Climate change personal action!

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I think we have to be very careful about taking at face value the claims that meat production causes more harmful emmissions than veg production. I don't have the figures to hand but it is my understanding that 100% grass-fed meat animals produce less methane than grain-fed ones, because it is a more natural diet. Much of the emissions in trading anything is produced by the travel involved, so buying locally produced 100% grass-fed meat can be more effective for climate protection than buying veg that has been imported via air-freight, even disregarding some of the questionable production methods for vegetarian foods based on soya and maize, where huge tracts of land are deforested to make space for crops.
I read this article which was interesting.

https://www.theguardian.com/food/20...time-vegetarian-became-beefs-biggest-champion

‘It’s not the cow, it’s the how’: why a long-time vegetarian became beef’s biggest champion
Nicolette Hahn Niman was an environmental lawyer who became a cattle rancher, and didn’t eat meat for 33 years. For both the ecosystem and human health, she argues, it’s how animals are farmed that matters
 

Celtic Fringe

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I think we have to be very careful about taking at face value the claims that meat production causes more harmful emmissions than veg production. I don't have the figures to hand but it is my understanding that 100% grass-fed meat animals produce less methane than grain-fed ones, because it is a more natural diet. Much of the emissions in trading anything is produced by the travel involved, so buying locally produced 100% grass-fed meat can be more effective for climate protection than buying veg that has been imported via air-freight, even disregarding some of the questionable production methods for vegetarian foods based on soya and maize, where huge tracts of land are deforested to make space for crops.
I understand that well managed grassland absorbs more carbon that it emits so eating meat that is ENTIRELY grass fed is a good option. The vast bulk - ~ 97% - of soya that is grown goes into animal feed, including some horse feeds. Humans directly consume only a small proportion of the soya that is grown and so we cannot blame vegetarians for most of the deforestation that has occurred! Food miles can also be important but in terms of energy used/carbon emitted it is preferable to e.g. buy Spanish tomatoes in the winter than UK ones that have been grown in a greenhouse that needs a large amount of extra heat and light. Buying seasonal and local produce can have an impact, although our diet in the UK may be less interesting during some parts of the year!
 

mariew

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Something I also pondered is how little emissions fell at the height of the pandemic, when factories were closed. I can't remember now but it was only back to something like 2006 levels. I wondered how much the growth of technology is responsible for as they all need power to be charged and run.

On beef and meat, interesting on the grass fed beef article. How do you transpose that to other animals? We need to start paying for what meat it's worth to enable farmers to find confidence in less intensive production methods and many will argue they can't afford it. £3 for a whole chicken is mind boggling.

I eat very little fish but that's more from the standpoint of we have destroyed the oceans and they need a break.

Sadly I suspect the only way there would be a significant change to benefit the planet would be when we have no other choice for survival and then you just have to hope that there is time left to save the human race. Most things are just tinkering at the edges.

Ultimately any hobby puts a lot of strain on the environment, horses very much so. Maybe the current trend of horse prices will price a lot of people out of horse owning and force us back to riding schools, which feels like it could be much better for the environment.
 

sbloom

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Interestingly the biggest climate impact for equine owners is transport, unless you keep your horses at home and don't travel them anywhere in a box or trailer.
Us peripatetics face a real challenge - my work-life balance would be so much better if I could do single venue clinics, and had been planning to do so with my relocation to Scotland, but I am having to seriously rethink once the penny dropped a few weeks ago. I drive a pretty frugal van (50mpg if I drive carefully, fully laden) so I assume me doing several hours' driving is still probably better than 5 people bringing their horses up to 50 miles to me.

this thread and that one in direct contrast. "This seasons colours" ???? it's for a flippin horse. :D
Makes me feel quite sick. I stock only Mattes and they do a BIT of seasonal stuff but mostly it's about picking colours you personally love, fully custom, but it's a more expensive option as you can imagine.

I understand that well managed grassland absorbs more carbon that it emits so eating meat that is ENTIRELY grass fed is a good option. The vast bulk - ~ 97% - of soya that is grown goes into animal feed, including some horse feeds. Humans directly consume only a small proportion of the soya that is grown and so we cannot blame vegetarians for most of the deforestation that has occurred!
If we're talking UK then the former point is the main one, but globally the feedlot system accounts for the second point and it needs to stop. I have a feeling it's the only way enough meat can be grown to feed the growing demand from the developing world so we need to at least set a good example.

