Keeping a horse farm safe, clean, and organized is a year-round job, but the onset of spring inevitably signals even more work. Often, the upkeep required by a thawing landscape is compounded by the simultaneous desire to freshen up any indoor spaces: dusting, mopping, shop vac-ing, tack scrubbing … the list goes on. This year (with a bit of extra time on our hands), we’ve taken a deep dive into our cleaning supplies, overhauling our respective inventories in favor of some greener options.
We know that even the smallest adjustments in individual consumption can aid in the planet’s recovery, and are particularly motivated by the fact that just the short stretch of diminished human activity over the last couple of months has helped the environment begin to heal. As promised, and in honor of Earth Month, this week we shine a light on some of the planet-friendly but effective products that we’ve begun to utilize around our barns and homes. Most of these items are made with only non-toxic ingredients; use biodegradable, compostable, and/or recycled packaging; and have eliminated the [often 90%!] water found in typical cleaning solutions, therefore minimizing carbon emissions from shipping them around the world.
Our goal is to cut out some of the research and guesswork involved in moving toward cleaner cleaners, and think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how a few small tweaks can make your routine green.
We first discovered Blueland on Shark Tank and promptly hopped online to learn more. Nifty little tablets pack a cleaning punch when dissolved in water, allowing one to refill a “forever bottle” rather than discarding plastic container after plastic container. One complete cleaning kit includes three tablets (multi-surface, glass + mirror, bathroom) and one foaming hand soap tablet. Ingredients are non-toxic, boast “superior cleaning power,” and come in earth-friendly packaging. Bonus(es): Receive a 20% savings on The Clean Essentials Kit, and save more money on refills.
Paper towels have a tendency to disappear fast, and so this is an item for which we found an eco-friendly solution: the Adventure Wipe. By just adding water, one coin produces a 10”x10” reusable and biodegradable cloth, and they are hypoallergenic, making them gentle enough to wipe a sweaty brow. Each package of 500 compressed towels is equipped with four tiny, portable carrying cases, so that riders can keep a stash in the truck, the trailer, the tack trunk, and the wash stall!
Etee is a formidable player in the plastic-free revolution, with a range of products “from the earth that go back into the earth.” We love these space-saving, compostable packets of soap concentrate that are easily drizzled into a bottle or glass jar. The unscented and fragrant citrus options can be combined with cleaning cloths and scrubbers that, while long-lasting, are guilt-free when jettisoned to the waste bin.
Lush is known for making bath time fun, but the company takes production very seriously, adhering to ethical practices including sourcing from sustainable suppliers, ensuring fair working conditions, and fighting animal testing. The “Naked” line abandons frivolous packaging in favor of the bare necessities, and we keep this “potted” version of body conditioner handy for quick moisturizing.
Those of us who prefer liquid laundry detergent over powder have a harder time reducing our container consumption, even when switching to pods. Dropps is a game-changer with its zero-waste approach to a subscription-based model of detergent deliveries. The pods are compatible with all machines, formulated with plant-derived ingredients, and arrive in a 100% recyclable, repulpable, and compostable cardboard box.
Once upon a time Elissa said to Courtney, “Why am I hauling my recyclables in a non-recyclable trash bag?” There are a variety of compostable waste bin liners available in multiple sizes, from Amazon.com to the local hardware store. These 30-gallon bags are befitting of barn life, even though we are striving toward the tiniest garbage pail possible.
Even the whiteboards in the barn can use an environmental lift. Loka is a brilliant, entirely compostable dry-erase marker that, last we checked, is still in prototype phase. Until we can get our hands on them, we found this functional alternative in an effort to abide by our biodegradable makeover.