Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica leads in environmental practices to help offset tourism’s impact on the community.

by Shannon Farley

Tourists from all over the world come to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica to enjoy the breathtaking pristine beaches, beautiful jungle, and lovely tropical climate. While here, like all tourists everywhere, they generate trash from consuming items like food, drinks, sunscreen, insect repellent, etc.

This is completely normal. But when this waste gets left where they vacation, and then the pattern is multiplied by thousands of tourists, do you ever wonder what happens to all of that trash?

In the case of small towns like Santa Teresa, which are completely dependent on tourism, the community has been forced to deal with the huge influx of solid waste, without much infrastructure or funding.

Luckily, organizations and people in Santa Teresa have stepped up to help.

Hotel Tropico Latino joins a group of concerned citizens and businesses who bring recyclable items every month to a community collection point in town. The initiative began a few years ago led by Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper, a local NGO, the local government, and the Santa Teresa tourism chamber.

sustainable tourismIn addition, the hotel engages in many other eco-friendly practices, such as:

  • Recycle kitchen waste. In Hotel Tropico Latino’s restaurant kitchen, staff separate all waste into color-coded barrels which goes to recycling and other waste disposal. Cooking grease is collected in special bins for a local company that uses a biodigester to turn the grease into cooking gas for the local Tourism Police precinct.
  • Organic waste is composted to become fertilizer for the hotel’s gardens.
  • Less plastic. The hotel uses bamboo straws for smoothies and drinks in the restaurant that are biodegradable. They do not purchase or sell single-use plastic bottles.
  • Biodegradable products. Hotel Tropico Latino uses only biodegradable soaps, shampoos, laundry detergents, and cleaning products throughout the hotel.
  • They use microorganisms in hotel septic tanks to control odors, degrade waste better and be more efficient.
  • Energy efficient. The hotel uses energy efficient light bulbs and appliances.
  • Blue Flag Program. Hotel Tropico Latino supports the Costa Rican Blue Flag Program for Santa Teresa’s beaches.

If environmental conservation is important to you, keep up your practices wherever you go in the world by staying at hotels that responsibly deal with waste, water, and energy, like Hotel Tropico Latino.

As Gandhi so eloquently said: “We have to be the change we wish to see in the world.”

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