Honestly before reaching the country I had no expectations about it, and coming from India I did not have a clue of how it was going to be. However, while my plane was about to land, 5000 feet up in the air I knew I would like it. All I saw was lush green forests on one end and the beautiful ocean on the other! It was simply marvelous.
What surprised me was how every single person in Costa Rica, no matter of their social standing, they all had the same vision of being sustainable. What was more surprising was how the government was so proactive with their sustainable efforts as well and kept their people at the forefront of any decision which had to be made.
Farmers changed their farming methods to be more sustainable so that they could respect their land beneath and use it for longer periods, so that their children would enter a better world free from harsh chemicals and pollution. Coffee grown was grown under sustainable methods, the soil beneath was nitrified with compost, and pests were kept away in a natural manner. I was amazed to learn on a spice farm about their methods of keeping monkeys and other animals away from the cash crops. They created natural fences with the help of trees, something that I’d never seen or heard off before. Fruits and other sweet plants were planted at these boundaries in order to feed and fill the stomachs of these animals, thus keeping them full and hence they would not venture into the area where the spices were grown! Isn’t that amazing!
Did you know that Costa Rican’s do not believe in flushing down their toilet paper due to the septic sewage systems they have! Instead they throw it in a waste basket. This was quite shocking to me at first but then I got used to it! Hotels were conscious in every single aspect including their backend operations. This one hotel we stayed at called The Parador, situated in Manuel Antonio (which was THE place!) made their own soaps and used soap free detergents so that the water could then be reused to water the plants on the property!
This one other ranch we visited known as Rancho Margot was amazing, it was not carbon positive, not neutral but in fact carbon negative! This meant it removed more carbon dioxide from the surroundings than it gave out! I was shocked! The ranch was amazing, in order to keep rooms cooled they planted crops on top of tin roofs, which I thought was very creative!
I learned so much about sustainability throughout the entire trip and it definitely played a huge impact on my daily lifestyle. For example, nowadays I find myself making a conscious effort of taking shorter showers, and switching off electrical points at night.
This trip completely opened up my eyes by making me think of how important sustainability is in our daily lives. I am really glad that I was given this opportunity and will definitely incorporate a lot of these practices on a farm that I would like to start back home in India.