to play. That’s exactly what this playground in Thailand does. They used discarded rubber tires as the main material to build their fun space. The designers wanted to build a forest-esque area using rubber for the tree forms and bamboo for the base.
The story surrounding this specific playground is historically unique. It was built to entertain the more than 1,000 refugees who were stuck between the border of Burma and Thailand.
Wikado Playground, The Netherlands
The Netherlands are known for their historic windmills. In fact, the Dutch identity often revolves around this idea. Becauses of this, the designer of the Wikado Playground decided to use old windmills to create a maze-like playground.
It was built using discarded turbine blades that were chopped up into parts. These parts were shaped into tunnels, towers, ramps, and bridges for kids to run around in. This playground repurposed these materials and avoided the alternative, which would have been throwing these massive turbines into a landfill and leaving them to rot.
The Geopark, Norway
The Geopark takes a fun twist on building an eco-friendly playground. They didn’t use traditional environmentally sustainable building materials, but they used scrapped pieces from an oil rig. Norway has a strong oil industry, so there are plenty of scraps to pick from.
This industrial debris was repurposed, made safe, and assembled to make The Geopark. It’s a waterfront playground that attracts a lot of attention. More importantly, it shows children that recycling isn’t just about cardboard, glass, and plastic.
Lion’s Park Playground, Alabama, USA
In America, there is a great example of an eco-friendly playground in Alabama. It was put together by a group of students at Auburn University as part of the University’s Rural Studio program. Their prompt was to create plans for an eco-friendly playground, and the group delivered an exceptional solution, which is why the project is standing today.
The project replaced an old playground, and some of those old parts were used in construction. Beyond that, it was constructed using more than 2,000 steel drums which were all donated from local and nationwide companies. It has a section of sound tubes which act as instruments for children to have fun with. It also features recycled swing sets and tunnels to climb in. It’s a unique sight to see, standing out among the rolling hills.
Nature Play Spaces, Across America
The National Wildlife Federation has been sponsoring different parks across the States that strongly incorporate the surrounding nature. They call each of these parks Nature Play Spaces. These areas take a step away from massive metal and plastic structures and instead use trees, branches, and terraces to make naturally fun places to play.
This goes beyond just recycling material. It steps into true sustainability and eco-friendliness. The environment isn’t getting harmed from construction since it doesn’t entail any deforestation. The federation encourages towns to use natural resources like fallen trees, boulders, logs, and branches to put together fun spaces for children.
Dynamo Playgrounds, Across the World
International playground designer, Dynamo, combines environmental friendliness with great playgrounds. Their business model is built around creating highly usable, aesthetically pleasing, and fun playgrounds that are eco-friendly. Even the brochures that this company prints use vegetable and soy-based ink, and they plant a tree every time they have a print order. Dynamo has a number of playgrounds in America, Canada, and across the globe. All of their locations use completely recycled materials and processes that have a smaller carbon footprint.
An interesting technique they use is building taller structures. They want to use as much vertical space as safely possible. Most sustainable playgrounds are just built horizontally, which takes up more space and reduces the amount of nature in the area. Dynamo’s parks, however, feature tall, twisting structures that seem to come from a Dr. Seuss book, which is both fun and more space conscious.
Eco-Friendly Playgrounds, Louisiana, USA
The last playground on the list comes out of Baton Rouge from a group of students attending Louisiana State University. These students imagined, designed, and built playgrounds that use a number of ecologically friendly ideas. Their vision was to be minimally impactful to the environment while promoting sustainability. These playgrounds are part of a project that started in 2005 by the students.
They used recycled sugarcane bagasse as a building material. They also pointed out that pressure-treated wood has been used in playgrounds since the 1960s, and it has a known carcinogen. This material is a low-budget option that otherwise works well, so the students sought to add a polyurethane coating on the wood and test its usability. They created safe, fun, eco-friendly playgrounds that are gentle on the Earth.
See More Sustainability in Action
Eco-friendly playgrounds are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sustainable ways to have fun. They are also a good example of helping children understand the importance of sustainability. At Miniwiz, we offer a wide range of eco-friendly solutions that can be incorporated into everyday life. We know that it takes all of us working together to help protect the planet for generations to come.