Our first day of this exciting trip has come to an end. Today we visited the EARTH University and if this was only Day 1 of Costa Rica, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the journey has in plan for us. We had quite a long bus ride to our destination but the beautiful scenery made up for it. Probably one of my favorite parts of the day?.
If I could explain this University all I could simply use is the word breathtaking. It is an 8,340 acre property with 400 students who incorporate many aspects of sustainability into their studies, but also into their life. We learned about some of the ways they handle their biohazardous waste and recyclable materials on campus.
After visiting and learning about EARTH’s waste management practices we continued our tour through the forest. We hiked up, down and through the beautiful forests of EARTH University and were greeted with heavy, and random, rainfall. Contrary to popular opinion, getting rained on was the best aspect of the tour for me. Back home we don’t really get exposed to such scenery and environments so it felt like I was on a different planet. It’s crazy to think the students here do this everyday. It was really interesting to see the agricultural systems that the students of EARTH practice. We learned about the “punching bag” system of growing produce which is a huge plastic bag, similar to a punching bag, filled with substrate of coconut fibers, rice husk, and charcoal. They use this mixture as a substitute to soil and it is highly efficient! The mixture, or the “waste” is used as compost too (fun fact). The students also showed us that they sometimes use empty soda cans in the substrate or soil to hold the roots of the plants firmly. This just shows you that “waste” is not necessarily an inconvenience. We can actually incorporate and utilize the waste we generate into our agricultural practices quite easily. I think this is a practice that I will definitely present to our Sustainability Club regarding our campus garden.
Besides the beautiful scenery, I was very excited to see new animals like baby sloths and monkeys or even cute weird lizards but instead I run into a random black?. I guess it is a special black cat because it is a Costa Rican black cat.
Fingers crossed for more animals, rain, and beautiful environments. I am also looking forward to our tour of the banana plantations because they are my favorite.