Sustainability

The Remarkable Trees of Nosara

The Remarkable Trees of Nosara

I recently wrote a short post about the great bird-watching day we recently had in Nosara—while on a hike with the deeply knowledgeable Felipe, a conservation biologist studying biodiversity in Nosara’s tropical dry forest. But birds weren’t the only fascinating part of our day: we also learned a lot about the plant species, especially trees, […]

Restoring Our Watershed

Restoring Our Watershed

Filmmaker Joe Foster of Dapp Design House traveled to Costa Rica to produce short films for One Fund Costa Rica, a nonprofit with the mission to support good people doing good work around the world. Using storytelling, crowdfunding, and networking, One Fund finds genuine organizations within a community and creates videos to secure funding, resources, […]

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Based in Nosara, Gecko Architecture has an emphasis on sustainable design.  The Hacienda Trinidad features green roofs to create habitat for climbing plants and to keep the building cool during the heat of the day.  The home faces prevailing winds, maximizing internal air movement; with high ceilings and openings on opposite ends of the building, […]


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An icosahedron is a three-dimensional geometrical shape with twenty faces.  Joseph Mikrut, who has a background in architecture, engineering, industrial design, web and print marketing, nutrition, detox/cleansing, herbal medicine, and business development, decided to turn this shape into a treehouse. Twenty feet off the ground, the treehouse is suspended by cables strung between four trees, […]

Video Game Developed in Costa Rica to Protect Pink River Dolphin

Video Game Developed in Costa Rica to Protect Pink River Dolphin

A new video game has been developed in Costa Rica titled Apu, el espiritu del rio, or Apu, the Spirit of the River.  This game is designed to raise awareness about threats to river species in Latin America, including the manatee and the Amazon river dolphin.  These animals are threatened by illegal fishing and habitat […]

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A wall completely lined with books may be a dream of mine, but there is more to this house than its perfection as a writer’s hideaway.  The Casa Kiké by Gianni Botsford Architects features locally-sourced timber for the wooden structure as well as locally-sourced corrugated steel sheeting for the roof and siding.  The architects note […]


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Does an environmentally friendly resort make you think of pig waste?  Probably not, but the Lapa Rios Eco Lodge uses pig poo bio-gas to power their kitchen.  In addition to that, the resort, which was originally established as a nature reserve, uses energy from solar panels, recycles 80% of its kitchen waste (either composting food […]

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Benjamin Garcia Saxe, designer of the bamboo-ring house, worked with Laura Morelli and students during a workshop at Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica, to design and build a project with limited resources and with the goal of creating a space and eliciting human emotions.  Wanting to convey light, space, and movement, the team placed […]

From Water Bottles to Roof Tiles

From Water Bottles to Roof Tiles

Donald Thomson and his wife Terry-Lee, who have lived in Costa Rica since 1990, began organizing a volunteer beach-cleaning initiative to clean up the massive amounts of plastic that washed up on the beaches of Playa Pochote.  After watching children jumping on the plastic bottles to flatten them, Thomson had an idea: to recycle plastic […]


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A design and construction firm called Bamboo Groove builds homes from insulated shipping containers and bamboo.  This design gives Intermodel Steel Building Units (ISBUs) a second life.  These container houses are built to insulate from the heat and provide natural ventilation for cooling.  Guadua bamboo, one of the fastest growing bamboos, is harvested locally in […]

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Tim and Robin O’Hara of Rancho Mastatal, an environmental learning and sustainable living center, used Robin’s design to build their home out of cob, wattle and daub, lime plasters, bamboo, locally milled wood, and recycled fence posts.  A cob house is made from subsoil, water, and fibrous organic material such as straw.  Sourced from local […]

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Architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe designed this two-room bamboo house with open courtyard for his mother, who had moved to Costa Rica to live in the forest “in search for home.”  Originally living in a shelter that she built with scrap wood and plastic bags and with a view of the moon from her bed at […]