Something I also pondered is how little emissions fell at the height of the pandemic, when factories were closed. I can't remember now but it was only back to something like 2006 levels. I wondered how much the growth of technology is responsible for as they all need power to be charged and run.
I think we run to stand still, don't only think of power to run things, how much power and resources to make these things? We think it's our right to own, and regularly replace, all these consumer goods, whereas owning less and owning for longer has got to be part of the solution. Before recent decades we spent 1/3 on accommodation, 1/3 on food and the rest was "our own", my how that has changed!
 

milliepops

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the saddlepad thing makes me laugh a bit, why is that a thing to fixate on when the well made ones last for years, have a strong second hand market etc, I think I'll get on my high horse about rugs with ducks/dogs/foxes etc printed on them because they seem a lot less durable than my ancient Rambos ;)

Looking for ways to improve your own impact on the environment is one thing, sneering at others is not the way to bring them with you, nor (IMO) is suggesting we all go back to canvas NZs when we all already own nylon rugs that can be made to last for years and years.

The balewrap thing is a real kicker. I really try hard in this household with the recycling and minimising waste etc but OH has a completely different outlook, my family have always had to scrape along to make ends meet so its drummed into me but his experience is quite different so i guess he's just not used to thinking that way.
I've looked into wrap recycling collection points and the nearest is an hours drive away. I'd need him to get involved as we'd have to stick it all in bulk bags and trailer it over there, and I can't tow. I just can't see it happening. at the moment i bundle it into the black bin :(

I could reduce my journeys to the yard by 10% if I worked there one day a week, which I do sometimes do, the internet is really bad there so it has to be a day when I don't have many calls and when there aren't people staying over, so I can use the cabin without interruptions. I WFH so driving to the yard is the only travelling I do. Supermarket and feedshop are on my direct route between home and horses. but it's 40 miles a day. when i had a commute that was 80 miles a day so I suppose i've made a net reduction. Hopefully one day they will be at home and then I'll barely go anywhere :)
 

Errin Paddywack

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We live very frugally. The only new household things I buy are for instance, electric kettles, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers etc. I do use a push lawn mower when I can manage it to save electricity. Apart from a turnout rug I haven't bought anything horse wise for many years. We have 23 acres of grassland which is grazed by sheep and 3 horses. We don't use fertilisers and only spot spray the thistles. The worst things by far are the plastic sacks the sheep feed comes in and the plastic tubs and buckets the feed blocks and minerals are in. We re-use the buckets to store water off the barn roof and only scrap them when they start to break up. I do 23 miles a day in a 2007 diesel car to care for the sheep and my horse. An electric car is way out of my reach financially and in any case I don't think the production of the cars and especially their batteries are particularly green. Better to run an existing car into the ground. Mobile phone is very basic and if it dies will be replaced with a similar one. We don't do exotic holidays or even basic ones. I do not think that everyone should do the same but it does annoy me when people preach to others then have to have the latest mobile phone seemingly oblivious to the fact that they contain elements that need to be mined for. Off my soapbox now.
 

Kaylum

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I think companies should have environmental ratings, with their policy i.e. what they do to be eco friendly published.
With targets and dates (this can be self approved) To be honest they should really be thinking about this. Even small things like we no longer sell plastic bottled drinks our staff canteen. We have a reuse packaging policy, we use solar power, a 10th of our vehicles are now electric, our toilets are filled by rain water. We have cut personal travel by introducing working from home, we give charities surplus and seconds stock instead of burning it. We have lights on timers incase people forget to turn them off.
You then have a choice to see what they are doing for the environment.

They should also know what carbon emissions their factories are producing and be able to quote those figures and again that would add to their scoring.

Some companies have a Corporate Social Responsibility Policy. This incorporates economic/energy/environment and social initiatives. It highlights their achievements, and improvements in an extended wrapper.
 
