SUSTAINABILITY STARTS IN THE HOME
In the vacation rental business, sustainability is a responsibility shared between a homeowner, its property management company and their clients.
When all three aspects of the business are working in unison, positive results are tangible throughout our local communities. Now here’s a secret about sustainability: It can be subtle.
Rather than bombard clients with check-in speeches about why they absolutely must be sustainable on vacation. Dropping little hints throughout the house and in guest books regarding limiting water and energy usage, local recycling centres and composting procedures are often much more effective and appreciated.
So many of our visitors are eager to participate in practices that are positive for the environment; they just need the know-how to get things accomplished while they’re in town.
For tourists staying anywhere between the towns of Dominical and Uvita, the easiest trash and recycle centre to access is along the Costanera at Hotel Cuna Del Angel, which is located on the west side of the highway across from the entrance road to Bar Jolly Roger. The bins there are separated between trash on the right side and recycle on the left.
The same holds true from an ownership perspective. Shelling out big bucks for solar panels is going to sting on the front end. But things will pay off down the line in the form of lower electric bills, fewer power-less nights, positive guest reviews and, of course, carbon footprint. Not all purchases have to be major upgrades, either. Vegetable-based soaps and non-toxic insect sprays are a great touch at any rental property. Biodegradable trash bags are a nice bonus, too. You might be surprised at how many guests would notice gestures like that. Recycling stations for cans, bottles, paper and plastic are a must as well.
A major responsibility for any property manager is to meet — and hopefully, exceed — owners’ expectations, while also making guests as comfortable and satisfied with their vacation experience as possible. Sometimes it can be a balancing act, but it’s important to make sure things are always communicated in the proper way to maximize our message.
As the coastal communities continue to expand, across the board — locals, expats and tourists — we all have a responsibility to keep Costa Rica’s beauty and charm intact for many generations to come. Without question, that sustainability starts in the home.