Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica follows strict sustainability principles in everything they do, and that includes eliminating disposable plastic. Article by Shannon Farley
Sustainable tourism is more than a buzzword at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge. We take our role as ecotourism providers very seriously and we have been part of the “green” movement before it ever became trendy. Everything we do is sustainable because we love our Costa Rican natural playground by the gulf of Golfo Dulce and the Osa Peninsula and want to share its wonders with others – today and for generations to come. That’s why we do our best to eliminate the use of disposable plastic at the lodge, with our guests and our service providers. This month, tourism businesses with the Chamber of Tourism of Osa (CATUOSA) also pledged to stop using single-use plastic containers, bags and other disposable plastic items in the Osa Peninsula region in southern Costa Rica. Businesses plan to substitute single-use plastics and Styrofoam, like utensils, cups, plates, straws and bags, for biodegradable items made from bamboo, cloth, starches, cereals, hemp, and other eco-friendly materials. See how Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge eliminates disposable plastic:
NO PLASTIC BAGS FOR SHOPPING When we purchase supplies for the lodge, we ask our suppliers not to use plastic bags. We bring our own reusable plastic boxes and fabric bags or backpacks that we use again and again. Or, if we need to, we ask for cardboard boxes, which are biodegradable. We encourage our guests and employees not to accept plastic bags and instead to use backpacks or reusable fabric bags for personal purchases. REUSABLE CONTAINERS In all of the different areas of the hotel, we have reusable containers to store items rather than plastic bags. Our garbage and recycling are disposed of in specifically marked containers that can be found in each guest room, in the main lodge area, by our beach deck and yoga platform, and in our garbage collection area.
NO PLASTIC STRAWS “Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States alone. In only the past 20 years, people have come to expect plastic straws in every drink, in an example of extreme waste being generated for minimal convenience,” states the Plastic Pollution Coalition. At Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, we purchase biodegradable bamboo straws for any guest who wants a straw in their drink or smoothie. We encourage our guests and employees to say no to plastic straws at restaurants and bars, and to join the global movement to eliminate plastic drinking straws from the landfills, streams, oceans, and beaches of our planet. FABRIC LAUNDRY BAGS For guests’ laundry to be done, we have fabric laundry bags in each guest room. After washing, clothes are dried in the lodge’s solar drying room.
NO DISPOSABLE PLASTIC BOTTLES We encourage our guests to bring their own personal reusable water bottle when they visit Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge. Our water at the lodge is sourced from a natural spring and is drinkable. We sell stainless steel water bottles in our gift shop if guests do not have one of their own. In our guest rooms, you will find our Costa Rican, natural, organic Raw Botanicals bath products in large reusable containers in the bathrooms, rather than the little plastic bottles for bath amenities you get in most hotels. Nicuesa Lodge also uses reusable and refillable receptacles for the environmentally-friendly biodegradable laundry detergent, an arrangement we made with our product vendor in order to limit plastic waste.
JOIN THE GLOBAL MOVEMENT TO ELIMINATE DISPOSABLE PLASTIC “Currently about 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year to make bags, bottles, packages, and other commodities for people all over the world. Unfortunately, only about 10 percent of this plastic is properly recycled and reused. The rest ends up as waste in landfills or as litter in our natural environment, where it leaches dangerous chemicals into the nearby soil and water, endangering humans and wildlife alike. The problem has now grown completely out of control and threatens to affect millions of people and animals” around the world, according to the Earth Day Network. Find out more about how you can stop using disposable plastic here. When you stay at Nicuesa Lodge, take our daily sustainability tour to learn more about our sustainable tourism practices and see how you can implement these ideas at home.