A human being is part of the whole, called by us “universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest – a kind of delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
~ Albert Einstein
A popular practice since the last half of the twentieth century, sustainable living is an economical and ecological alternative to the expensive “un-sustainable” living of importing and exporting food and other products has taken popularity in Costa Rica. First, let’s define sustainable living. Sustainability is the capacity to endure and survive. In ecology, the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans, the concept refers to the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources.
The following is an excerpt from an article by Kendra L. Arnold printed in Natural Awakenings® magazine, April 2008. This offers a good description of how sustainability is interconnected on three levels (www.fieldstudies.org):
v Social sustainability focuses on social interaction and cultural enrichment. It is about how we make choices that affect others, including a business’ operations and its effect on employees, suppliers, investors, local and global communities and customers. Social sustainability also relates to the most basic needs of human nature, such as, happiness, safety, freedom, dignity and affection.
v Economic Sustainability requires that companies provide a decent standard of living to their employees, as well as providing fair market value for stocks and products. An economic sustainable company might also be called fair-trade.
v Environmental sustainability is the ability of the environment to continue to function properly indefinitely. The goal of environmental sustainability is to minimize environmental damage, as well as halt and reverse current environmental damage. In general, the term “sustainability” requires that human activity only use natural resources at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally.
Here is a list of some of most well known and prestigious sustainable living farms in Costa Rica:
Punta Mona: Punta Mona is an 85-acre organic farm, a Community and Center for Sustainable Living and Education located on the southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Vist their website: http://www.puntamona.org/ or firstname.lastname@example.org
The School for Field Studies: this farm has five locations worldwide, including one in Atenas, Costa Rica. The School for Field Studies sends students and professors to engage in projects consistent with their common mission. Opportunities for participants range from day long visits to living on the site for weeks at a time. Check out their website: www.fieldstudies.org.
Earth University: is located just outside of Guacimo, Limon here in Costa Rica. It is a full time, four year University, dedicated to the study of tropical plants. They have an intern program that places third year students at a project for 15 weeks beginning in December. Information on Earth University can be found at www.earth.ac.cr
Harmony Hotel – Costa Rica’s Sustainable Paradise: Nestled into the sleepy coastal town of Nosara, Costa Rica, forty miles from the nearest paved road, high standard of sustainable living meet the creature comfort of low key beach at the Harmony Hotel. Check out the website: http://www.ecosherpa.com/eco-travel/harmony-hotel-costa-ricas-sustainable-paradise/
If you are interested in purchasing a new sustainable-living-lot, click the hyperlink that follows below: