Green Purchasing Policy
Our motto at the cave is reducing, reuse, recycle. We use clean Ireland recycling for our refuse collection.
- They collect the bins every 2 weeks.
- We have a general waste bin and a recycling bin.
General kitchen waste
- This is scraps of food from the kitchen and general rubbish that cannot be recycled.
- There are several bins at the cave for recycling.
This is organic matter that will decompose and can be used in our gardens as fertiliser.
For example Vegetable and fruit scraps, egg shells, tea bags, dead flowers and lawn cuttings.
We also use the left over coffee grounds as slug repellent. We dry out the coffee grounds in the oven and then sprinkle the grounds vegetables and plants that are at risk from being eaten by slugs. The grounds are also high in nitrogen.
This can be from some packaging from the shop and cafe even though we have asked our suppliers to take back most of the packaging with them. ·
We recycle all left over paper mostly from the office and some from the cafe.
We try to use recycled paper for rosters and so forth and print on both sides. The ink cartages we use are refilled in Ennis by a company by cartridge green. We are aiming to have cut out paper completely in the next 2 years. All rosters and check sheets will be filled in on the computer.
The recycled blue hands towels from the toilets are separated in to different bins and put into t he paper recycling when they have been used.
We sell canned soft drinks in our cafe and we have placed special bins for the cans both inside and outside the building.
We bring any glass to the recycling centre ourselves.
The blown light bulbs from the cave are kept together and we bring them to the dump once a year.
We have several bins inside and out of the visitor centre. We have one bin for general waste and one for recycling cans. We have put signs up around the building telling our visitors that we recycle and any specific rubbish they want to dispose of we are happy to put in the recycling for them.
We have tried to cut down on the amount of packaging in the cave. We no longer use plastic jam packages. We serve little portions of jam in little glass jars. We no longer use sugar sachets and use sugar bowls on the tables in the cafe. This cuts down on the paper packaging that the sugar used to come in. We have asked all our suppliers to the kitchen to take away all unnecessary cardboard when they deliver to us. The take away cups and lids we use are biodegradable. The napkins we use in the cafe are also biodegradable. We have cut down on the amount of cling film we use in the kitchen. We now use containers with lids that can be used over and over again.
We try to use eco friendly cleaning products as much as possible.
In the kitchen
We use Bio concentrated disinfectant.
Bio concentrated multi surface cleaner. This will be used on the table tops in the cafe as well as surfaces in the kitchen.
Lillys eco clean concentrated floor cleaner.
We also use vinegar to clean our windows.
We also use baking soda to clean the oven and we soak our kitchen cloths in baking soda and water to get rid of bad smells. We use it on our pots and pan to make them shine.
We adhere to strict health and safety regulations enforced by the health inspector.
We try to keep as many harsh chemicals out of the kitchen and do so if we can source an alternative.
In the toilets we use
Attitude Ecoleaf toilet cleaner
Lilllys eco clean concentrate floor cleaner.
We clean the sinks with bio concentrate disinfectant.
Instead of air fresheners in the toilet we use fresh flowers. When we have fresh flowers in the gardens they are used them. They also look very nice.
The toilet paper we use in the toilets breaks down in water immediately.
For the tea towels and aprons and cloths we wash them at the owner’s home. There isn’t a washing machine at the cave. We use Ecogenie Washing Ball. When you pop one of these Ecogenie Balls into the washing machine with your clothes it will remove all the usual dirt and grime WITHOUT the use of any washing powder – imagine how much money that could save you as well as it being environmentally friendly.
Unlike washing powders, the Ecogenie Ball does not discharge hazardous phosphates or chemical products down the drain. What’s more all these phosphates and chemicals in detergents stay in clothing, which can cause skin irritation and the fading of fabrics. .
In the gardens and nature trail we do not use any pesticides.
We use dried out coffee grounds as a slug repellent in our flower and herb beds. It is a good way of using the coffee grounds that cannot be composted.
The grease traps that run from the kitchen are cleaned out every few months.
As part of the guide’s duties they have daily inspections of the car park to check for rubbish. Once a week two or more guides collect rubbish on the roadsides at the entrance to the cave.
They also check for rubbish in the cave system, even though we ask visitors not to drop any rubbish in the cave. We tell them not touch any formation in the cave of to take any clay from the cave as well.
The nature trail rangers also have to check for rubbish around the trail as well.
The rangers always make sure that people are staying on the designated paths and not walking around the land that is specifically for the animals or the fenced off areas where we have the wildflower meadows.
We organise a rubbish collection with some of the staff every couple of weeks to clean up the road side to and from the cave.