Our Commitment

 

Our commitment with the environment

Bio Caribe: sustainable residential community

Certification for Sustainable Tourism

Since 1998, when we began our project at Tree House lodge, we have always had several important goals in mind: to leave the minimum possible trace of our existence and to be as ecofriendly and sustainable as a small eco lodge could. Since the beginning of our adventure at the Iguana Foundation and the tree house lodge, we have concentrated on an ambitious plan of recycling and regeneration, social consciousness and education.

The Certificate for Sustainable Tourism is a globally recognized program sponsored by the Costa Rica Tourism Board that seeks to categorize and certify tourism companies on a scale from one to five leaves according to the degree to which its operations contribute to a model of sustainability (five being the most sustainable). Its main purpose is to improve the way in which the natural and social resources are managed, to motivate the active participation of the local communities, and to support the competitiveness of the business sector.

As the phenomenon of “green washing” becomes more prevalent, more and more discerning travelers are turning to certification programs like this to be able to recognize hotels that are truly committed to contributing to the social and natural well-being of the communities where they operate. CST, being one of the oldest, most rigorous and comprehensive sustainability certifications in the world, has gained more and more support worldwide

The CST, regarded as the strictest and most demanding program in the world for verifying the sustainability of hotels, eco resorts and tour operators, awards from one to five “green leaves” to those entities which participate in the program. As of the end of 2012, there are approximately 212 hotels and 65 tour operators which are certified by the CS

The Costa Rica Tree House Lodge is an active member of several associations that work for the benefit of the community in areas such as infrastructure, culture, education, health, security, sustainable tourism and environment protection. Some of the associations that the tree house lodge plays an active participation and or board member ship with are : Arechipu ( our local association in charge of the beach surveillance program), Colac, ( this organization is a local committee and Governmental organization to achieve better standard of living in the community and legal support), Adecomaga (local development Association which comes up for the interests of the members within the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife refuge). Adela ( Association against petrol activity on the Southern Caribbean coast). Cooperativa Talamanca Sostenible ( cooperation supporting alternative energy alternatives in Talamanca)

Tree House Lodge Sustainable Initiatives:

When visiting natural areas in general, always remember:

Tree House lodge prohibits the feeding of any animal. As cute as an animal can appear, please do not feed them, this will interrupt their natural habitat and habits and can infect them with viruses or bacteria. Moreover, it will cause these animals to become dependent on humans.

· It is prohibited at Tree house lodge to hunt any wild animals. Please report any illegal or strange activity you might see along the trails, around the hotel or in its surrounding areas.

· Remember to leave natural areas pristine and beautiful. Do not leave any trash behind during your visit.

· Tree House lodge prohibits the extraction of any flora out of protected areas or nearby beaches. Please do not take any samples of plants, branches, flowers or seashells that you might find in our paths, nature trails or along the sand, no matter how beautiful they may appear.

· Keep your eyes down while walking. Be mindful of your step.

· When you want to look at something, stop moving! Look before touching.

We also want you to know that:

· We get our water by gravity, so no energy is wasted for this purpose

· Our water is heated with solar panels on the roofs, the water is stored in isolated tanks for use

· Our septic tanks is kept clean applying bacteria to break down all the organic residues

· All the detergents used in our laundry building are biodegradable

· All the cleaning materials are biodegradable

· Our septic tanks is kept clean applying bacteria to break down all the organic residues

· Our wastewater is cleaned by water lilies.

· We produce our own organic fertilizer using worms to make the compost

· No insecticides and pesticides are used at the lodge

· No animal feeders are used by the lodge

· We recycle our waste in different categories: glass, paper and carton, plastic bottles, plastic bags, cans, chemical waste (batteries and lamps), organic waste for compost, organic rest waste and general rest waste

· The lights on the trails are low and pointed towards the slope, to minimize impact on the fauna

· Natural light is used for illumination of our buildings, saving a lot of electricity

· We are reforesting as much as we can at other location owned by the same management

· Local employees are involved as much as possible, preferable from the province of Limon, if not other areas close by.

· We work only with local guides

· The lodge provides environmental education and explain our sustainable practices to schools in the region

· We participate in local and community events

· The iguana foundation is open to every body

· Local small businesses are preferred when buying food, crafts and services such as tourism, transportation, furniture design, craft making and other hotel structures, generating economic stability for the surrounding communities.

· Our gift shop sells products from small local businesses, crafts made of recyclable materials, crafts from native groups, crafts from entrepreneur local women, organic products, and products from associations that work to protect the environment.

· Zero tolerance policy towards activities related to sexual trade, sexual exploitation of minors, prostitution or drug trafficking. If such activities are detected, they will be reported.

· Water saving programs

· We implemented a water saving program in the hotel.

· We care about Energy saving programs

· We implemented a solid waste management programs such as recycling Creating awareness for our guests.

· We offer a library with information about the flora and the fauna of Costa Rica at the reception

· Also at the reception we offer brochures promoting natural protected areas in Costa Rica

· In the reception you find an information board (called the Green Corner)

· Our tour and activities are so selected to that our guests can interact with the surrounding natural environment and the community