In December last year I adventured to Costa Rica, to a coastal town called Nosara, located on the North Pacific Coast of the Nicoya Peninsula in Guanacaste about 100 miles west of the capital, San Jose.
Whilst being a paradise with its beaches and wildlife it was the little things you noticed from spending a longer period of time here that excited me.
Its conscious endeavours and inclusive community.
I wanted to share a few of the key things that stood out to me.
Facebook Community Page
Although many parts of the world have a page like this what was so wonderful to see was that everyone I met used it, not just a small proportion of a community like we often see in the UK.
Even as a holiday maker the first thing I was instructed to do on arrival was to sign up to the Nosara page so if I needed anything whilst I was there or wished to find something specific the community could help.
I quickly realised I had forgotten a UK/US adaptor and within minutes an English guy named Tommy had told me I could come and borrow one of his, a short distance from where I was staying.
The effect of a community page well used I believe is far reaching as it means more is borrowed rather than bought new or found a new home rather than ending up in landfill. It also keeps a community engaged with one another and the big topics on discussion in the area where everyone has a chance to voice their thoughts.
Loo paper in the bin
I realised that in the UK and in fact most countries putting loo paper down the loo is a habit, which I don’t imagine we ever think to question. Why not place it in the bin? It saves it from ending up in the sea as yet something else to break down and also makes us far more conscious to the fact that if we don’t put loo paper down the loo why on earth would we contemplate putting anything else down there like cotton buds or tampons?!
It is rare to go to a coastal destination anywhere and not find a café or hotel on the beach. The wonderful thing about this small part of Costa Rica is that there is a building restriction that means nothing can be built within 200 metres of the beach. This means uninterrupted beach coastline and jungle behind it that supports the animals that live there. Such a simple decision that protects the beauty and value of a place.
Whether you are buying a smoothie or some lunch 95% of what you are eating is made from ingredients grown within Costa Rica.
This means not only are you getting food that is nourishing and made with ingredients that haven’t travelled half way round the world, you are supporting the local economy.
Additionally over it was great to see that at least 50% of the clothes and jewellery was produced locally or vintage/second-hand.
Minimal Plastic Use
In a world swimming in plastic, one of the nicest surprises was the fact that I only came across throwaway packaging once in my trip, and even this was home compostable. If you buy a juice they are sold in glass bottles and if you return them they are reused.
I admired and fell in love with this community of people whose passion for positive change and the healing of the planet was palpable and visible at every turn.
Small communities have the ability to inspire us with great ideas which we can replicate far and wide if only we stop to notice and listen and make protecting the planet our number one priority.