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Back to School with Green Is the New Blue

Summer show season is coming to a close and riders are gearing up for finals. For the younger members of our Green Society, that means it’s back to school. This week, we’re sharing ways you can be environmentally conscious, both at the barn and as you head to school.

Bring Your Own

Refuse to Use single-use plastics. Instead, bring your reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go. Pack a lunch in a reusable container and bring home what you don’t eat, minimizing both packaging and food waste. Another good investment is a reusable glass or metal straw and carrying case – great to keep in your bag when going out to eat with friends, or even for milk at school.

Caffeinate Responsibly

Are you the type of student who picks up coffee before school or the barn? Bring a reusable coffee cup to your local shop, or better yet, brew your own. Invest in a reusable filter for your machine and buy in bulk. Coffee is water intensive and farmers may be paid below market value for their crop, so choose shade grown coffee from companies who can identify the exact source.

Back to School Shopping

Amazingly enough, thrifting is in! There are so many small thrift shops with super affordable vintage items to create that back-to-school statement. Did you know? The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. If you do buy new, choose quality items that will hold up over time and avoid fast-fashion at all costs.

Sustainable Equestrian Teams:

For some students, back to school also means back to team riding. With IEA and IHSA teams comes an exciting camaraderie. Use this to make a positive change. When hosting your shows, provide a water refill station, easy access to recycling bins, and minimize plastic in the food booth. Not only will your horse show be more sustainable, but maybe you’ll inspire other teams to take home those ideas to their own barns!

Get Involved

Collect your community service hours and build your resume now. Join a Green Team at your school or find other organizations in your community to work with. This could be anything from supporting a local advocacy group, gaining support for environmental legislation, to rehabilitating wildlife at a professional center. If you can’t find the type of organization you’re looking for, start one!

With finals coming up, we commend young riders on their ability to balance their riding careers with their education. These tips can help you be more sustainable, whether at school, home, or the barn. We wish everyone the best of luck at finals and a fun start to a new school year!

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