This summer implement these environmentally-friendly horse keeping techniques in order to save energy and reduce your negative impact on the world.
Making changes on your barn so it becomes greener brings many benefits with it. Not only are they healthy and safe for animals, but when using renewable materials you reduce the harm to the environment. Moreover, you will be saving energy and money as you could apply for some tax reductions depending on the country you live in.
If it has crossed your mind to make changes on your barn, then keep reading as you are ready for an eco-friendly horse keeping!
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These include materials such as glass wood, recycled-content, roofs with reflective finishes, low VOC paints… Glass wood is used for horse stalls and fencing and it looks and feels like wood, but it permanently protects your barn from decay.
Timber has also been gaining popularity as it is not only aesthetically appealing, but also environmentally friendly. This is because it is a renewable and easily accessible material, meaning it is durable and energy efficient.
As wood studs do not transfer heat and cold as much as metal studs, the barn becomes more energy-efficient.
Rainwater gathering and harvesting systems collect and store water from raindrops. These can be used for irrigation, composting, watering arenas and more, saving money and recycling a natural resource.
By installing rain gutters and a proper runoff system you will be able to divert the clean rainwater away from high-traffic areas. By doing this, you will be reducing the amount of nutrients and sediments washed off into surface waters at the same time as you substantially reduce the amount of mud created during the rainy season in your sacrifice areas.
Wherever we live, choices taken in our barn will affect the water quality in our watersheds, either positively or negatively. As horse owners, we need to dedicate special care on how we impact the environment. Taking steps to reduce impacts will help preserve the equestrian lifestyle.
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There has been an increase in the installation of solar panels both in industries and homes, but these can also be incorporated in our barns. Solar panels are a fantastic choice to optimise energy and in many countries governments have implemented tax reductions when we install these.
As a result, they provide an incredible return on investment and are much better for the environment than traditional energy suppliers. Moreover, if you have energy surplus, you can dump surplus energy into the power grid. In some cases this would also imply an additional income as you get paid for this energy that enters the system.
With solar panels you can include a hot water system, reducing carbon dioxide, or improve ventilation. Efficient ventilation provides a healthy space for people and animals as fresh air circulates, preventing respiratory illnesses.
Ceiling fans can continually help air circulate, and they function all year as during summer they cool the barn and they help equalise temperatures during winter. By installing solar powered fans you eliminate the use of electrical wiring and reduce the risk for fires.
This prevents overgrazing and soil compaction. In order for regrowth and biofiltration of nutrients, sediments and chemicals in pastures, at least three inches of leafy material is needed. When you compact the soil it is harder for water to infiltrate and for roots to grow.
As a result, poor pasture management reduces the quality and the quantity of grass, it increases soil erosion and there are more weeds. This increases the feed costs and potentially also the vet bills if your horse ends up eating toxic weeds.
By taking care of the pastures and rotating horses from an area to another you allow the land to breathe and grow in a healthy manner.