Sustainable Living in Costa Rica

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    Elizabeth Mann

    Sustainable living is a lifestyle with the goal to reduce the usage of natural resources through a change in transportation, energy use, and food consumption. At this small farm in Costa Rica, sustainability starts in the home where free wind energy is used to dry clothes. Another plus is the creation of a garden where food is harvested right in the backyard. This lowers carbon emissions that come from food transport thus being more environmentally conscience.

    To begin my tour, I walked down the grass path that divided the gardens. Mature fruit trees includingbananas were raised in the gardens and were already producing clusters of bananas. Herbs were also grown for spicing up Costa Rican dishes, make herbal teas, and for their medicinal qualities. Some of the plants I saw were lemon grass, mint, ginger, bay, citronella, and yucca. To dry the herbs and concentrate the oils, the owners built a solar dryer. The dryer was created by covering wooden frames with sturdy plastic which trapped the heat inside.

    Professors at EARTH University oversee the projects involving different methods of container gardening. This cool hanging planter was created with recycled materials. Holes were made for plants to grow out of and the cups sticking out act as a funnel in collecting water. The funnels are similar to an Aqua Globe with the way they slowly release water into the soil.

    In addition to plants, animals are reared on the property. They provide a local food source and income to keep the household running. Ducks and chickens feed on weeds and help reduce pests in the garden. Goats are raised “free range” and allowed to nibble on grass. In return they provide wholesome milk and cheese. This Costa Rican property is a great example of sustainable living. Sustainable living can be modeled by an individual or even by a entire community. Sustainability is a way of life that can help make our planet cleaner and safer. To read more of my tours visit

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