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Glenribbeen Eco Efforts

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I’ve often been asked what do we do to earn the European Union top eco award. Below is a list of items I sent to the Irish control body for the E.U. regulations – the N.A.S.I. after the controls were made. I was determined to pass.

Actually we passed (without these below)  with a total of 26points where 18.5 were needed to pass.


Additional Points

Towel agreement in operation (Notices to that effect in bathrooms)                               Yes

Information for guests vis water, waste, towels, taps, walks and bike-hire.               Yes

Separate waste baskets for guests. Paper, toiletries and notices to effect                           Yes

Recyclable (natural spring water) water bottles supplied to guests.                          Yes

Toilet rolls and (some) stationary paper recycled. (see also 1 below)                         Yes

Locally made beds (I made them from waste wood)                                                 Yes

Irish made mattresses. (See 2 below.)                                                                      Yes

Organic food for meals; own bread, eggs4 and veg. Local produce. 3 Yes

Locally made furniture (I made some from waste wood)                                           Yes

Activities: Bikes, kites, archery, canoe and garden games available for guests.                  Yes

Hens provide eggs, clean up lots of kitchen waste and keep garden pest-free.                   Yes

Music Lessons are available (most stringed instruments and concertina).                Yes

Use is made of grey and rain water. 5 Yes

Fitness area for guests; mini- trampoline, golf area, treadle wood-turner.6 Yes

Bird/Fishponds fed by rain/stream water. This in turn encourages other wildlife.      Yes

Birds and small animals (red squirrels mostly) are housed, watered and fed.           Yes

Kitchen waste recycled (vermiculture/composted), worms used for fishing.             Yes

Alovera, Enchina and other plants grown for medicinal purposes.                                       Yes

Does your accommodation take any other actions to improve environmental performance that are not covered by any of the above criteria? Yes

Registered with other ‘Eco-groups Green Hospitality Ireland, Eco Escapes, Clonmel Transition Town.

Peter gives (free) lessons in schools on “Powering Down in the Post Oil-Peak Period”.

He also advises and gives handouts on eco-projects.

Since October of 2010 Peter is a rep for Heat Craft selling Surface Power solar panels.

We give advice on organic gardening.

We also keep the local paths and stream clear with billhooks and pick up litter in an organised way with arrangements with council to pick-up bags to re-cycle. We’ve put in (used) steps at critical points for ease of access on paths or step-stoned marshy areas of paths.

Willow is used to make “living arches” in the garden and at entrances to areas. We make children’s fantasy huts from willow and willow is grown to weave into baskets and to stabilise the stream banks. Eventually we will teach the building of coracles, using willows and some hazel as the crannghail.

We generally use a clothes line to dry laundry.

1 Use is made of old bills/documents etc to print out music/songs etc.

2 Odearest.  (Some guests wish to buy them and take ‘em home to America!)

3 Registered organic farm directly behind our house.

4 We have 3 Rhode Island Red hens for breakfast eggs. We also make our own bread and even cheese at times of over production of milk on local goat-farms. Free lessons are given.

5 Annual water consumption 60%>average Irish household

6Guests are taught to turn wood on a treadle-turner -keep fit and make chair legs !  etc.

7 We have 12 bird boxes and we care for a family of red squirrels as well as hedgehogs.

See also points below.

NB There are no taps in the garden (anymore) all water must come from water butts rain or shower!.

62 At least 80% of detergents carry a Type I eco-label Ecover. Y Form D62
63 At least 50% of indoor painting uses paints/varnishes carrying a Type I eco-label Linseed oil and water-based paints used on most interior surfaces I suffered Leukaemia due to paint chemicals–I ran a paint business for 17years. Now most paints we use are eco-friendly.Source; Stoneware Studios, Youghal. Earth Born Paints various places Cork, Y Form D63
64 Swimming pools have an automatic dosing system for correct hygiene levels no pool N Form D64
65 Use of non-chemical cleaning products and devices e.g. micro-fibre cloths Ion-balls used for laundry Y Form D65
66 Green areas are maintained organically without the use of pesticides Totally Y Form D66

67 Organic waste is separated and composted in accordance with local guidelines Totally Y No form required
68 Except where legally required, disposable drink can are not offered Reusable bottles offered with spring water in rooms and for lunch picnic baskets. (see 75) Y Form D68
69 Except where legally required, single dose cereal packets are not used. Cereals stored in resealable pots Y Form D69
70 Fat/oil is separated and disposed of correctly Oil added to vermiculture No fat used. Y Form D70
71 Used furniture etc. is sold or given to associations who redistribute such goods Charity shops. Y Form D71

72 Guests provided with information on local biodiversity, landscape & conservation Folders of this in every room. Also provided, books, maps, binoculars and weather proof coats, wellingtons etc. Y No form required
73 Smoking shall not be allowed in at least 50% of the rooms No smoking allowed. Clearly marked. Y No form
74 Bicycles are made available to guests bikes, kites, garden games, fishing gear, canoe + safety gear. Y No form
75 Business offers at least one beverage in refillable bottles (water/beer) In rooms – spring water Y Form D75
76 At least 50% of toilet/tissue/office paper carries a Type I eco-label Recycled, self made. Y Form D76
77 At least 10% of durable goods carry a Type I eco-label Self-made beds, chairs, stools and recycled floors Y Form D77
78 The main ingredients of at least two dishes are organic Cheese, yogurt, bread, jam, eggs and milk Y Form D78
79 At least 2 locally sourced products are available at each meal, including breakfast All are. Y Form D79
How and when        plants are watered: Plants watered via rain/shower-waste-water butt only.

Sink (grey water used for established plants/lawn.

Car washed on cobbled area of lawn to keep lawn watered.

All taps in garden are disconnected.

I, the applicant, declare that the accommodation complies with criterion 18.

Signature  Peter O’Connor            _____________________Date  02-01-09

Form D21 – Dangerous chemical substances: Disinfectants

Please complete this declaration form, print it, sign it and submit it with your application.

When (frequency) and where are disinfectants used on the property? Eco-friendly disinfectants only used (eg bread soda, vinegar and Ecover products).Staff aware and trained in same.

I, the applicant, declare that the accommodation complies with criterion 21.

Signature  Peter O’Connor            ________________________Date April 1st 2010

Form D26 – Waste management: Waste transportation

Please complete this declaration form, print it, sign it and submit it with your application.

(Provide a supplementary sheet if necessary and indicate in the relevant box that you have done so)

Appropriate sites: Household waste; separated on site, recycled and reused if possible.
Transport arrangements Last bin lift was Aug ’07 arrangements made with Mr Bin for next lift on pay by weight basis unknown date – possibly spring of 2011. I walk the bin to main road pick-up/weigh/dispose in accordance to correct procedure. Correct in Jan 2011.
Distances involved Nil.  (well 125m walk) for me.

I, the applicant, declare that the accommodation complies with criterion 26.

Signature  Peter O’Connor _______________ Date  02-03-‘10


About pfiddle

Fiddle teacher - mostly Irish trad. Fiddle, mandolin and concertina. Eco-warrior, won E.U. Green Flower Award for Eco Accommodation. Also Irish (Gold) GHA. Green Hospitality Award. Mad keen on self-build - especially straw-bale and cob. 55 with a full head of (slightly) graying hair. No tattoos or piercings. Fond of animals - but legally so. Fond of food - I eat nothing else. Vegetarian by choice, Irish by the grace of birth, Munster by force of (rugby) arms.

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  1. Pingback: Green Tourism in Ireland. | Glenribbeen – The Eco-Blog

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