Visiting Costa Rica for the first time was a very eye-opening experience for me. All the people there were so friendly and full of life, and this is definitely something I have kept in mind as I go throughout my everyday life. I’ve been trying harder to be more positive and look on the bright side of things—something that can be difficult living the stressful college life. But even so, I find myself to be a quite happy person most of the time, so this has not been too difficult of a task.
Through learning so much about sustainability, from Rancho Margot specifically, I have been doing my part to conserve resources and recycle as much as I can while living on the Bryant campus. I have paid more attention to simple things such as turning off the lights in my room when I don’t need them or when I leave the room, taking shorter showers and using less water pressure to conserve water, and even taking smaller portions of food at Salmo to avoid wasting food. I have also let the simple life of Costa Rica have an effect on my eating habits. After seeing and tasting all the fresh foods in Costa Rica, I have tried to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into my diet, while paying attention to how these are grown and whether they are organic or local. Additionally, I have strayed away from overly processed foods that are so common in our country. I have definitely missed the delicious and fresh Costa Rican coffee each morning and have definitely changed my coffee drinking habits. I now pay more attention to where the coffee I buy comes from and look for labels indicating sustainability, organic farming, and Rainforest Alliance Certified. Most recently I have found a Costa Rican Tarrazú coffee from Starbucks, whose package indicates partnership with Conservation International as well as a pledge that the coffee is 100% responsibly grown and ethically traded.
Overall, traveling to Costa Rica was a life-changing experience, and I hope to go back sometime in the near future.