Sustainable Flooring Solutions for the Great Big Green Week

This week it’s the ‘Great Big Green Week’. Therefore, it’s a great time to think about upgrading your playgrounds, parks and gardens with sustainable surfacing! Additionally, ‘Green Development’ is a hugely important consideration for local councils and private developers alike across the UK. PlaySmart therefore, has designed our product range to ensure provide the most suitable sustainable surfacing and materials available.

These innovative sustainable surfacing options are becoming more and more popular. Therefore, this blog focuses on the key ways to meet your eco-friendly goals.

Using Recycled Materials

One of the most effective ways to reduce waste and promote sustainability is through the use of recycled materials. PlaySmart’s recycled surfaces use high-quality shredded tyres sourced from trucks and aircraft. Therefore, these materials are free from metal and fibre contaminants, ensuring full safety. Using these materials helps to reduce waste, utilising resources that would otherwise contribute to landfill.

PlaySmart’s eco-flooring range includes two recycled material options: JungleMulch and EcoSmart.

JungleMulch: High-Quality Flooring Sourced from Recycled Rubber

This rubber mulch safety surfacing uses shredded recycled tyres to create durable, reliable surfaces. An impact-absorbing surface like JungleMulch is suitable for a variety of different purposes. This includes embankments, as the basis for paths or trails, or also simply underneath the play equipment itself.

The recycled rubber shred creates a permeable safety surface, so water passes through into the ground.

EcoSmart: Eco-Friendly Rubber Grass Mats

Grass mats are a mainstay for many playgrounds. Therefore, we recommend EcoSmart mats for developing sustainable playgrounds. PlaySmart designs EcoSmart products to be long-lasting and low-maintenance. Therefore, it reduces the need for frequent replacements and the associated environmental impact.

By incorporating recycled content, EcoSmart significantly reduces the demand for virgin rubber. This therefore helps to minimise the overall environmental impact of playgrounds that use it. Additionally, by using recycled rubber, EcoSmart’s heavy-duty outdoor rubber mats are thicker and more stable. All without the premium prices of less durable virgin rubber mats.

Corkeen flooring installed in a natural leisure site
Cork Flooring Innovation - Corkeen

PlaySmart sources natural cork flooring materials from Amorim, a leading innovator in sustainable cork supply. Corkeen is a certified carbon-negative product. The producers replant cork oak forests. Therefore, the trees remove more CO2 emissions from the atmosphere than production releases.

We have calculated the carbon balance for a 40mm thick Corkeen surface at -10kg CO2 per metre squared. For more information visit our Guide to Corkeen Play Surfacing.

Factoring in these carbon calculations is important when designing natural play areas and park spaces for sustainability. Sustainable developments require careful carbon budgeting to receive certification as an eco-friendly project. This makes Corkeen a go-to solution for sustainable flooring for a wide range of public and private projects.

As a specially engineered flooring solution, Corkeen is the ideal combination of sustainability and practicality. It is naturally wear-resistant and comfortable underfoot, making it the perfect multi-use surface for play and leisure. The dual-layer installation of Corkeen creates a simultaneously firm and shock-absorbent surface with a unique texture and stylish aesthetic.

Protecting Local Environments for Natural Play Areas/Parks

There are a variety of other ways developments can leverage thoughtful surface design to support local ecosystems.

Facilitating Grass Growth

Often, installations utilise Hybrid Grass to maintain and support natural grass growth. It not only improves the green aesthetic of the lawn but also prevents harm to the soil and grass.

This is an alternative to artificial grass with fewer synthetic grass blades. This allows grass to grow through and alongside the synthetic materials. This is because hybrid grass rolls laid over existing lawns stabilise soil and reduce the impact of tread on the natural grass. This also facilitates and encourages long-term grass growth.

 

Weed Resistance

Taking a more holistic approach to maintaining local ecosystems, weed-resistant membranes prevent weed growth without harmful chemical herbicides. This prevents invasive weed growth while also limiting chemicals that can create issues for surrounding ecosystems and vegetation.

Hybrid Grass installed in a large field
SUDS-Compliant Water Permeable Surfaces

Allow rainwater to permeate flooring materials naturally with surfaces like a SmartPave rubber aggregate pathway. By facilitating this flow, the surface therefore does not disrupt the natural water cycle. Therefore water can travel freely into groundwater systems as required.

SUDS, or Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, are areas that local authorities designate to support natural water flow. Runoff and puddling of rainwater common with impermeable surfaces can lead to flooding during heavy rain. Therefore, permeable surfaces that allow for natural water cycling can mitigate harm to local wildlife reliant on groundwater reserves.

Reduced Carbon Residue

Some rubber surface products release carbon residue over time. Exposure to UV rays and overuse can release a carbon-based black dust called carbon residue. This causes playgrounds to fade and may stain clothes or skin. This residue can also pollute local water sources. Especially if not cleaned regularly, it can cause issues for ecosystems. We therefore recommend using virgin EPDM rubber if this is a concern on your playground.

Sustainable Surfacing Materials for Natural Play Areas

As we celebrate the Great Big Green Week, it’s essential to recognise the impact of flooring choices on the environment. Therefore, by choosing sustainable surfacing- recycled rubber, natural materials, or options that support ecosystems- we can help create a sustainable future.

Get your Free Quote for sustainable surfacing by filling in the simple form on our contact page. Or also you can also get in touch with us at: 01564 742811

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