There is no doubt about the importance that Mother Nature plays in everyone’s life. There has been many initiatives around the world to keep our Natural Resources alive for our grandchildren to enjoy. One of this initiative has been Sustainable Tourism, but what exactly is Sustainable Tourism? It is a type of tourism attempting to make as low an impact on the environment and local culture as possible, while helping to generate future employment for local people. This type of tourism has been developed more and more and has become a trend in many destinations. Costa Rica has played a major role developing itself as a sustainable destination and has made a name for itself in the world as an Eco-tourism destination. It has also emerged as a leader in sustainable tourism because without the diversity of the natural environment, a healthy society and a thriving cultural heritage this country would lose its attractiveness and the qualities that makes it an unique place to live and travel. With this premises the government has created the Certification of Sustainable Tourism (CST) as an initiative to encourage the tourists and the service providers to follow this practices. The CST is intended to educate both tourism and non tourism companies in Costa Rica to maintain the most valuable resources of Costa Rica; the health of the environment, the health of the Costa Rican citizens and the health of communities within the country.
Taking this beautiful country as an example we all can help to protect nature and we can all get inspired in making a difference by changing our practices at home and teaching our guest in our Vacation Home how to help our environment and community. Is important to know that living sustainably doesn’t mean to “sacrifice” on the contrary, most practices for sustainability can actually enhance human life. People who follow greener practices can dramatically lower their bills and, in the long run, live healthier lives as well as gain more benefits from nature. Let me share with you some simple tips that you can implement in your vacation rental property in order to promote this good practices.
1. Use Water Wisely
Install water-efficient fixtures and appliances. If you have a garden, use mulch and choose plants that don’t require much water. Install low-flow shower-heads and low-flow toilets and fit aerators taps to reduce water flow rates. Use buckets to collect shower water for use in the garden. Install grey-water recycling systems to use laundry and bathroom grey-water in the garden.
2. Manage Your Waste
Encourage your guest to separate solid waste that you can reuse from those that can be sent to recycling plants. Also, collect your organic waste for compost. Having labeled and colored trash bins can help your guest to recycle while they stay at your home.
3. Use Energy Intelligently
If possible use energy-efficient appliances and switch them off when they are not in use. Also, use energy-efficient bulbs especially in rooms that are used most often. If you can afford it, invest in a solar-powered hot water system. Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained. Plant trees to shade your home, reducing your cooling costs in the summer months. Replace electric heating with gas heating.
4. Keep your guest informed
Is very important to keep your guest informed about your sustainability practices. Leaving a welcome note in your home for each guest explaining what are you green practices will facilitate your guest stay and will help you fulfill your “green” goals. Travelers enjoy being part of something, if you take the time to explain or leave a welcome note your guest will feel motivated and will want to come back to your Vacation Rental because you are following good practices.
Been sustainable is very easy! it doesn’t take a big investments and you will not be sacrificing anything. Is simply being conscious of how you use the natural resources. Buy certified products and read the labels, encourage your family, friends and guest to follow these practices and you will be helping our environment.