Nerf blasting is an exciting activity, both for kids and adults. It’s an all-around activity that helps you exercise while also having a fun experience. So, buying the darts is quite common when you’re purchasing the blasters.
Most people don’t know it, but nerf is an acronym for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam. It was an invention by Hasbro in the ‘60s. This activity is so common that 445,277,777 darts are made with recreational foam yearly.
So, what’s the method of disposal for this ubiquitous item? Can we throw it in the trash or compost it? Well, these will be environmentally safe methods if the nerf darts are biodegradable.
Why don’t you stay with us, as we’ll break down what you need to know about the biodegradability of nerf darts, whether they’re toxic or not, and some other exciting information just for you? Keep reading!
Do Nerf Darts Biodegrade?
Environmental concerns are beneficial trends that have come to stay. We need to restrict our consumption of materials to those that leave the most minor strain on our environment.
So, we ask the question of biodegradability because of its effects on the environment. We also consider the impact materials that aren’t biodegradable will have on it.
When a material is biodegradable, throwing it on the floor or in the trash may not have detrimental effects. That’s because nature is responsible for breaking it down and will provide all the right factors – water, oxygen, heat, and microorganisms. However, if it isn’t, leaving it in the environment may not be great.
What determines the biodegradable nature is what it’s made from. Natural resources will break down, and fast too. So, when you’re deciding whether an item is biodegradable or not, you need to consider what it’s made from.
Nerf darts are made from non-expanding recreational foam, which is biodegradable. Nerf is a product of polyurethane, a type of elastomer. When you leave your darts lying around, they’ll break down within two to three years, under the right conditions.
They won’t also harm the environment in the process, but wild animals may mistake them for food and eat them. Either way, it’s almost a guarantee that you won’t see a nerf dart lying around for more than three years.
You’ll notice the flattening of these nerf pieces, and that’s how to know when decomposition starts. Then, you’ll see a growth of mold in the area.
When the darts decompose finally, you’ll be left with environmentally friendly glue and polyethylene.
Now, you can leave your dart gun in the trash can; that’s a suitable place for it. However, leaving it outside may not be a great idea because pets, little children, or wild animals enjoy biting off the tip. It also disrupts the otherwise environmentally considerate uniform method of waste disposal that’s been set up.
Are Nerf Darts Bad For the Environment?
Most of our industrial activities are bad for the environment. They leave effects such as water pollution, air pollution, destruction of the ozone layer, and a host of other environmentally harmful impacts.
When we consider the products made from these industrial activities, some of them also have detrimental effects on the environment. This is why we need to be cautious of our habitual consumption.
Now, the rate at which Nerf darts are being produced and used makes probing its environmental effects vital. Every factor must be examined from the production process down to the disposal up the decomposition process.
Considering that you can make nerf darts at home, we safely assume that the production process isn’t environmentally draining. Using them isn’t also a threat to the environment, as they biodegrade when exposed to the right conditions.
However, there’s a caveat here – if nerf darts find their way to our water bodies, they can do more harm than we’d like. They can flow through water bodies and channels and find their way to the aquatic world. If ingested by these marine creatures, there’s no assurance that it won’t result in detrimental damage.
So, proper disposal is advised.
Are Nerf Darts Toxic?
Nerf darts can be used to keep any adult or child entertained for a long time. Playdates and adult hangouts have been known to feature nerf blasting, as it’s an engaging and healthily competitive game for everyone above age 14. There are even nerf guns for grown men and women.
As such, these are regularly consumed products in America. We need to consider the effects of using them, both on us and our environment. So, are nerf darts toxic? Well, the answer is relative and depends on how you use them.
The foam used to make nerf darts is typically non-toxic. However, it shouldn’t be swallowed because it can lead to choking. So, keep it out of the reach of babies and pets.
When you watch your consumption of toxic products, you and the environment will be safer. For instance, when using nerf guns, it’s in your best interest to wear the proper protective gear, for your eyes in particular.
If a nerf dart contacts your eye with full force, it can result in internal bleeding and blurred vision. In addition to wearing eye-protective gear, players should never forget to avoid aiming for the eyes during a game of nerf blasting.
