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Treat Wrappers: A Common Culprit of Single-Use Plastics

We’re always looking for ways to be greener, thinking big on how to save water, electricity, and manage our waste. But sometimes we underestimate the little things. Individually wrapped treats are a common culprit of single-use plastics in the equestrian world. We forget about the impact of something as small as a treat wrapper, but funny enough, that’s how Green Is the New Blue was founded.

In 2019, Green Is the New Blue’s founder, Stephanie Riggio-Bulger was grazing her horses at a show, struggling to find a spot not littered with treat wrappers and other plastics. A seemingly insignificant treat wrapper inspired big change, becoming the motivation for an environmental non-profit.

Why Skip Single-Use Plastics

  • Treat wrappers cannot be recycled because of size and type of plastic

  • Fly-away wrappers create a messy barn aisle as present a choking hazard for horses.

  • They often blow away, becoming litter. From there, plastic may break down into microplastics, entering the food chain and accumulating in organisms

What’s the Solution?

  • Purchase in bulk from suppliers who use compostable packaging. Then store in a reusable, air tight container

  • Bake your own horse treats. Not only does this reduce packaging waste, but it also gives you the opportunity to customize treats to suit your horse's preferences

Let’s Get Baking!

Baking your own treats can be a fun way to bond with barn mates and customize treats to your horse’s liking. Gather your barn friends and bake your own treats! You could even have a competition based on looks or horse’s choice. This is a fantastic way to spend free time at the barn this summer and reduce your environmental impact.

Want a tried and tested treat recipe? Check out this healthy banana horse treat recipe from SmartPak Our horses loved them.

This article was written by Green Is the New Blue intern Kelsey Barker, a first-year student at Johnson & Wales University. Green Is the New Blue’s internship program for environmental studies majors empowers college equestrians to implement sustainable practices and advocate for a sustainable sport.

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