Energy & Ecology

A Costa Rica adventure tour and a visit to an ecolodge should start out with the understanding of what exactly have we done with energy in the past and what can be done in the future? Costa Rica ecolodges are a market for green travel but they are also a miniature replica of how we must start to operate our planet.

Many years ago the sun gave planet Earth energy through the sunlight it was shining down, with that energy plants evolved, these plants then died and kept stored energy 400 million years ago as they decomposed and sunk into the center of the Earth. Man evolved 200,000 years ago and our population never passed 1 billion people over the course of 200,000 years. It was man 200 years ago that started to suck these 400 million year old dead plants which still stored energy and we pumped it up to the surface of our daily lives which is known as oil and coal. Man essentially discovered ancient sunlight and through this ancient sunlight we grew more and more food. In growing more food and transporting ourselves at faster rates our population has grown from 1 billion to 3.5 billion in just 200 years. The ancient sunlight energy we are removing from the ground is non-renewable and will be gone in our children’s generation. We now must not only use different sources of energy but do it in a way that we do no harm to our environment. It is through visiting a Costa Rican ecolodge that we see that mankind can make a commitment to clean sources of energy.

When it comes to energy there is no better place for clean energy than Costa Rica. Costa Rica ecolodges take advantage of the knowledge and the resources of operating on clean energy. With solar, hydro, geothermal, and wind energy there are a number of different options. Costa Rica has two coasts and high mountains which lends itself to a nice heavy wind. Costa Rica is 10 degrees above the equator which allows for good solar energy when the clouds are not too thick of course. Costa Rica gets plenty of rain which allows for hydro energy in small streams or rivers. Costa Rica also has 6 active volcanos that can be used to generate geothermal energy. Not to mention this allows for some of the best whitewater rafting tours in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica ecolodges even take it a step further by trapping methane which comes from the manurer of livestock and organic matter. Methane is one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases which can trap heat 20 times more effectively than carbon dioxide. Ecolodges and many local homes in Costa Rica are able to store the methane from their livestock through a process of allowing the manure to dissolve in a closed unit and transport the methane through tubes to the source of where energy is needed. This process allows less methane into the atmosphere. Some of the different uses of energy are for cooking and heating in different ecolodges and homes throughout Costa Rica.

Most Ecolodges in Costa Rica will live life off the grid and you might have to survive without A/C units and it might be lights out at night. With solar energy generating usually enough energy for lights anytime you really never know.

There are a few large hotels in the US as of 2010 that have incorporated the hydrogen fuel cell which it’s only offset is water. This could be the next for Costa Rican ecolodges as this country plans to be the first carbon neutral country by 2020. This means everyone will have to do their part.