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HomeFarming News3 simple ways farming can become more eco-friendly
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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3 simple ways farming can become more eco-friendly

3 simple ways farming can become more eco-friendly

Farming will always be an important part of modern life, providing the food that feeds the world.

But as awareness of the climate crisis increases and the shift towards sustainability across the board gains momentum, farmers need to think of ways they can become more eco-friendly, as well as profitable.

There are many things to consider, including new techniques and technologies.

Here are three simple things to focus on to make farming more eco-friendly.

Using renewable energy

One of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis is our dependence on fossil fuels. Whether that is using electricity and gas from the national grid or depending on diesel-consuming machinery, farms consume lots of energy that causes carbon dioxide emissions. A shift to renewable energy could change that.

This can start with ensuring that you’re on a green tariff from your mains electricity provider. It could also involve investment in things like solar panels and wind turbines to power your farm instead of relying on the grid.

And it could even include looking for opportunities to bring in electric vehicles and other machinery powered by renewable energy – moving away from fossil fuels wherever possible.

This will not be a change that happens overnight, but as machinery gets retired, consider if you could replace it with a more eco version.

Reducing water waste

Water waste is often overlooked, but using too much water or creating an excess of wastewater puts a lot of demand on our natural supply of this important asset.

There is only a certain amount of water available, and water treatment facilities can only process so much at a time.

The treatment itself causes CO2 emissions, but any water used that goes untreated can potentially pollute what good water we have.

The last thing a nation wants is to find itself with a shortage of usable water. We all must take responsibility for reducing the amount we waste.

Farms require a lot of water for their operations, but you can take steps to ensure that as little water as possible is wasted, and contaminated wastewater is kept to a minimum. This will help improve the sustainability of your farm.

Single-use plastic waste

We have all learnt about the potential dangers of plastic. It litters the environment and puts animals and plant life in danger.

It breaks up into microplastics and contaminates the water and air. Additionally, it takes centuries to biodegrade, meaning its presence in our environment continues to grow with unknown consequences in the long term.

We all have a part to play in reducing plastic waste, and farms are no exception. When packaging products for exporting, look for alternatives to single-use plastic like recyclable cardboard and paper or even options like compostable cornstarch packaging.

There are many opportunities for businesses in every industry to turn away from plastic packaging, and farms could greatly improve their eco credentials by taking these opportunities.

The bottom line

These are relatively simple steps that you can take to improve the eco-friendliness of the modern farm. Other measures include:

  • Protecting soil
  • Organic farming
  • Cutting down on pesticide use
  • Carbon capturing

The actions range from relatively simple changes to more advanced shifts in the practices you engage in. In any case, every action makes a difference.

We all have a part to play in fighting back against the things that have damaged our environment and caused the climate crisis.

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