Costa Rica, when this country comes to mind some people think of the beach, some think rain forest, and maybe some of the simple-minded think about monkeys. I could almost bet natural resource conservation is not something that crosses your mind, but it should. Costa Rica is one of the most resourceful countries.
Or as Ambassador Cedeño Molinari succinctly said
One hundred percent of all the inputs and all the raw materials for all industrial and economic processes to produce all the products and services that we use come from the environment. One hundred percent. It’s not a fraction; it’s all of them.
While we were visiting Costa Rica, I got to experience many ways that they were able to re-use waste products, not only trash, but manure from farms that would be reused for fertilizer in the future. In January, 2016 the Texas A&M Soltis Center received 18.5 inches of rain for the whole month. The first 10 days we were there in January 2017, the Soltis Center received 18.7 inches of rain. This was a record-setting amount of rain.
While we were traveling, and exploring Costa Rica we crossed many bodies of water that were rushing with an outstanding amount of power. We did some thinking and, what if those farms did not dispose of their waste properly? Well, the downstream effect would take place and all the water would be polluted. The country would experience so much compost and diluted materials in the water that would affect not only animals, but farmers using the river water as well.
I enjoyed traveling and exploring Costa Rica. One thing that stood out to me that is not very common here in the United States, is the amount of recycling centers they have set up. Every restaurant, including the Soltis Center kitchen, had a place to dispose of food scraps, plastic, and paper. But, it doesn’t stop there instead of having normal trash cans outside of super markets and gas stations, they had the recycling center. This absolutely amazed me! What if, just what if we had more recycle stations here in the United States? Would people use them, or would you continue to just throw everything in the trash because it is the most convenient?
With these thoughts in your head, what if I told you that there is absolutely no smoking allowed around the smalls towns. Crazy, right? I could not tell you the number of Prohibido Fumar (No Smoking) signs I saw in Costa Rica. These small but very impactful things that they do in Costa Rica that impacts the country tremendously.
So, let me leave you with this, after hearing the name Costa Rica, what will you think now? I know I had a completely different outlook on their conservation after our trip. Now I only hope that I can attempt to do half of the conservative tasks that are performed in Costa Rica while living in College Station.