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Sussexbythesea

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the saddlepad thing makes me laugh a bit, why is that a thing to fixate on when the well made ones last for years, have a strong second hand market etc, I think I'll get on my high horse about rugs with ducks/dogs/foxes etc printed on them because they seem a lot less durable than my ancient Rambos ;)

Looking for ways to improve your own impact on the environment is one thing, sneering at others is not the way to bring them with you, nor (IMO) is suggesting we all go back to canvas NZs when we all already own nylon rugs that can be made to last for years and years.
So agree with this. I have some matchy stuff but I use it all the time until it’s either completely worn out or I sell it on. I’ve rarely thrown anything horsey away unless it’s completely wrecked and generally I only buy good quality makes such as Rambo which last decades.

I’ve often marvelled at how horses can convert something completely inedible to us such as grass to such enormous creatures that theoretically we could eat. Though I would hate it I wonder if horses were farmed for meat it would have less impact than cattle in particular?
 

Pearlsasinger

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I understand that well managed grassland absorbs more carbon that it emits so eating meat that is ENTIRELY grass fed is a good option. The vast bulk - ~ 97% - of soya that is grown goes into animal feed, including some horse feeds. Humans directly consume only a small proportion of the soya that is grown and so we cannot blame vegetarians for most of the deforestation that has occurred! Food miles can also be important but in terms of energy used/carbon emitted it is preferable to e.g. buy Spanish tomatoes in the winter than UK ones that have been grown in a greenhouse that needs a large amount of extra heat and light. Buying seasonal and local produce can have an impact, although our diet in the UK may be less interesting during some parts of the year!

Better still, go back to bottling/canning/freezing UK grown veg for out-of-season use and get used to making the most of in season fruit and veg.
 

sbloom

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I don't think anyone doesn't want riders to have pretty coloured saddle pads if they want them, but the supply side, offering umpteen new colours each season, just goes against being environmentally friendly, and there are plenty of people who have tens or even hundreds of fancy pads that don't get used to destruction. Not much different to fast fashion, though at least the quality is generally decent. I like the fact the pads I recommend are made in the EU too, no idea where all these trendy brands are made.
 

Squeak

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What about bedding? Which would be the best to use and buy?

Some types of bedding must be worse than others in terms of how they're made and then packaged. People often make weekly feed/ bedding trips too.

There's also some beddings that decompose better or that make bigger muckheaps meaning they have to be taken away more often.
 

Gift Horse

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Brilliant thread - I’ve not read it all yet.
I try to live with care for the environment.
I don’t fly, I share an electric car with my OH (inconvenient but doable), I consume very little, buy second hand clothes and get things repaired where possible boots, jeans,rugs, metal wheelbarrows get welded...
I’m building a self build passive house. To encourage biodiversity
I have not used chemical fertiliser/weed killer for 7 years. OH has planted 100meters of mixed native hedging and 2,000 native trees.
Horses mainly eat grass and hay, all the hay comes from a neighbouring farmer so not bad in terms of transport.

I would like to look at where we can save water - collecting water from roofs etc.. and horse bedding I use shavings (not many about a bale a week for a run in shed shared by two horses)I’m not sure how they stack up environmentally.

I do hire a small box to take my horse jumping, an indulgence I’m not ready to give up just yet :)
 

palo1

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the saddlepad thing makes me laugh a bit, why is that a thing to fixate on when the well made ones last for years, have a strong second hand market etc, I think I'll get on my high horse about rugs with ducks/dogs/foxes etc printed on them because they seem a lot less durable than my ancient Rambos ;)

Looking for ways to improve your own impact on the environment is one thing, sneering at others is not the way to bring them with you, nor (IMO) is suggesting we all go back to canvas NZs when we all already own nylon rugs that can be made to last for years and years.

The balewrap thing is a real kicker. I really try hard in this household with the recycling and minimising waste etc but OH has a completely different outlook, my family have always had to scrape along to make ends meet so its drummed into me but his experience is quite different so i guess he's just not used to thinking that way.
I've looked into wrap recycling collection points and the nearest is an hours drive away. I'd need him to get involved as we'd have to stick it all in bulk bags and trailer it over there, and I can't tow. I just can't see it happening. at the moment i bundle it into the black bin :(

I could reduce my journeys to the yard by 10% if I worked there one day a week, which I do sometimes do, the internet is really bad there so it has to be a day when I don't have many calls and when there aren't people staying over, so I can use the cabin without interruptions. I WFH so driving to the yard is the only travelling I do. Supermarket and feedshop are on my direct route between home and horses. but it's 40 miles a day. when i had a commute that was 80 miles a day so I suppose i've made a net reduction. Hopefully one day they will be at home and then I'll barely go anywhere :)
Yes, I think it is easy to get diverted by the things that are irritating or not important personally (saddle pads for example) but the bigger picture and being encouraging seems more constructive really. I do like the 10% challenge idea as it is measurable - so probably 1 less saddle pad folks hahahaha!! In all seriousness I do struggle with how sportswear is almost universally synthetic though; not just equestrian clothing and I do get the point about not wanting to return to jute and canvas.
 

milliepops

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yep there's a balance to be reached IMO, the better rug materials have arguably improved horse welfare because they don't rub, are breathable etc etc. so going back to the older materials would be a no-no for me. I'd like rugs, like tack, in the category of something that is bought once at the best quality possible and unless you have a serial rug destroyer, it'll probably last the horse's lifetime. I bought one rambo new, the rest have all been picked up second hand and I've done the ultimate environmental saving of having a herd of horses all the same size so no need for replacements, haha :p

there's things I am happy to compromise on, I wear cotton tops etc and lots of second hand stuff, but leg wear needs to be stretchy and comfortable so synthetic is often the way for me. I don't have a separate work wardrobe as permanently WFH so some trade off made there.

IMO for something to be sustainable - as in, something you can keep it up for years - it needs to feel achievable and not like you're permanently inconvenienced or disadvantaged. luckily there are loads of small changes that are really easy to make (like using refils or recycling) and others that suit a horsey lifestyle (like no holidays) and as each thing becomes the norm then you can look at the next :)
 

palo1

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Brilliant thread - I’ve not read it all yet.
I try to live with care for the environment.
I don’t fly, I share an electric car with my OH (inconvenient but doable), I consume very little, buy second hand clothes and get things repaired where possible boots, jeans,rugs, metal wheelbarrows get welded...
I’m building a self build passive house. To encourage biodiversity
I have not used chemical fertiliser/weed killer for 7 years. OH has planted 100meters of mixed native hedging and 2,000 native trees.
Horses mainly eat grass and hay, all the hay comes from a neighbouring farmer so not bad in terms of transport.

I would like to look at where we can save water - collecting water from roofs etc.. and horse bedding I use shavings (not many about a bale a week for a run in shed shared by two horses)I’m not sure how they stack up environmentally.

I do hire a small box to take my horse jumping, an indulgence I’m not ready to give up just yet :)
It's so positive to identify even 1 thing that we can do; I could do better on water saving I think. My personal actions for now are: To have 1 car free day every week, To find some way of recycling our yard plastic - even if I have to save it up for months, to buy nothing new for me or horses (including my work clothes) for a year.

The first should be a pretty low hanging fruit, the second is something that really should be do-able and the third will be more of a challenge. It would be interesting to have a list of possible challenges for everyone to pick from actually as it can be hard to decide what is possible/relevant. It is also hard to get away from the 'what I do already' and yes, the temptation to be a 'saddle pad hater' lol!! I have never bought a coloured saddle pad so I am in a good position for that and cannot see the appeal but let's try to play nicely hahaha!

Instant confession here too: I really, really want a new headcollar for young Alw; I know a smart leather one is the best choice and I do have a chewed old leather one though it doesn't do up properly because of the blasted chewing. I actually really like a rope and leather one I have seen. In green. Totally unwarranted and not very expensive. I will have to steel myself to stay away from that purchase but will do my best. Not really in such a great sneering spot about saddle pads in fact...!! :) :) :)
 

milliepops

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Christmas is coming, Palo ;)
Sure someone will buy you the headcollar :p

Christmas does my head in, it's the thing i would like to change the most! I've managed to knock all that on the head with my family but inlaws insist on presents, I absolutely can't stand it :( buying stuff people don't want or need just for the sake of it, aaarghhh
 

palo1

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Christmas is coming, Palo ;)
Sure someone will buy you the headcollar :p

Christmas does my head in, it's the thing i would like to change the most! I've managed to knock all that on the head with my family but inlaws insist on presents, I absolutely can't stand it :( buying stuff people don't want or need just for the sake of it, aaarghhh
Oh god, CHRISTMAS!!!!! Nope, I will not be having a headcollar for christmas as OH and I have never really bothered with gifts; we love the food and drink enough not to want or need 'stuff' thankfully. Christmas is just dire from an environmental point of view so someone please make it go away.
 

