According to the Tico Times, Costa Rica has held a steady spot at No. 2, in the World Energy Council’s global “environmental sustainability” ranking. Sustainability may be defined as the ability to continue doing something indefinitely; meaning, that a company, or a nation in this case, is able to produce goods and services without depreciating the amount of input resources necessary. Costa Rica’s major objectives in their efforts for sustainability are: protecting the environment and restoring ecosystems, allowing businesses and local economies to operate profitably in the present and future, as well as, supporting social improvement, and protecting cultural identity. Specific programs that incentivize some of these changes are The Rainforest Alliance, and the Certification for Sustainable Tourism. The most significant initiative that Costa Rica is taking, is working to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. In other words, achieving a net zero carbon footprint. Some methods for achieving this may be reducing fossil fuel emissions and replacing them with green energy.
As an outsider, especially coming from the United States, I find this commitment very impressive, intriguing, and progressive. As a nation, we have not yet focused our efforts into the importance of sustainability. We instead, are somewhat blinded by the capital that is placed in the hands of sellers from producing and manufacturing products. In Costa Rica; however, even in larger, more profitable industries, such as, the coffee industry, they do not seem to be blinded by revenue. Coffee bean plantations are now placing importance on the preservation of their trees, and almost ridding the use of harmful chemicals on their crops. 93% of Costa Rica’s electricity is already produced using renewable energy, while the United States only has 14.2% of the population utilizing green energy. Seeing as though Costa Rica has found many ways to create a profit while remaining environmental friendly, most nations should take note from their success.
I am excited to experience all that Costa Rica has to offer whether it be the delicious food and coffee, or new cultural experiences. Although my Spanish skills are a bit rusty, I cannot wait to meet my host family, and immerse myself into the everyday Tico lifestyle. It might be nice to be on a less punctual schedule, a.k.a “Tico” time.