Green up the barn!
There are lots of little ways to make the barn and farm more environmentally friendly. These tips are not difficult, and they will likely save you some dollars in the long run, also! Here are a few ideas to get you rolling:
- Water conservation – you can add nozzles to your hoses, dump your water buckets into the pastures or flowerbeds, use a rainwater barrel to collect water.
- Solar – a few panels are certainly an investment and will power your barn throughout the year.
- Appropriate hay and grain storage will save you dollars in wasted food. Here’s an article about hay storage, and make sure your feed room is buttoned up from rodents.
- If you can, and have the Barn Owner’s or Trainers’ blessing – start a CO-OP program at your farm. Maybe your Trainer would like a piece of this action to cut down on operating costs. See if someone who always rides in the am can come a few minutes early and feed grain. Or someone who rides after work can do blankets. Lots of possibilities here.
- Time for a tack sale at your farm? Or perhaps consignment? Or a donation to a local therapeutic riding center? Ebay anyone?
- Coordinate the Veterinarian and Farrier to come for a large group of ponies at the same time. You can share the ranch call! The same thing if you think you are running low on meds or Veterinarian supplied supplements….make one trip and ask everyone else what they need.
Compost is a great way to go green AND fertilize the pastures.
- Compost is one way to deal with your manure. You may also be able to find a service in your area that picks up and uses the manure/shavings as compost for larger agricultural farms.
- Veggie gardens are great ways to use your rain barrel water and home-made compost.
- Line drying will save your fabrics, prevent shrinkage and damage to buckles and seams, and save you some bucks! You can easily dry on fences, or you can buckle cross ties together to create a clothesline for drying blankets and saddle pads.
- Recycling of bottles and cans, and supplement tubs and many other things. Can you take turns bringing to the grocery or recycling yard? What about recycling horseshoes? What about reusing all of those tubs and plastic containers?
I use an empty supplement tub and a modified water bottle to store and distribute the zeolite around the stalls. The rest of the water bottle ended up in the recycling.
- Reusing – can you come up with many other uses for those everyday items at the barn? YES. Just check out the kazillion uses for baling twine.