A Green Way To Play

It is well-known that plastic is not bio-degradable, thus having an indefinite lifespan in landfills. Some critics argue plastic will not decompose for 500 years, while others predict 1,000 years. Sunlight eventually decomposes a plastic bag or makes it brittle enough to break into tiny fragments, but plastic–regardless of its size–continues to sit in the soil.

The teeter bridge is a popular attraction. Photo Courtesy City of Safety Harbor

In waterways, bags are often mistaken for jellyfish and ingested by sea turtles and birds. Ultimately, pollution is hurting their populations.

Creating an eco-friendly playground not only is environmentally responsible, but teaches environmental responsibility and the importance of preserving common resources–all while encouraging healthy play.

Building a playground from recycled plastic bags, milk jugs, apple-juice bottles, plastic toy packaging, orange-juice bottles and other items familiar to children makes the concept of reuse tangible and clear, even for small children.

The children of Safety Harbor now have an entire playground and clubhouse, benches, picnic tables, and seating on the dock as a direct result of recycling.

Teaching children to reduce, reuse, and recycle today will eventually produce environmentally aware, fit adults tomorrow.

Julie Inman is the Recreation Facility Manager for the Rigsby Recreation Center. She can be reached via email at jinman@cityofsafetyharbor.com.

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