So what does it really mean to be eco-friendly. Or is it just a catch phrase used by Costa Rican tour promoters, real estate developers and the like? You have heard the term used over and over when researching your vacation. What does it really mean. The short answer is different things to different people, depending upon their motives.
Here at “The Sunset” we can really only speak for ourselves and present the structural, societal and environmental aspects of why we can call ourselves an :eco-friendly or “green” lodging option as well as a luxury, well appointed one.
Structural and Environmental: In construction of “The Sunset” we chose one of the most sustainable of building mediums for our construction, concrete filled block. Cement block is manufactured locally from three basic readily and widely available components. Sand, gravel and portland cement (also locally produced). It is weather resistant, seismically sound, and finished with a natural lye coating to waterproof it. In our finishes only certified sustainably harvested hardwoods and soft woods were used. In the wood sealing and staining low V.O.C. sealers and natural oils were used as well as a water, not petro-oil based polyurethene. Our ceilings, walls and sub floors are insulated with a recycled polystyrene foam and strand insulation to cut noise from the rain as well as keep the home cooler. Energy efficient light bulbs are installed through out the home and the grounds. Our hot water system is an exceptionally efficient on demand, tankless system that produces all the hot water you may need without the waste of leaving it hot in the tank The gray water (from the showers, washing machine, kitchen sink, jacuzzi) from the home is directly recycled into living plantings that surround the home as well as the garden areas. All black water (septic, sewage, night soil, humanure) is collected in cisterns or septic tanks, that are pumped clean every two years then composted and added to ornamental plantings. On the grounds tiered organic plots sit in repose waiting for their first planting as we allow nitrogen fixing legumes plants to do their magic, all plantings are regularly fertilized with a horse manure tea and organic pest control is our first line of defense inside and out of the home. We participate in local recycling as well as composting and garden organic. The home itself, situated over a decline is engineered to retain local soil strata and prevent erosion and landslide which benefits not only us but our neighbors and watershed far below.
Societal Impact: In our local societal environment we have striven to train and enhance the working viability of our employees through ongoing education in their chosen fields. Construction workers that have worked and continue to work at “The Sunset” have benefitted from training in modern, code regulated construction methods, been exposed and trained in equipment that would otherwise never have had been available. All the while improving their viability in Costa Rica’s quickly growing and competitive construction field. While being paid a living wage and receiving full health and medical benefits. All the appointments, furnishings and finishes though out the home are made by Local artisans and craftspersons supporting the economy of the area. Community involvement with schools, children’s charities and Indigenous groups rounds out our efforts to not only benefit from this incredible, beautiful community and ecological paradise but enhance it for those generations yet to come.
This is what we feel qualifies as eco-friendly, and once here we think you’ll agree.
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