Sustainable Building in Costa Rica
Earth Day 2019 ~ Protect Our Species…. bees, giraffes, coral reefs, whales, elephants, and insects… Costa Rica has begun a new era of decarbonization, and placing as a top priority the wellbeing of our people, and the planet first. If we all unite as a nation, the next step is to implement and act upon the cause. Building in Costa Rica will have a huge impact since part of the proposed initiative by Mr. President Carlos Alvarado Quesada who intends to ensure construction shall be sustainable; this implies many aspects of this science. As we celebrate EARTH DAY we need to remember that we are now compromised as a country to do our part.

Our duty as individuals is to educate and make sure young and old are aware that we can all make a difference and start by helping in our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities, our cities, and of course our planet.

In celebration of the theme for this year 2019  “Protect Our Species” we as a country need to embrace one of the most threatened food chain contributors “The BEE”; the most important insect that delivers the pollination of our crops, our food, our survival.

Pesticides are depleting the bee populations around the world, and Costa Rica is not the exemption, very little awareness has been placed in this extremely important issue. Neonicotinoids (Imidacloprid by Bayer) pesticides are openly used on cotton, rice, banana, sugarcane, melon, onions, citrus, oranges, potatoes, cereals, flowers and more.  This proven toxic pesticide is a compound that attacks insects systemically and can live in the soil for up to 9 years creating toxins that cause disorientation in bees and eventually death.  In the EU it has been banned as of last year after scientific studies have shown how damaging this considered “safe” pesticide is depleting us from our bees.

In your considerations to build in Costa Rica we encourage you to not only implement measures to reduce consumption of electricity, water and resources. Take a few minutes and think of how easy it would be to include in your measures to GREEN LIVING and GREEN building something as easy as planting native flower bearing trees, and bushes so that we can create safe spaces for bees to be able to pollinate and reproduce.  Taking it a step further and if you have sufficient land and space, create your own beehives and produce honey as well as a safe haven for bees and delicious food for your use.

On this special EARTH DAY…Follow these basic aspects of conservation, love for your planet, and you can place your little piece of action in Paradise into play.

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  • Plant species that attract BEES, they are endangered and because this year’s celebration is about “Protecting our Species” it is imperative to act on a factor that is affecting the pollination of more species due to the heavy use of pesticides and global warming.
  • Plant trees, not only on your land, but whenever possible, dry out seeds and during the rainy season throw them as you pass by open areas, no one will object to a wonderful tree that bears shade and possibly fruit. Our planet needs as many trees planted as possible.
  • Plant native tree species around your new dwelling, those that create shade so you, as well as other creatures, can enjoy.

Energy efficiency:

  • Use only LED and CFL light bulbs, these will save energy and are long-lasting.
  • Use efficient technology air conditioners, these consume less energy and do not emit toxic gases that deplete the ozone layer.

Water Efficiency:

  • Conserve water, always… Don’t leave the water faucet running under any circumstance, use appliances that use very little water by checking the specifications before you purchase.
  • Use plumbing fixtures that consume the minimum amount of water.
  • Use drip irrigation on your landscape; never use a hose to water plants.
  • Fill your new pool with imported water if you are in coastal areas. Water from abundant resources can be brought in for this job without depleting the local aquifer with water that will be treated.

“The change has begun and it involves all people” said the First Lady Claudia Dobles

  • Planting native wildflowers and trees inviting bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies
  • Conserve water. Consider how fortunate you are to enjoy the water and use it wisely by taking shorter showers and turning the water off while brushing your teeth.
  • Cut back on plastic consumption, and recycle, reuse and reduce. Say no to single-use plastics such as plastic bags, straws or styrofoam containers. Support businesses that have good environmental practices. 
  • Pick up garbage whenever possible, at the beach, during your walk so we can all add to these efforts.
  • Buy local
  • Use environmentally friendly non-toxic cleaning products
  • Replace inefficient incandescent light bulbs to efficient LED’s or CFL’s light bulbs
  • Carpool whenever possible, use public transportation, ride a bike, walk.
  • Change your car’s air filter regularly
  • Bring reusable bags to shop
  • Use energy efficient appliances; use your dishwasher and only when it’s full.
  • Wash your clothes with cold water.

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