5 ways to reduce your carbon hoof print

With COP26 taking place at the moment, it seemed like a great opportunity to talk about sustainability in the equestrian sphere. Here are five simple changes you can make to reduce your carbon hoof print.

1. Bedding

Quite a lot of wood shaving bedding companies source their timber from the Scandinavian region. This creates unnecessary carbon output from transportation.

I use Blue Ribbon Horse Bedding which is produced and sourced in Wales, UK. No healthy trees are chopped down to make the pellets. They are in fact made from residue chips from the UK Sawmill industry – so no waste! The wood is 100% British, with over 80% of the chip coming from within 40 miles of the manufacturing plants in North Wales. The manufacturing process also uses 100% renewable energy from their own on site Biomass boilers.

Not only then is it sustainable sourced and manufactured, but it’s great in application. Blue Ribbon Horse Bedding is incredibly absorbent and easy to muck out which also helps to further reduce waste since very little ends up on the muck heap. What does get to the muck heap biodegrades significantly faster than shavings or straw. This means that the total size of the heap is comparatively smaller and takes up less storage space and less removal costs.


2. Feed

Lots of UK feed companies are making considerable efforts to source sustainable ingredients and cut down on their carbon emissions.

SPILLERS source 97% of their raw materials from sustainable sources. 72% of the ingredients in SPILLERS feeds are grown and harvested in the UK too.

SPILLERS use fully electric machinery and forklifts at the manufacturing site which itself was built on an eco-intelligent building design. The electricity is 100% renewable as it’s sourced from their own wind farm in Scotland.


3. Packaging

Look out for products that come in recycled or recyclable packaging.

Leovet produce a range of horse care products utilitising pharmaceutical quality ingredients. All of their products come in 100% recycled packaging.

To help identify recycled packaging: recycled plastic usually have a slight grey or beige tinge, while the transparent version shimmers bluish or greenish when held up to the light. So just take a closer look when you pick up a "new" bottle.

The production of packaging from recycled plastic releases a good 80 percent less CO2 than the same packaging made from new plastic!

4. Less packaged waste

Wrapped forage and haylage contribute a lot of single use plastic waste. Some small bale forage plastics can be recycled but many cannot and the large clingwrap definitely cannot be recycled. Consider if you could instead feed locally sourced unwrapped hay.

Try to support supplement companies that offer re-fill bags rather than the traditional plastic tubs with every order. The production of the bags (which often can be recycled) produce far less emissions than the hard tubs. Some even offer the option of leaving out the scoops inside – if you’re like me you’ll have hundreds of scoops and tubs in various sizes that have amounted over the years!

5. Re-use

Though it’s always lovely to buy new things consider if you really need to buy new or if you can simply repair the item. Buying second-hand kit is also worth considering – you might just find a bargain!

If you do want to buy ‘new’ then there are now a plethora of sustainable equestrian clothing companies on the market offering technical riding clothes made from recycled materials.

Weatherbeeta also recently launched a rug range called Green-Tec. It’s made from recycled plastic, and each rug saves over 340 plastic bottles from going into landfill or the ocean. The rug also uses 50% less energy to produce than a traditional turnout rug.

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