Park and Playground Trends for 2021: Environmentally-Responsible Electronic Play


Since 1929, GameTime has been committed to strengthening communities through play and recreation. Part of that mission is ensuring that children of today can take their children to playgrounds in the future. That’s why our commercial playground equipment is designed to minimize the impact on the planet. As GameTime has shown over the past few decades, environmentally responsible play is achievable for our entire industry, and more and more companies will strive toward sustainability in 2021.

Eliminating Waste

Did you know that more than 15 BILLION batteries are thrown away every year? The U.S. alone throws out almost 180,000 TONS of batteries annually. There’s one way the playground industry can help solve this problem—human-powered electronics.


Whether it’s cranking a handle, pressing a foot pedal, or rotating a wheel, users have to “power up” human-powered electronic play elements. Once powered up, these products generate sensory-rich experiences like music, lights, story-telling, or social games—no batteries required. These innovative play pieces enhance fine motor skills and keep the fun going at the same time!

Eliminating the need for batteries on our playgrounds is just one of the many ways GameTime is reducing our waste output.

Decreasing our waste is one of the most effective ways we can reduce our environmental footprint. That’s why we make every effort to recycle the waste from our manufacturing process. The vast majority of waste at our facilities is recycled, including 100% of scrap metal and molded plastics. Every year, GameTime recycles:

  • 1,395.64 tons of steel
  • 28.55 tons of cardboard
  • 12.25 tons of paper
  • 18.79 tons of scrap plastic

Reliable and Recyclable

Not only are we eliminating waste in our facilities, but we also use materials made from recycled content. GameTime uses some of the most durable AND recyclable materials, like steel, plastic, and aluminum. We use these materials because they have the lowest possible impact on the environment and are strong enough to withstand years of play. Our products are meant to last decades, not years.


We also make sure that our suppliers value sustainability as much as we do. We go out of our way to work with vendors in our communities to minimize the carbon output from transporting materials. In recent years, there’s been an industry-wide focus on finding sustainable solutions, and that commitment to environmental accountability will only grow in the next year.

More Conservation, Less Consumption

In addition to making sure our materials are environmentally friendly, we want our facilities to conserve as much energy as possible. We've learned best practices for increasing energy efficiency through our partnerships with organizations like The Trust for Public Land and The National Arbor Day Foundation, like upgrading light fixtures and air compressors. Although updating building materials like these may seem like small improvements, every single upgrade to our facilities reduces our environmental impact.

It’s estimated that more than one-third of all counties in the lower U.S. will have to deal with water shortages in the next 30 years. It may be surprising, but water is becoming a valuable commodity, so we want to take steps to lower our water consumption. We’ve implemented many practices that lower our daily water consumption from tasks such as washing and painting. Our continued commitment to environmentally friendly building practices is why GameTime is the first playground manufacturer to be a U.S. Green Building Council member.

Partners for a Healthier Planet

From the way we manufacture our products to our corporate practices, GameTime is determined to provide sustainable solutions for every situation. This year, the entire playground industry will join us in making environmental responsibility a priority. If you would like to bring an environmentally-responsible way to play to your city, contact the GameTime play expert in your area.