In a time when climate change is one of the top concerns in the world, every country is pressured to make efforts towards becoming more green. With that being said, it is no surprise that Costa Rica is a leader in sustainability, especially considering that their economy relies heavily on agriculture and ecotourism. Not only do environmental initiatives put Costa Rica on the map for international corporations, they also act as a necessity that ensures the continued success of the country’s top industries.
A major achievement by Costa Rica was their ability to become largely “carbon neutral.” This means that almost all of their electricity comes from renewable resources, including: hydropower, solar power, and wind power. I find this very impressive and inspiring. How is it that a country with seemingly fewer resources than the United States is able to totally destroy the most powerful country in the world in the race to be the most green? It is important to note that in Costa Rica, doubling the amount of forest and tripling GDP happened simultaneously (c. Omega Institute for Holistic Studies). Hopefully these results will encourage other countries, particularly the United States, to put in larger efforts towards preserving their natural spaces.
It is interesting that one of the major initiatives that appears when searching “Costa Rican sustainability” is an account of the endeavors of Doka Estate Coffee, a company that my group will be visiting and studying. Doka is an influential player in the coffee industry because they have actively worked on decreasing their use of pesticides, and instead preserving the forest where their farm is located. The agricultural industry is a primary cause of deforestation, so the strides that Doka is making exemplify how agriculture can be done successfully and sustainably.
Learning about Costa Rica’s sustainable efforts makes me even more excited to embark on the Plus3 journey. They are making themselves a great example of how being environmentally aware goes hand in hand with boosting an economy. I plan to take the conservative strategies of Costa Rica with me through my business career so that I can work towards transitioning the United States into more sustainable practices.