Environmental sustainability is the ability to continue a certain behavior that benefits the environment for an indefinite period of time. This is very important to a country like Costa Rica because they put such a high value on their environment and much of their economy is dependent on ecotourism. One major initiative that Costa Rica is taking is working to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. This would mean achieving a net zero carbon footprint. The country aims to do this by reducing fossil fuel emissions and replacing them with green energy. 93% of Costa Rica’s electricity is already produced using renewable energy, which is very impressive.
A second initiative that Costa Rica has taken is creating a Payments for Environmental Services or PES program. This program directly pays landowners who maintain the environment of the land they own. These payments provide an incentive for people to make improvements on the land around them, which can include conservation efforts, clean water initiatives, and eliminating the use of greenhouse gases. I have never heard of a program like this before, but I think it is a really good idea to start getting people to become more environmentally conscious.
Although I am an outsider of the country, I can still really appreciate the sustainability efforts Costa Rica has made. Even when concerning a profitable industry such as coffee farms, green initiatives are taken. Coffee farms are now preserving their trees as well as phasing out use of most pesticides. It seems that in most countries, environmental initiatives take a backseat to making a profit, but Costa Rica has found ways to make money off of sustainability which is really cool. I think a lot of other countries can learn a lesson from Costa Rica when it comes to protecting the environment.
Coffee is one of the main reasons I am excited to go to Costa Rica. I’ve heard they produce some of the best coffee in the world and I am so excited to try it along with all of the other amazing food and drinks that they offer. I also look forward to immersing myself in a new culture, brushing up on my Spanish skills, and exploring the beautiful country.