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With a variety of accommodations, Tree House Lodge has a focus on sustainability.  The buildings are built with fallen trees, the furniture is handcarved with sustainable wood, and one of the bathrooms is built around a living 100-year old Sangrillo tree.  Water is gravity-fed and heated by solar panels, cleaning materials and detergents are biodegradable, […]

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Within driving distance from Volcano Arenal, this tree house is surrounded by mineral-rich, natural hot springs.  The tree house sits in 35 acres of surrounding rainforest filled with two-toed sloths, iguanas, capuchin and mantled howler monkeys, tree frogs, toucans, hummingbirds, and butterflies.  An afternoon on the balcony observing the sights and sounds of the rainforest […]

Costa Rica goes 75 Days without Fossil Fuel

Costa Rica goes 75 Days without Fossil Fuel

For 75 straight days (and counting), Costa Rica has met 100% of its power demand with renewable energy.  Most of this energy has come from four hydroelectric power facilities, due to heavy rainfall this year.  The country supplements this energy with other sources of renewable energy, including geothermal, solar, biomass, and wind sources.  Costa Rica […]


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Does this childhood dream ever go away? For many of us, apparently not. A Colorado couple made their dream a reality in the Costa Rican rainforest by creating a treehouse community called Finca Bellavista, a fantastic yet real treetop paradise where people can live out their dreams. The whole of the property is now close to […]

Detox Holiday Toys

Detox Holiday Toys

You’re making your list and checking it twice, but do you know what’s in those holidays toys you’re buying? In 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed to regulate lead and phthalates in toys and infant products after a public scare related to those made primarily in China. But it seems like each […]

Get Salty

Get Salty

Are you still cooking with chemicals? So-called “table salt” is rock or ocean salt that’s mined, heat blasted, chemically treated and fortified with iodine until it’s devoid of all essential minerals and nutrients. For better taste and health, look for organic, artisan salts, like those from the Himalayas, which are packed with trace elements and […]


Shower with a Friend

Shower with a Friend

Want to save water? Take a look at what’s in your bathroom. Showerheads installed before 1992 can pump as much as eight gallons of water per minute. New low flow showerheads are inexpensive, emit less than two gallons of water per minute and easy to swap out. But habits can save water quicker than hardware. […]

Be Like Mr. Rogers

Be Like Mr. Rogers

Taking off shoes at the door is an easy way to keep your home clean—and clean of toxic chemicals. When we wear shoes inside, we run the risk of tracking lead, pesticides, insecticides and dirt into our homes, while removing shoes can reduce exposure by a full 85%. Worried about offending guests? A note or […]

Suds Better

Suds Better

Used in beauty and oral care products to create suds and foam, sodium lauryl sulfate can cause immune system damage and allergic reactions, as well as skin, eye and mouth irritation; its manufacturing results in the release of carcinogenic chemicals. The Journal of the American College of Toxicology determined that the ingredient has a “degenerative […]


Ecofy Your Thanksgiving

Ecofy Your Thanksgiving

Creating an eco friendly Thanksgiving is not as hard as you might think—it just means asking a few questions that might slightly shift your traditions. Do you typically buy a cut flower arrangement for the table? Look for organic flowers or a beautiful living succulent arrangement. Is turkey your main course? Find a free range, […]

Nix Triclosan in Toothpaste

Nix Triclosan in Toothpaste

You already know about avoiding antibacterial soaps and sanitizers made with triclosan, right? The chemical—a pesticide, natch—breeds antibiotic-resistant bacteria, compromises our immune systems, and is no better than plain old soap-and-water at killing bacteria. Yet despite the fact that triclosan is currently under safety review at the FDA and was banned in Minnesota this May, […]

Guiones Surf Photo of the Week

Guiones Surf Photo of the Week

We’re not always trying to catch only waves in the surf zone, the ordered chaos of tumbling rollers rushing toward shore.  It is a cauldron of energy, boiling with nutrients and marine life.  Here, the work of throwing the cast net becomes Art.  For the net to elegantly “spread” when thrown, it must first be […]