How to build a sustainable playroom or games room

Whether it’s for little kids or big kids, if you’re building a playroom or games room in your home, here are some simple tips to make it more sustainable.

Infant with toy train

1. Choose sustainable toys

One of the simplest ways to make your playroom more sustainable is to make sure you’re reducing your consumption and purchasing only eco-friendly toys.

This could mean:

  • Dodging plastic - most toys are made with plastic or plastic derivatives such as PVC. However, as you probably know, plastic is terrible for the environment. Instead, look out for toys made of metal, wood or fabric.
  • Thinking about packaging - new toys often come wrapped up in pieces of plastic. Try instead to look for things that come packaged in cardboard or fabric.
  • Purchasing recycled toys - you can do this either by shopping for second-hand toys, or buying from brands who have their own recycling schemes – Mattel, for instance, has a scheme called PlayBack in the UK, and Hasbro has a similar scheme.
  • Downloading video games instead of buying them - if you or your little ones love gaming, the good news is that most modern consoles and gaming PCs allow you to download games from online stores. That means no plastic boxes, and no physical CDs or cartridges – it’s a small change that could make a big difference.
  • Pay it forward - once your young ones have grown out of their toys, don’t just leave them in the toy chest or, worse, stick them in the skip. Instead, give them to a charity store or re-sell them online to let other children enjoy them.

2. Choose eco-friendly furnishings too

While it may be easier and cheaper to purchase plastic chairs and playsets, this kind of décor won’t last forever – meaning it may end up in landfill eventually.

To get around the problem, look for furniture made out of sustainable material. Look for real wood tables and chairs and have fun decorating them with eco-friendly paints.

When it comes to toy boxes, forego plastic and look for hemp or fabric baskets instead. The same goes for shelving – try shopping for wood or fabric wall-hanging units.

While it may be easier and cheaper to purchase plastic chairs and playsets, this kind of décor won’t last forever – meaning it may end up in landfill eventually.

To get around the problem, look for furniture made out of sustainable material. Look for real wood tables and chairs and have fun decorating them with eco-friendly paints.

When it comes to toy boxes, forego plastic and look for hemp or fabric baskets instead. The same goes for shelving – try shopping for wood or fabric wall-hanging units.

3. Choose a liquid-cooled gaming PC

If you or your children are avid gamers, your computer is probably the heart of your playroom.

But as you probably know, it can take a lot of power to run a PC – especially an ultra high-definition gaming computer with online chat and live-streaming!

And if your PC uses traditional fan-cooling, it may ironically be wasting even more energy. That’s because ordinary fan-cooled units use electricity themselves to run and sometimes don’t generate enough coolness to do the job.

Enter liquid cooled PCs: instead of fans, these units pump cool liquid through a tube wrapped through the PC unit. Some of these liquids, including water, have proven up to 60% more sustainable than using air.

Better still, liquid cooling can extend the lifespan of your PC, meaning you’re less likely to send parts to scrappage!

Source: techcrunch

4. Turn growing into a game

Why not flip playtime on its head altogether? Instead of filling your playroom full of toys, games and electronics, take a more natural approach and use your space to grow houseplants, fruits and vegetables instead.

Not only is this a fun and engaging activity for kids and adults alike, it will also help to contribute to your home’s ecosystem – and give you essential eco-skills to take to the garden and beyond.

Succulents are a fun and simple way to get started. They don’t require much care or attention and, once they start to sprout, you and your little ones can use them to create cool terrariums.

Better still, you can use your space to grow fruits and vegetables, which could even help you cut down on the plastic-wrapped items you buy from your supermarket.

Houseplants can help to boost your mood and improve the atmosphere of your indoor spaces, making your playroom the perfect place to not only explore and play, but relax and read too.

5. Use your play space to learn about sustainable energy

Could your little one be a climate scientist of the future? The best way to help them could be to invest in fun science kits that help them to learn about the basics of sustainable science.

The Science Museum sells this incredible fun Weather Science kit which will get your young ones to learn things such as how clouds are made and what lightning is.

Or, why not get them to build their own wind turbine? Who knows – in a few years, they could be building full-size ones!

Or, if your child seems like more of the computer programmer type, there are plenty of ways to get them involved in coding and programming. As well as online courses, there are kits to help them see and understand how computer science influences the world before their eyes.

Ultimately, the best way to make your playroom more sustainable could be to turn it into a space for your little ones to learn all about sustainability – so that, one day, they can help to change the world for the better.

Continue your sustainability journey

Going green in the playroom is just one step to making your home as eco-friendly as it can be.

To discover even more ways to make your home sustainable, check out some of the handy hints and tips on our Home by Halifax site.