News JVTech Board games are a nightmare for the planet!
Published on 03/16/2023 at 17:55
The Green Games Guide movement has decided to take an interest in the carbon footprint of board games: it turns out that this hobby, which is very popular today, is not particularly respectful of the environment. But that could change in the future.
A board game box is made of cardboard, it often includes plastic inserts and counters, plastic cards and many printed elements. And that’s without counting on the board games which integrate a lot of figurines which are very often made of plastic too. In summary, this type of games involves the use of a lot of materials that are not necessarily ecological : this is what the Green Games Guide organization, recently set up by designers, industry professionals, players and even university professors, points out.
Board games are not green
In a lengthy guide available for free, Green Games Guide points out that “from the materials that make up a game to the size of the box and the packaging, this industry contributes in too many ways to environmental destruction and waste”. This also concerns the production stage, which “generates vast carbon emissions”, but also the recycling aspect: According to GGG members, today many games are not so easy to recycle, which helps to reinforce their greenness.
“Board games use a lot of wood, paper and cardboard. Not knowing where the pulp used in your games comes from means you support massive deforestation, climate change, illegal logging, worker exploitation, and the endangerment of plant and animal species. » A rather violent accusation, which board game enthusiasts will no doubt appreciate…
Solutions for industry
Fortunately, Green Games Guide doesn’t just point the finger at the behavior of players destroying forests while playing Monopoly. The organization offers a large number of avenues for the industry, in particular turning to recycled materials, or even opting for eco-responsible sectors when possible. The FSC certification, for Forest Stewardship Council is notably cited : it ensures that the wood used to produce parts and paper comes from a sector that respects the environment.
The other recommendation concerns the fact of reduce the size of the packaging as much as possible, even if it means further compacting the various elements of the games. The use of alternative materials and products is also recommended: “Many manufacturers now offer soy-based inks for printing cards, paper, boxes and other pulp materials. These inks are generally much less harmful to the environment, both during the manufacturing process and during the post-consumer portion of a game’s life cycle,” the guide states.
Eco-responsible board games already exist
If Green Games Guide seeks to work for a more virtuous board game industry, some companies did not wait for his advice. Some publishers already offer eco-designed board games, like the French BioViva et Minus, whose products are produced in France with recyclable and recycled materials. In another register, Blue Orange’s Kingdomino game chose to reduce the size of its box as much as possible by efficiently stacking the pieces inside.
In sum, there is no sector that is really spared by the issue of ecology and the need to evolve in the right direction. This doesn’t mean that you should stop playing board games, but it can still be a good idea to encourage publishers who take good initiatives in favor of the environment.