I am passionate about raising awareness of sustainability principles and practices in the equine world.  I envision the possibility of all equine (horse, donkey, mule) facilities and businesses being sustainable.

What do I mean by sustainable?

The Sustainable Equine Enterprise…

… treats the earth with the utmost care and consideration;

… is a place where people and animals lead healthy, fulfilling lives;

… is a generous steward of all economic resources.

“Sustainable” is defined as:  “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

(1987 United Nations, World Commission on Environment and Development)

Sustainability is based on three interdependent, nested spheres, and the order of the above parameters represents the hierarchy of importance.  The largest sphere, which contains the others, is the earth and its environment.   This is also known as natural capital, the natural resources and ecosystems that support our lives and businesses.  The middle sphere represents human capital (society) and, for our purposes, includes our equine partners.  The small center sphere is the economy, which has no meaning without the other spheres.  All are necessary for sustainability.

Adapted from The Natural Step Network US

Primary principles of sustainability:

1)   Resources taken from the earth’s crust (minerals, fossil fuels) are used efficiently and effectively, and extracted only at a rate that equals their formation.

2)   Decrease or stop production, use and disposal of synthetic substances which are toxic or accumulate in nature.  Allow only substances that biodegrade or are kept in closed-loop systems.

3)   Resources are only taken from land and water that have been carefully managed according to nature’s cycles, and with respect for true capacity and for biodiversity.

4)   Allow and support all beings, human and animal, to meet their basic needs.

Adapted from The Natural Step Network US, System Conditions