HOW WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Using Renewable Energy Sources - Hydroelectric Turbine System
Rio Magnolia generates 100% of its electricity from the water in Rio Magnolia. "Hydropower consumes no natural resources, produces no emissions, and creates zero waste." Our electrical power is produced by a renewable energy source, the river Magnolia, which runs through our property. A 12 kW hydro-electric system provides all of the electricity to the Lodge and is distributed to the various buildings by buried cable, protecting the wildlife.
To minimize our electrical consumption, we have built a solar dryer for drying our bed and table linens. It also houses our organic garden. Produce that we don’t grow in our garden, we purchase from local farmers and from the weekly feria (farmer’s market) in San Isidro.
Promising Protection and Focusing on our Eco-footprint
Our Costa Rica eco lodge / ecotourism project is located near the small rural town of La Alfombra. Our commitment to protecting the environment is reflected in a number of initiatives. Out of our 110 hectar (280 acre) property, 90 hectares are primary and secondary rainforest, which we protect. The balance is pasture, where we have some cows and horses. This year we have been approved to participate in a conservation program whereby its 84 hectares of natural forest are protected for the mitigation of greenhouse gases, the protection of the water resources and the preservation of the biodiversity and ecosystem. We are also beginning a program to reforest 3 hectares of pasture. Portions of the pasture have already been reforested with cedro, a fast growing relative of mahogany. On the some of the steep pasture slopes we have planted cana india which readily grows from cuttings and helps stabilize the soil to prevent erosion. We have also planted about 5000 shade coffee plants with fruit and poro trees intermingled to provide shade as well as habitat for some species of birds. Hummingbirds particularly like the flowers of the poro trees. We offer low-impact tourism activities such as; birding, walking, and hiking. Our trails through the rainforest and farm were built with minimum impact to the surroundings. Our mission is to conserve our forest and the wildlife living here. We are located in the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor, which was developed by a conservation group called ASANA, friends of nature. This biological corridor of forests allows habitat for the movement of wildlife.
Supporting Our Community
Our ecotourism project is located near the small rural town of La Alfombra. Our staff have all been hired locally bringing income to families in La Alfombra and San Cristobel and also providing them with training and work close to home. We buy from the local pulperias (small grocery stores) and fruit and vegetable stands as much as possible.
Four years ago we started a recycling for the town. We painted and marked barrels for cans, plastic and glass bottles and placed them outside of the local pulperia and at the Lodge. It is a huge success. Once a week we pick up the recycle and take it to a recycling centre near San Isidro del General, about 20 km away. As the town does not have any garbage collection, the recycling program has helped in reducing the amount of garbage (especially plastic) burned or brought into town, which is difficult for most as they do not have transportation. Most of the Costa Ricans in the area are farmers with modest income. They are extremely good at re-purposing food and beverage packaging and have taught us many things about reducing our garbage. Our organic waste is composted for later use in our gardens. The Lodge has helped the local public school on their science project by donations to help them attend the science fair in San Jose. A group from the school monitored the birds in the area for a few years and were able to find 158 species of birds living here. They won first prize! We keep a copy of their report at the Lodge. click here to view a copy - 2.7mb