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8 easy ways riders can embrace sustainability in 2020

Sustainability is a topic that seems to be everywhere right now. But it’s far more than just a buzz word, and awareness is rising in the equestrian world of the importance of protecting our planet by being more environmentally conscious. Luckily, there are several straightforward changes that every horse owner and rider can make this year…

1. Find out whether the packaging your horse’s feed, supplements and other products come in is recyclable by your local council, and consider switching to a brand that is proactive when it comes to sustainable packaging. For example, the feed sacks used by Saracen Horse Feeds are 100% recyclable, and the company is working to ensure more of its supplements are available in recycled tubs.

2. If you want to go a step further than recycling, aim to reduce and reuse as much packaging as possible. Companies like Chestnut Horse Feeds deliver high-quality feed in a large bin, which is refilled once empty, and ethical shampoo brand WildWash has set up refill centres, where customers can save money by bringing their old containers to be refilled.

3. Consider ways in which you might be able to save water on your yard. This could be by looking into installing automatic drinkers, to prevent water bring wasted in buckets, or simply by repairing leaky taps around the yard.

4. Take a little extra time when shopping for new riding clothes to research companies whose clothing helps support the environment. For example, DVR Equestrian’s riding tights, show shirts, base layers and sports bras are created from a fabric made from recycled ocean plastic. and Honest Riders has teamed up with One Tree Planted, an organization focused on global reforestation, and pledges to plant a tree for every pair of their riding tights sold.

5. That said, consider whether you really need another pair of tights, or that new saddlecloth for your horse, at all. Focus on buying fewer, higher quality products that will last the test of time and help prevent wastage.

6. Consider buying more of your tack, rugs and other kit secondhand – often items are only on the market because a horse has been sold.

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7. Cut down on the number of wipes and sponges you use around the yard — and your home — whether for cleaning tack and boots, applying fly spray, or wiping surfaces. Instead, invest in biodegradable, plastic-free pads that can be machine washed between uses, such as Scrubbies.

8. Check whether your favourite magazines arrive in plastic wrapping, and contact the teams of those that do to ask whether they would consider making a change. As of 16 January 2020, Horse & Hound magazine is now delivered in recyclable paper envelopes, rather than plastic.

To read more about increased sustainability in the horseworld, don’t miss our kit special issue, on sale now

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