Sustainability in Costa Rica is a state of mind and the way to live and a state of mind, we don’t think about it anymore, we just go for sustainable practices.
Sustainability in Costa Rica is as installed as not having a military, or evading political conflict with dialog. It is the way we do things.
Sustainability is the capacity to maintain a determined behavior continually. It can go from the metal industries to the travel business. And it is accomplished in many ways. You may be quick to associate sustainability with rainforest conservation, but it’s not as simple.
Nature conservation is unquestionably a backbone of sustainability—but it is only a part of it.
In essence, sustainability is the combination of three human areas: environment, economy, and society.
And even if all elements are individually independent, they all influence the others. If culture changes, and there are more demands, this affects the environment and the economy.
If the economy grows, society evolves to get more comfort, and the environment is affected.
However, if the environment changes, society and economy will undoubtedly see consequences. And so it goes.
In this game, each area is as important as the rest.
So, the way we see it, sustainability in Costa Rica is going three ways:
- Environmental protection and restoration.
- The local economy and businesses can operate successfully.
- It protects the local identity and promotes cultural development.
And even though our environment is at the core of all discussions, we cannot deny that there is a humanity that needs natural resources to survive.
The travel industry plays a vital role in sustainability in Costa Rica. Almost all our attractions are immersed in nature and the passenger impacts directly in the environment. Every decision you take has importance to keep the balance.
With/In/on every step, stay, and tour you will affect our society, economy, and ecosystem forever.
What makes Costa Rica a sustainable destination?
- More than a quarter of the territory is protected.
Costa Rica preserves 26 percent of its land in eight biological reserves, 19 wildlife refuges, 29 national parks, and plentiful private reserves.
Very few areas in the World allow the incredible biodiversity encountered in Costa Rica. It is one of the prime 20 most biodiversity-rich regions in the world, and one of the first ten most biodiversity-rich rainforests.
With an enormous array of protected ecosystems, the forests of Costa Rica support a great variety of flora and fauna.
Visitors to Costa Rica may be able to see more wildlife than in many more prominent destinations.
How does this reflect sustainability?
Well! Other than producing all the water, and electricity for the entire population of the country, the protected natural areas of Costa Rica also give thousands of jobs in the travel industry as visitors come to enjoy these fantastic nature monuments.
It also allows thousands of small business and landowners to thrive, and by doing so, of course, the economy rises.
Costa Rica’s electricity comes from renewable energies.
Already for two years (2019 is the third), Costa Rica has been running on renewable energy for more than six months. The pouring rains have allowed us to discard fossil fuels, and to supply on the electricity generated from 4 hydroelectric plants – with extra help from the solar, wind, and geothermal projects.
How does this reflect sustainability?
Renewable energies don’t pollute the planet, for starters. But it goes beyond that.
Society lives in a cleaner, safer environments, where electricity is very affordable.
This, of course, makes the comfort of electricity sustainable.
Sustainability is more than a slogan.
Since 1997, the ICT (Costa Rica Tourism Board) has measured and accredited Costa Rican travel businesses based on their management of social, and natural resources.
The Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program (CST) consists of levels – named “Leaves” – that go from one to five, with five being “exceptional in sustainability terms.”
The evaluation process is very comprehensive and includes regular evaluations and inspections.
So, whenever you see a CST label on a lodging or tour operator, it’s guaranteed that they operate sustainably.
Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Ecological Program
Like the CST, Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Ecological Program is granted for communities that manage beaches and waterways cleaned.
Rural Tourism (R.T.) and Community-Based Rural Tourism (C.R.T.) are rapidly growing in Costa Rica.
Several programs present a genuine Costa Rican experience with the personal attention that enables visitants to know the heart of Costa Rica.
Thousands of people from all over the World come to Costa Rica to volunteer in all sorts of conservation programs, from rescue centers to turtle watches involving the communities in the tourism industry and allowing locals to stay in their regions and not migrate to the cities.
Some of the things you will notice in your trip that will confirm you that sustainability is a state of mind in Costa Rica are:
- Recycling binds marked to receive plastic, metal and paper separated to ease the recycling projects in Costa Rica
- You will not find soap, or small bottles of conditioner, cream or shampoo in the sustainable hotels. You will find containers that are refilled as visitors change.
- In some high-end hotels, you will find small containers made of biodegradable materials.
- You will find bamboo and grass straws in many facilities (Instead of plastic).
- In sustainable accommodations, the kitchen is provided from the biodigester.
- In several hotels in the region of Guanacaste, the types of grass in the golf courses can take salty water, saving the community from the drainage of their resources.
- In hotels and lodges, you will see compost systems to recycle natural waste.
- Solar panels to provide electricity for the rooms and to heat the water.
- Recycling of solid materials: paper, cartons, glass, and other products.
- Sun heat to dry laundry.
- Biodegradable cleansing products with no environmental pollution.
- Refillable soap dispensers in the bathrooms to avoid waste.
- No use of chemical fungicides, pesticides, or herbicides.
- In several hotels, you will find as a current activity a tour to see and learn about sustainable practices.
- There is no feeding of wildlife.
- Souvenir shops support local artisans and do not sell commodities detrimental to the environment.
- Travel agencies, tour operators, transportation companies and hotels and lodges only use recycled paper and recycled paper products, to prevent the needless cutting down of trees.
At Mapache Tours we
- Reuse and recycle paper
- In all plugs, you will find conscientization messages to avoid waste.
- There is no use of plastic cups
- All water bottles are recycled.
- Active participation in community conservation efforts as the garbage recollection campaigns
- We support local family projects.
- We support conservation projects
To wrap it up
Sustainability is much more than a conservation movement. It is the key to the survival of humanity. In Costa Rica, it’s a state of mind, a deep belief, and a priority… Are you into sustainability too?
If so, ask our travel consultants about all the accommodations and activities you can enjoy and learn about sustainability for your own community and life.