Going Green – in the name of fun!

tyreswingDid you ever wonder what happens to old car tyres? Well, unfortunately the rubber used in car tyres doesn’t bio degrade so they can just end up sitting in landfill for a long time.

One use people came up with is to recycle them to be used as the bottoms of shoes. Even big brands such as Timberland are doing this.

Old rubber is also being put to good use for sporting or children’s activities. Recycled rubber (which is turned into something called rubber mulch) can also be re-used to make rubber athletic surfaces or playground surfaces, which use around 80 tyres for one cubic metre of rubber. This is great news for the planet as that means a huge amount of old tyres being put to good use. The rubber play surfaces also make playgrounds with climbing frames and swing in safer for children. The bouncy surfaces mean if you child falls from the top of even the highest climbing frames their fall would be broken and reduce the risk of serious injury.

Another fun use for children, as well as the safety surfacing they have at a playground, is an actual swing itself. Everyone loves a tyre swing and they have been used for children’s recreation for decades. You may have swung on one as a child – or maybe even swung across a stream on one dangling from a tree. They are now being used more commonly as an attachment to a swing or climbing frame and this cannot be a bad thing for both our children’s enjoyment and the environment.

Simply created out of a rope and a tyre, tyre swings have been used by kids for hours of enjoyment for many years.

Now climbing frame accessory retailer Big Game Hunters, is selling tyre swings made out of re-used tyres. These can be seen on http://www.climbingframes.com. Manufactured by outdoor play manufacturer Garden Games Ltd, these swings are giving children added fun to their swing sets and climbing frames up and down the country.

“Not only does it reduce the amount of tyres in local land fill, but it keeps the costs of the items to the customer down – allowing them to buy a quality product for a lot less,” said John Cardy, owner of Garden Games.

Big Game Hunter’s wanted to do something to reduce the overfilling of landfill sites and by selling these products, feel they are doing a tiny bit to help the local environment. Swings have been a part of society since at least 1400 years before the birth of Christ! There are pictures and models of swings in ancient Greek art. A model of an early swing can be seen here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AAMI_-_Schaukel.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.

One thing is for certain, the swing is here to stay and if we can carry on making fun play equipment with recycled materials we will be helping the environment whist giving our children something fun to play on or with!

Written by Abbi Stewart, a play consultant.

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