Combating Climate Change requires Communities to Change too!

Combating Climate Change requires Communities to Change too!

On June 27th 2019 the UK Government legislated for net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and 2045 in Scotland.   It is a serious target and if it is to be achieved we all have a part to play.  

As an individual you can do your bit.  Some changes are being forced upon us and have developed an improved consumer attitude.  The humble plastic grocery bag is of course one of the more recent changes that has impacted us all.  But even good ideas are easy to get wrong and it is suggested that plastic waste has risen as 1.5 billion Bags for Life have been sold instead of the use once variety.  They need to be used at least 4 times to be better for the environment; Greenpeace research has found and contributed to the annual estimated 900,000 tonnes of plastic produced by supermarkets.  Campaigners are now calling for higher charges or a better still a complete ban.

So as horse owners what changes can we make that will lessen the plastic burden?  Well in addition to choosing a cotton, hessian or string shopping bag and using the ‘Bag for Life lurking in the kitchen drawer as many times as humanly possible, while vowing never to purchase one again, there is much we can do.  The good news too, is that as a community, acting together we can have greater impact. 

At See Change Now we believe the best way to start is with an open mind and careful thought.  If it’s made from plastic it will take up to 500 years to degrade and will end up somewhere when you have finished using it. 

If you approach every purchase, every need and every want with that thought in mind you can begin to discover alternatives to your usual way of doing things.  

One of our favourites is simple; it’s easy and we actually prefer using the eco friendly version.   The humble lead rope, we all use them, almost without exception and as a community if we made the switch to cotton or wool (UK manufactured) even better. It is truly small changes in our thinking that will bring about change.  There are just under a million horses in the UK, 436, 000 horse-owning households so just by making a switch to a biodegradable alternative you can begin to see how the equine community can take the lead!  But please don’t get rid of your current lead rope,just remember when it comes time to replace them.

Valuing our belongings is so important and a habit many of us have forgotten. Easy to do when cheaper goods manufactured in high volume can be purchased at very little cost..   Plastic crops and whips, previously always made in leather and natural fibres, crafted with skill and care provide a classic example.  The cost of course is greater but how many replacement whips, casually forgotten, dropped and mislaid does it take to treat yourself to a well made item that will last, be valued and above else not end up in a land fill travelling back to the country where once it came..   Gloves too, so often get discarded with the wind, low cost, manmade fibre gloves, packaged in plastic are an item we all stock up on.  This year, if you can, look for a string, wool or leather pair.  Look after them, value them and in time they will reward you and may even become lucky gloves you value them so much.

So making eco friendly choices is a start but often it is hard to avoid plastic, particularly the packaging.  More manufactures and suppliers are committing to change and supporting brands that are making the switch is another powerful way you can demonstrate your support to the cause.  A little bit of vocal lobbying too will go a long way to encouraging manufactures to make the switch.  If your preferred feed supplier is still committed to plastic, ask why?  Express your concern, together the message will be louder and clear which is sure to give confidence to suppliers that there is reason to change.

And change we will as all of us will be affected by the proposed plastic tax implemented by 2022.  The additional cost to businesses will filter down to the consumer.  Encourage change now and together avoid the additional cost levied at those that don’t act.  Putting  economics aside the environmental cost will be greater.


More top tips for See Change Now

-Use old dish clothes, socks and rags for tack cleaning, for eyes, nose and dock.  Towels for washing down, hot clothing and cooling off.

-Chose natural fibre grooming product, leather, bristle and wood when it comes time to replace what you are currently using.

-Repair rugs, clean and store carefully, old chest freezers are rodent proof and perfect size. A double win for the planet!

_Use hayracks, feed on the floor rather than nylon nets and those you have repair with old nylon twine and keep for the lorry.

_Give old tooth brushes a new lease of life; perfect for cleaning, bits, treads and buckles.

-Avoid fleece , wash in bags designed to catch micro fibres.  We find horses much prefer cotton and wool fibres. 

_Choose UK manufactured products (think air miles) and think carefully, don’t fall foul of marketing messages designed to make you buy!  Ph. balanced for horses is a real favourite, or Brighteners and Whiteners!  Save your pounds and the planet and look for plastic free alternatives.

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