Costa Rica: A leader and laboratory once again

April 20, 2012

From the print edition

Welcome to the new Sustainable Living section of The Tico Times! We hope you find it interesting and informative, but above all, useful.

In many ways, Costa Rica has been a laboratory for new ideas and new ways of doing things for Central America, and for developing nations in general. This has been true in politics, business, economic development and the environment.

Part of the reason for this is that Costa Ricans are well educated and adept at developing and applying new ideas; another is that Costa Rica has been a magnet for people  from other parts of the world seeking to try out new ideas or ways of living. 

The newest important trend in which Costa Rica is becoming a leader and laboratory is in the art of living sustainably; that is, with a low or positive impact on the natural environment, while respecting local culture and traditions. This art encompasses all aspects of living, from food to transportation, from energy to housing, from clothing to furniture, and from water supplies to waste disposal. The Costa Rican government’s pledge to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2021, while very ambitious, is an indication of the country’s commitment to this ideal.

Sustainable living is based on information and commitment in equal measures, and relies both on traditional knowledge and leading-edge science and engineering. It also poses a clear, over-arching challenge: Whereas it’s easy for individuals to attain incremental improvements toward sustainability, reaching the ultimate goal of ecological sustainability on a society-wide basis is an enormously difficult task. 

In Costa Rica, both the government and businesses are trying to lessen their environmental impacts on a larger scale, while throughout the country individuals and families are making a concerted effort to do so as well, aware that many small advances will equal a big impact. 

On both levels, sustainability is above all about sharing information and know-how. For this reason, The Tico Times has decided to create this forum to share information on sustainable living in both the print edition of the newspaper and on our website. 

The section will contain news articles and opinion pieces, written by both Tico Times staff and reader-contributors, and a readers’ forum to allow readers to share  ideas and images, and connect with other like-minded persons, both in Costa Rica and around the world.  It will also contain a classified directory, where readers can offer the services and products they provide.

The Sustainable Living section of The Tico Times is scheduled to be published once a month. However, our hope is that a positive reaction from readers and advertisers will enable us to publish more frequently, and to expand the size of the section. 

Please let us know what you think.

–Steve Mack

Editor, Sustainable Living

sustainable@ticotimes.net

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