Tuesday, June 7, 2016
So I've been noticing a pattern in the Tican people that is truly inspiring and is something that if countries aren't strongly considering or practicing already should certainly be thinking twice about it. The people of Costa Rica (Ticos) are extremely frugal and do not like to waste, and try to waste the least amount of whatever it may be. Almost everywhere I've been there are recycling bins instead of trash cans and they are designated by material such as plastic, actual waste, paper, etc to make recycling easier. They are very efficient as well in conserving energy. I realized this yesterday when I was in the Lincoln Plaza mall in downtown San Jose with some friends and the escalator was going very slow until it was in use was when it would speed up so that it was not wasting energy when it wasn't in use. Also paper napkins at restaurants in CR are very small, unlike the US where paper napkins are huge and create significant amounts of waste. Even if I were to take and use just a few of their small napkins I'm sure it is a fraction of what I would use if I were to visit any restaurant in the states. Here in Costa Rica they seem to only take what they need rather than create excess and waste. Same goes for food. Not only is it disheartening to a Tican if you do not eat their food, it also seems to be frowned upon to waste perfectly good food. So for anyone who is considering travelling to Costa Rica take only what you know you can eat and don't let the cook know if you didn't like something because they might be extremely offended by either or both. By practicing the mindset that less is more I think the US in general or major cities such as Cleveland could learn a thing or two about conservation and significantly reducing waste. Landfills can only hold so much garbage and waste into the whole world becomes the landfill. I've also seen a lot of biodegradable containers and such which is not uncommon in the states but in my opinion, should be more enforced. Plastics and other complex materials take so many years to break down sitting in a landfill and is not good nor ideal for anyone. This past weekend I stayed in a hotel in Monteverde called Hotel Arco Iris where almost all the food included from breakfast was provided from fruits, vegetables, and animals that were being harvested and farmed on their land. I know this is not the case for all countries because Costa Rica seems like it will grow just about anything where seeds are dropped into the soil. However it is possible to be sustainable in other countries and grow what the land will allow to thrive. Farming is a chore and can sometimes be expensive, and in the US everything seems to be about convenience. If everyone were to provide more for themselves and create a better relationship with the land to thrive off of it would be much more ideal. It would also potentially reduce some of the major issues such as genetically modified organisms (GMO's), where exactly your food is coming from and how it is handled which also entails animal cruelty. These topics have recently become very popular and people are starting to realize that that's not how they want the food they consume everyday to be handled or cared for. Therefore, I purpose the simple solution of growing your own food whatever that may be even if you start with just one plant or animal and become partially or fully reliant on the what the Earth can provide to you. Before that is totally possible we must focus on caring for our planet to assure our air, soil, water are clean and conservation is one step closer to achieving this. We only have one Earth and we must keep it safe, clean, and protected. Over the years there has been so much expansion of knowledge and population which in return makes it more difficult to care for our Earth in the way we should. Despite all these things it is possible and it most certainly doesn't hurt to learn from others who seems to be much more considerate about how fragile our Earth can really be and want to do the best that they can to preserve it.