When Explore Lake Simcoe met with Don Kellett (co-owner of Donaleigh’s) to discuss environmental sustainability at his popular Irish pub in Barrie, he said “We are constantly looking for the next step forward. It is everyone’s social responsibility to make an effort. One step at a time, Donaleigh’s and other restaurants must move forward on environmental sustainability.”
In 2014, Donaleigh’s began taking those steps. The Irish Pub was one of the first businesses in Ontario to receive energy efficient upgrades through the Power Stream small business incentive program. At that time, refrigeration and lighting was upgraded to increase energy-efficiency. Since then, Donaleigh’s has installed light sensors, sensor run washroom taps and electric hand dryers. With upwards of 500 hundred customers on a busy day, the draw on energy and water is significant.
Other steps taken at Donaleigh’s include switching to wooden stir sticks, bamboo skewers, fully compostable take-out containers and implementing a Straw-Less policy. In fact, the Explore Lake Simcoe #notstrawchallenge came about as a result of Don’s suggestion to challenge other food service establishments to implement a similar initiative. See CTV Barrie coverage of the challenge here.
Although preparing food from scratch means there is very little waste, Donaleigh’s continues to look for solutions to increase waste diversion. The pub currently pays to have corrugated cardboard and recycling collected two to three times a week.
As the business community in the Lake Simcoe watershed moves forward on environmental sustainability, Donaleigh’s will continue to search for new, innovative ways forward.