Ecology and Sustainability
Blue Spirit Costa Rica is committed to the highest standards of ecological awareness and sustainable practices. To this end, the buildings have been constructed with a focus on using "green" materials that have come from environmentally controlled resources and are designed to provide a long-lasting life so replacement and rebuilding procedures will be kept to a minimum. We have endeavored to build as green a facility as is possible in Costa Rica to act as a model of what can be done in the country.
Construction Style & Materials
Blue Spirit Retreat shares a border with a Turtle Preserve and Refuge that we protect. In so doing, we have chosen to build in a concentrated area to allow as much nature around us to remain undisturbed.
We have built with local concrete and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) wood that comes from either local tree farms a few miles away, or from Nicaragua to support the reforestation project in forests severely affected by a recent hurricane. Our roof tiles are all clay made just a few hours away in Nicaragua. In addition, we are experimenting with special low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and finishes not currently available in Costa Rica to determine how it functions in the Costa Rican climate.
Solar Hot Water & Water Conservation
All heating of water is done using solar energy from collectors on our roofs. Since clean, potable water is precious, we have installed a water system that redirects some of the shower and sink water into toilets; we utilize non-flush urinals, low-water flush toilets and our waste-water system provides treated water that we use to water the center's fruit trees, vegetable garden, and landscaping around the property.
Solar Photo-voltaic and Electricity All of the Eco-cottages have electricity provided by solar panels located near the cottages. Currently we are investigating the addition of more units to increase greater conversion of solar energy to electricity at our facility. All electric cables have been placed underground to protect the natural habitat which has become a sanctuary for Howler Monkeys and other wildlife in the area.
Cooling & Ventilation
We have designed many of our rooms with natural ventilation to avoid the need for air-conditioning. There are some rooms and classes with the most ecologically friendly air-conditioning units available. We have built our refrigeration system deep into a hillside to facilitate natural cooling and some of our rooms, too, are built close to the earth to take advantage of its generally cool ambient temperatures.
Cleaning Practices & Products
We use only earth-friendly cleaning products throughout the center. Also, to save water and electricity, we encourage a reduced frequency of changing of sheets and towels during your stay.
Recycling & Composting
There is an active composting program used for our gardens, along with an active recycling program of paper, plastic, glass, aluminum, and tin.