Environmental Policy Statement
Cafe Linnalla is committed to offering its visitors an experience that gives them an insight of life on the costal Burren. We interact with our visitors and pass on local knowledge of the area in order to reduce our environmental impact and maintain a way of life for local people.
We are a member of Burren eco-tourism network since 2011 and have actively worked on subgroups and on the executive throughout the last seven years to develop the Geopark as a sustainable tourism destination. We have taken part in network and training events. WE work with other stakeholders in the Burren such as Burren Beo, parks and wildlife and farming and fishing originations.
A cared-for landscape
We actively participate in conserving our natural and cultural heritage. We take part on clean ups, adopt a hedgerow scheme and we have adopted the Leave No Trace principles and inform our guests of the same. We display the seven principles in our café and on our website. We have information and tips in the café on protecting the lower coastal Burren including tips on its preservation. We take part in coastal clean ups, adopt a road, methiall. We take part in many BEN conservation events. We monitor invasive species. We have removed stones and boulders thrown up by stormy seas at our Land surrounding lough Murree and replaced the reed beds. We support and inform student field trips on the costal Burren. We protect wildflower habitats on our Land. We monitor and protect heritage sites both on our land and on the Peninsula.
A well-understood heritage
We offer quality information and interpretation to communicate our stories and the unique character of our place to guests. We did a heritage training course with the Geopark in 2016 and the project outcomes are on the walls of Café Linnalla. We provide maps, leaflets and reference books in the café for our guests to use.
We work to ensure that tourism makes a positive social contribution so that it benefits our community as well as our guests. Cafe Linnalla engages with the local national school to talk about the Burren, its visitors, ice cream, farming and fishing. We help local children to forage local ingredients for ice cream and provide information on same. We support local festivals, events, and fundraisers in our community. We give a voucher for café as spot prizes. We ensure that the café is accessible and safe to as many diverse groups as possible. We are members of all local community groups such as the Michael Cusack GAA Club and Ceoltoiri Eirinn.
We contribute to the local economy by maintaining and supporting local employment, by sourcing services and produce locally wherever possible, and by engaging with other businesses in promoting our region as a sustainable tourism destination. We work closely with other tourism business on the Peninsula. We give our guests information of what else there is to do on the peninsula, where to eat and stay. We buy as many local products as we can and have a green punching to support this. We use local guides, interpreters as necessary. We inform our guests of products they can purchase locally. We refer other BEN business for our guests to try and promote the BEN tag line of stay another night.
Sustainable tourism management
We work to an Environmental Action Plan, which includes actions and targets for improvement that are reviewed annually. We have effective systems for monitoring and adequately managing our waste, water, setting out our Objectives, Targets and planned Actions. Guests are given information on sustainable transport options on our website. We provide a bicycle stand for guests to use and provide a walkway to the flaggy shore. We encourage guests to walk the last klm to Café Linnalla. We openly communicate our policies and practices to interested parties. We monitor and record our environmental impacts on a regular basis and compare our performance with our policies, objectives and targets. We take part in the “free cup of tea if you cycle to me scheme”. Café Linnalla is committed to buying as many environmentally friendly products as possible and has a green purchasing policy in place to do so.
- Lighting in the Cafe is minimal and low energy bulbs and motion sensors are used.
- Recognizing that freezers are the heaviest users of energy in the Cafe, we continuously seek to review and reduce energy consumption and have a policy in place to do so. We plan when funds allow, to use solar energy to produce electricity. As this is a large investment and are looking at 2020 before funds will be available for this.
- Heat generated from the freezers is used to heat the visitor premises and no additional heating system was installed. This works well but may need to look at a cooling system for very hot summer days.
- When purchasing and replacing electrical equipment, A-rated appliances are sourced.
- I plan to invest in sub meters in 2016 so that I can monitor my energy better.
- Water is sourced from the local public group scheme which supplies water directly from Aillwee Mountain.
- Water is heated with the use of under sink heaters, therefore only the required amount of water is heated as it passes through the tap.
- Waste water and the remainder to the waste management system.
- Some of the roof rain water is diverted to a trough for drinking water for the cows (which supply the milk for the ice-cream factory
- Toilets are fitted with a short-flush option.
- We monitor the amount of water we consume and have a sub water meter installed to do so.
- In 2016 I plan to put in a system to harvest rain water for toilet use
- Reduce: Non-recyclable waste is kept to a minimum and is only generated where necessary to satisfy visitor needs e.g. serviettes. Energy consumption in this regard is measured e.g. paper towels v’s hand-dryer. We have very little for the general waste bin. I plan this year to install hand driers if funds allow. I need to do more research on the best low energy ones available.
- Reuse: All ice-cream containers are re-used and re-filled. Plastic spoons are washed and reused.
- Recycle: All waste is separated and recyclables are handled by the local waste collection service.
Café Linnalla is based on the end of the Finaverra Peninsula and is surrounded by our farmland. We have a pathway to the Flaggy shore which we encourage our visitors to walk after they enjoy an ice cream. We encourage visitors to use other facilities on the Peninsula and recommend places to go to experience the local lifestyle. We inform our visitors of activities and places to stay in the Burren that practice sustainable tourism. Our café is full of pictures of the lower coastal Burren and we tell our guests about life here. We plan to open a Flaggy shore information centre next door to the café to give our visitors greater knowledge on the area.