In 2019, we saw a massive increase in environmental awareness; the pressure on governments to make changes to environmental laws increased, Greta Thunberg was out there spreading the word, and many people across the country started to make conscious changes to the way that they shop for food, clothing and other consumer products by opting for products with plastic-free packaging, refusing to buy into “fast fashion”, and no longer relying on single-use plastic bags.
This year is no different, and more and more people are embracing a more sustainable lifestyle every day. 2020 is all about being environmentally conscious, and we’ve put together a list of tips which you can adopt to make small switches and increase the sustainability of your yard.
Invest in eco-friendly packaging
Find out whether your horse’s food packaging is recyclable. You can usually find the necessary information on the packaging itself, but if you’re unsure, ask your local council. If it isn’t, you might want to consider switching to a different supplier which provides its products in recyclable packaging – small changes such as this are still positive changes!
Reuse and recycle
You could always take your recycling mission one step further and aim to reduce and reuse as much product packaging as you can. Think not only about your horse’s food, but their shampoos and other cleaning products. Some companies out there provide the option for having your food delivered in a large bin which can then be reused and refilled when empty. Others offer discounts for those who return to refill empty shampoo bottles and containers for cleaning products.
Try to save water
Despite the dismal weather we get in the UK, waste water is still an issue! In this country, we have limited natural or mad-made water storage methods, meaning there is actually a relatively small amount of water available per person.
Consider the amount of water you’re using in your yard and try to think of ways you could reduce your usage. You might consider installing automatic drinkers for your horses. Even small changes like making repairs to any leaky taps around the yard can help to reduce waste!
Research sustainable riding clothes
Firstly, before you make any purchase, it’s a good idea to ask yourself the question of whether you really need those new riding tights or that new saddlecloth. If the answer is no, save your money and continue using the equipment you already have. You’ve already made the investment – you may as well get your use out of it!
Try to invest in higher-quality products. The cost may be higher initially, but your clothing and equipment will need to be replaced less frequently, helping you to save money and prevent waste in the long run.
When the time does come to replace your clothing, consider giving your support to a company who advertise an environmental mission. Brands such as DVR Equestrian produce their riding tights, show shirts, base layers and sports bras using recycled ocean plastic, allowing you to ride around knowing that your purchase has helped to clean the seas! Other equestrian clothing brands have pledged to plant trees for every product purchased. Choose the cause that matters most to you and support it.
Second time’s the charm!
Tack, rugs and most other kit can be bought secondhand, and you can often find some great bargains when buying used kit. The added bonus: a lot of the time items are only for sale because a horse has been sold, meaning they’ll be in great condition with little wear, and plenty of life left in them.
Ditch the wipes and sponges
More than 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year. That’s quite a scary figure, but there are several small changes you can make to help bring this figure down, and lots of small changes add up to make big changes!
Try to cut down on the number of wipes and sponges you use around the yard, whether that be for cleaning your tack and boots, wiping down surfaces or applying fly spray. Better yet, you could ditch them altogether and opt instead for biodegradable, plastic-free pads that can be rewashed between uses.
Opt for a sustainable riding surface
At Equestrian Surfaces, we’re conscious of the state of the environment and the role we play in affecting it. As well as being durable and long-lasting, all of our surfaces are produced in such a way to minimise any adverse effects on the environment as much as possible, so that our clients can enjoy a high-quality surface with a clear conscience.