Are Nerf Darts Reusable?
Nerf blasting is an exciting game that allows two or more people to shoot at each other without causing noticeable damage, except in rare cases. Since these darts are like bullets, you’ll burn through a significant share during your fun escapades.
You can use the darts for a significant period, but they’ll start getting thin as time passes. Then, shooting them through the dart gun will become more difficult because they slip out of the dart barrels with more ease.
This may result in amassing quite the collection of used nerf bullets, leading you to wonder if you can reuse them. Well, the short answer is you can, but it’s subject to some caveats.
However, we have the perfect solution for you. Instead of frequently spending a considerable sum on new nerf darts, you can give the hack we’ll explore a shot.
First, gather the darts. The ones that feel too small for the barrel should be resized, and those bent need to be reshaped.
Next, bring a pot of water to boil and dip each dart inside it for one or two seconds. Use a pair of pincers for this, and avoid touching the darts until they’re fully dry. Heating the dart expands the air bubbles that have been deflated due to frequent use or other reasons.
The foam can also expand too much and become too large for the dart barrel. So, pay extra attention when dipping in hot water; the longer it spends there, the more the air bubbles increase.
Finally, the darts become almost as good as new and will fly faster while also covering a longer distance.
Are Nerf Darts Waterproof?
Your game of nerf blasting can take you anywhere that may bring you in contact with water. This substance can have the most unexpected effects on your toy, so it’s good to know what to expect. That’s why you may find yourself wondering if nerf darts are waterproof.
The darts themselves can take a dive in the water but shouldn’t spend so much time there. This also should be as infrequent as possible.
So, whatever activity you’ll be doing that’ll bring your nerf gun in contact with water should reduce, as these fun items haven’t been built to withstand water, even though they’ve been in existence for decades.
However, hot water seems to positively affect the darts, especially when they’ve become deformed or thin. It inflates the air bubbles and makes it possible to reuse your darts as many as three more times.
Ways to Dispose of Nerf Darts
Uniform waste disposal methods are vital for the environment. They create order and keep pollution to a minimum. As such, when you’re disposing of nerf darts, even if they are biodegradable and won’t pollute the environment, you should do it the proper way.
Now, recycling is a common way of disposing of our waste. It helps us reduce our consumption of natural resources because we can reuse these materials when creating similar products. We’ll also spend less time and resources on production processes, which will help us cut back on air and water pollution.
However, we can’t recycle all materials, including nerf darts.
Another option is to compost them. This waste disposal method is more popular for kitchen waste – vegetable matter, cooking grease, leftover food, and other waste items that break down fast.
This will be done in a controlled environment, with sufficient heat, moisture, and oxygen access. The microbes that’ll decompose the waste will materialize when decomposition starts.
It’s vital that every material that goes in the compost bin be biodegradable. If it isn’t, then that defeats the purpose of composting, which is to break down matter to create soil and fertilizer.
Most of the materials in this bin or pile will break down within months, at most. However, nerf darts are biodegradable materials that require longer to decompose, as long as two to three years. So, composting isn’t an option.
Well, we already showed you how to reuse your nerf darts and balls. When they become deformed from use or high impact, you can dip them in for water for a short period. However, you can only use this method three times before the days become entirely useless for this activity.
So, in that case, you can use them for little crafts around the house. For instance, did you know that nerf darts are wonderful pincushions? They’re just the perfect size for your easily accessible threaded needles. Stick a couple of them on these sizable pieces of foam to improve your organizational skills.
Another option is to use the casing as a support for your pens. They’re soft padding that you can wear over your pen to make writing more comfortable.
If you also need stuffing or clippings for other artsy ideas, you can try using the nerf darts.
Finally, if you believe there’s nothing you can use the nerf darts to do anymore, then you can put it in the trash. It’ll find its way to a landfill, which is a controlled environment for our waste.
Everyone deserves fun and relaxation now and then. However, we have a personal duty to the environment to ensure that our activities put the most minor strain on it. We can ensure this by being cautious of our favorite pastimes and making sure that they pose no harm to the environment.