Gift Horse

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It's so positive to identify even 1 thing that we can do; I could do better on water saving I think. My personal actions for now are: To have 1 car free day every week, To find some way of recycling our yard plastic - even if I have to save it up for months, to buy nothing new for me or horses (including my work clothes) for a year.

The first should be a pretty low hanging fruit, the second is something that really should be do-able and the third will be more of a challenge. It would be interesting to have a list of possible challenges for everyone to pick from actually as it can be hard to decide what is possible/relevant. It is also hard to get away from the 'what I do already' and yes, the temptation to be a 'saddle pad hater' lol!! I have never bought a coloured saddle pad so I am in a good position for that and cannot see the appeal but let's try to play nicely hahaha!

Instant confession here too: I really, really want a new headcollar for young Alw; I know a smart leather one is the best choice and I do have a chewed old leather one though it doesn't do up properly because of the blasted chewing. I actually really like a rope and leather one I have seen. In green. Totally unwarranted and not very expensive. I will have to steel myself to stay away from that purchase but will do my best. Not really in such a great sneering spot about saddle pads in fact...!! :) :) :)
I like a ‘done list’ and a ‘to do list’ helps me stay positive.
I hope you buy the head collar :)
 

Pearlsasinger

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Isn't it just a subversive, rebellious act of sabotage to buy something just as I have pledged not to lol??!!

I think you have to buy essentials from a safety pov. If the old leather headcollar is chewed and the other one doesn't fasten properly, I think you really can justify buying a replacement, so long as you buy good quality and vow to look after it. The one you mention sounds as if it is sustainable, too. Just don't buy a new one every month/year. And if you need something new from a safety pov, you might as well have one that is attractive, too, as you won't be replacing that in a rush.


I won't be buying my clothes 2ndhand but I do donate my old ones to a charity shop.
 

piebaldproblems

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The pros of living in the city is that I can only manage a share horse, so don't buy anything horsey at all and use public transport to get to yard. On the other hand, not owning your own land/housing means no chance to get solar panels, compost toilets are tricky, and minimal opportunity to help with rewilding.
 

Gift Horse

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Isn't it just a subversive, rebellious act of sabotage to buy something just as I have pledged not to lol??!!
My approach to not buying stuff is like my approach to healthy eating if I really want something I have it. I’m (generally)more successful that way, otherwise I give up.
I hope you get my drift - I’m not very good at explaining myself.
 

sbloom

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The pros of living in the city is that I can only manage a share horse, so don't buy anything horsey at all and use public transport to get to yard. On the other hand, not owning your own land/housing means no chance to get solar panels, compost toilets are tricky, and minimal opportunity to help with rewilding.
Our massive proportion of private rented will slow down a lot of greening as clearly there isn't a single reason for a landlord to improve their properties...Govt action is critical to green our housing. I'm on self build groups and so much angst that the vast majority of new builds aren't green at all, that it's not easy or cheap to make a self build green, and retrofit is unbelievable expensive. Add to that that the heat pump industry is lacking standards and full of sellers who don't seem to know how to spec and set them up....
 

palo1

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I think you have to buy essentials from a safety pov. If the old leather headcollar is chewed and the other one doesn't fasten properly, I think you really can justify buying a replacement, so long as you buy good quality and vow to look after it. The one you mention sounds as if it is sustainable, too. Just don't buy a new one every month/year. And if you need something new from a safety pov, you might as well have one that is attractive, too, as you won't be replacing that in a rush.


I won't be buying my clothes 2ndhand but I do donate my old ones to a charity shop.
I have to reassure you here that I do have other headcollars. Safety must be a priority so I would always buy something from that point of view :)
 
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