How green is your yard? 6 budget-busting eco-friendly solutions

  • Eco-friendly design can be incorporated into everything from light bulbs to storage solutions — and it could save you money too

    When David Andrews from equestrian riding surfaces manufacturer Andrews Bowen says he believes water will one day be as expensive as oil, it’s not hard to see why the company has invested in sustainability technology.

    Equaflow, their sustainable water storage, irrigation and conditioning system for surfaces, was used at the London 2012 Olympics, and is installed at Bolesworth, David O’Meara and Dan Skelton’s racing yards and showjumper Shane Breen’s base.

    Reusing water is essential,” says David. “Hot countries such as Spain already know what a big factor water is, where competition horses can use up to 100 litres a day for drinking and washing off, but there’s a growing understanding of it here, too.”

    Reusing water can be as simple, however, as ensuring run-off from the stable or indoor arena roof is captured.

    “Deep-flow gutters ensure rainwater run-off is captured and directed into a tank storage system, which can then be pumped out for reuse in the stables or wash areas. There’s also the potential to use it for arena watering as well,” says Total Equestrian Construction’s Steve Keen, who adds that the water needs to be used regularly to avoid stagnation in the tank.

    Installing a water butt under a downspout is low-key and low-cost, but great for washing down horses or filling buckets.

    Take a look at 5 more budget-busting eco solutions

    1. Go it together — if you’re on a livery yard, bulk deliveries can save money and reduce transport costs. For example, Equisorb offer a £2.16/bale discount on full pallets (18 bales per pallet).

    2. Switch off — whether it’s lights, electric fencing or phone chargers not in use. This saves energy, cuts bills and reduces the risk of electrical fires. Solar electric fencing is an option where fencing needs to stay on.

    3. The Energy Saving Trust advises that swapping standard bulbs and halogen spotlights for energy-saving bulbs can save £35 per year, and 120kg of carbon dioxide.

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    4. Make your own fly spray — it will cut costs and be better for the environment.

    5. Reuse old containers and sacks to cut down on landfill. Leaky water trugs can be reused for storing equipment, and if you’re mulching down your muck heap, why not provide old sacks for a fill-your-own service for local gardeners?

    For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday

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