The American desire for environmentally friendly technologies and
consumer products is grossly under-served, according to the 2007
National Technology Readiness Survey. The annual survey found that 71
percent of adults are interested in green technology, but there is a
large gap between the number of products consumers own now and the
number they say they would like to own.
The good news for horse owners is that more and more companies in the
horse industry are seeking ways to meet the desire for environmentally
friendly products and services. Not only are new green products steadily
coming onto the market, but also they are being developed employing
responsible sustainable business practices. Across the board, from
blankets and breeches to fencing and grooming products, horse industry
suppliers are setting a new green standard.
Great Green Practices
SmartPak, the innovative horse supplement and supplies company based in
Massachusetts, has done it again. Already a leader in eco-friendly
practices, SmartPak's latest effort reduces the amount of packaging for
an average order by about 82 percent through the use of ultra-thin
shrink wrap in place of the cardboard shipping box. Introduced
gradually since January, the new packaging also has the added benefit of
"As a company, we're doing our best to tread lightly on the earth,"
says Marketing Manager Rebecca Bennett. "We're always striving to lessen that impact."
Another tweak to packaging allows the used SmarkPak supplement
containers to be stacked twice as densely, which takes up less space and
makes them easier to take to recycling. Alternatively, SmartPaks can be
reused as containers to start seedlings for the garden or to hold art,
craft or sewing supplies.
Since the company ships such a large volume of packages, many of its
green practices focus on making those packages eco-friendly. SmartPaks
are recyclable at any center that takes PET #1 plastics. The clear plastic portion of the supplement container is 100 percent recycled PET
(35 percent post consumer). So, unlike the virgin plastic used in buckets, SmartPaks are already on their second life. Bennett estimates that, to date, the company has kept roughly one million plastic
supplement buckets out of landfills by dispensing in the recycled, and