Ten ways to become more sustainable
“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something” is our mission statement here at Lövsta Stuteri. We have gathered some great tips to start your own sustainability journey. Tips that save the earth’s resources and sometimes money for you as well.
Water-saving nozzle for all taps
Put a water-saving nozzle on all taps that you can. Washbasins and kitchen faucets are obvious, but it can also work where you rinse the bits. A nozzle costs less than $10 and changing it can save up to $150 a year.
Clean the pastures
Horse manure that are left in the gardens causes nitrogen leakage in the soil, which causes the eutrophication of streams and seas. The eutrophication of the Baltic Sea has given us the massive algae blooms in the summers that creates lack of oxygen and dead bottoms. By mocking the pastures regularly, preferably every day if there are smaller padocks, you make a huge effort to reduce the nitrogen leakage. In addition, the parasite presence decreases and you do not need to deworm as often. For larger pastures, a couple of farms can merge and buy a manure vaccum. Check with the nearest Hushållningssällskap if they have any project where they economically support the purchase of a manure vaccum.
Switch to green electricity
Sign a deal with a power company that offers green electricity, that is, electricity from renewable sources such as water, wind or sun. Today, most power companies have electricity contracts from 100% renewable sources. If you are going to build a new facility and have the opportunity, invest in thermal heating. It’s a climate-saving solution and usually an investment that pays off in the long run. Solar panels at the indoor riding arena or stables can offer an excess of electricity that you can sell back to the provider, thus reducing your own electricity bills.
Recycle the horseshoes
Be sure to take care of the horseshoes when the farrier have visited and send them for recycling. Preferably, the metal should be recycled in your own country and not shipped to China or elsewhere for moulting.
Choose right bedding for the horses
Choosing the right bedding is a bit of a science because many different factors affect how environmentally friendly it is. Strawpellets are good because the compressed format reduces the amount of transport and straw compost quickly and does not require long storage time before returning as fertilizer on the fields. Common straw is a residual product and requires no plastic packaging and has the same advantages as straw pellets when it comes to composting. Additionally, it may be easier to find locally produced straw compared to other bedding. The shaving pellets are better than regular shavings because they, like straw pellets, are compressed and require less transport. However, shavings require more time for composting before it can be used as fertilizer, but if you have the space where you can put the manure and let it burn until it’s ready, that works too. One problem is the plastic packaging. If you choose shavings, be sure to choose a vendor who recovers and recycles the plastic. Peat can be used as a fertilizer in principle directly from the stall, but is problematic because it is a finite resource broken from peat mosses that are not reproduced at the same rate as breaking the peat.
It is great if you can create a collaboration with a farmer nearby that can use the manure on his fields. The best thing is if we can create a cycle where the nutrients in the horse manure go back to earth in the form of fertilizer, instead of burning it. It also reduces the use of artificial fertilizer in agriculture.
Take care of unsuitable fruit and vegetables
Food stores throw away lots of fruits that are unsuitable due to blemishes. Ask your local retailer if you can get apples or carrots that they are going to throw away and give it to your horses instead. A smart way to reduce food waste.
Are you close to other farms? Start a collaboration where you buy larger feed purchases together to reduce the amount of transport. Also, try to share rides to and from the farm, as well as, if possible, coordinate trips to training and competitions..
Choose locally produced, organic and vegetarian
Try to choose as locally produced feed as possible. Local-production can be better than organic, for example hay, because organic hay production requires more diesel than conventional. Look over the amount of supplements the horses get. Often it is possible to reduce the number and thus save on transport and packaging.
When you choose food for yourself, try to eat more vegetarian, locally-produced and organic as much as possible.
Switch to LED lights
When a light bulb breaks, replace it with an energy-saving LED bulb. It is good for both the environment and wallet.
Climate compensate car trips
It is neither expensive nor difficult to compensate your car trips to and from the farm, training and competitions. If you drive 20,000 kilometers a year in a medium-sized car that releases 0.08 l/km, the cost is about 140 SEK (~$20). To figure out how much to compensate for, go to; https://zeromission.myclimate.org/en/car_calculators/new.