Advocating for the Environment and Children
Sustainable tourism and Blue River Resort & Hot Springs are one in the same. We advocate sustainable tourism throughout Costa Rica. Not only are we an eco-friendly Costa Rican resort, but everything we offer showcases the natural surroundings which is pristine and awe-inspiring. So it is understandable that saving and protecting natural resources and the environment is part of our "eco" mantra. Maintaining a "green" ecological outlook means we are 100% committed to environmental practices that will sustain us and minimizes our impacts on the environment. A second responsibility that we have taken on is to target children in Costa Rica to educate them about the importance of ecology and sustainable environmental practices. Learn more here: Mission, Vision and Values
Certification in Sustainable Tourism (CST)
Blue River Resort & Hot Springs participates in the Certification in Sustainable Tourism Program (CST), which is a product of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT). CST is a way to differentiate our tourism model among other businesses based on the degree to which we comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management.
CST is regulated by the Costa Rica National Accreditation Commission and consists of a scale of 5 "levels" of sustainable tourism achievement. Each level is depicted as a leaf. In April 2011, Blue River Resort was accredited with one leaf and over time we expect to achieve the highest level of sustainable tourism.
CST requires structuring our activities to reduce and reuse the resources required to operate and maintain our business. This also requires choosing eco-friendly products. Costa Rica is a world leader in eco-travel. We also encourage participation and support from citizens and visitors alike. The owners and staff of Blue River Resort & Hot Springs are truly committed to sustainable tourism.
Costa Rica Definition of Sustainable Tourism
"The development of sustainable tourism must be seen as the balanced interaction between the use of our natural and cultural resources, the improvement of the quality of life among the local communities, and the economic success of the industry, which also contributes to national development. Sustainable tourism is not only a response to demand, but also an imperative condition to successfully compete now and in the future." (Definition by CST, 1997)
Costa Rica's CST represents a new form of competitiveness which encourages a tourism product that is sustainable, thereby opening new possibilities in the industry and international marketing. Additional benefits from sustainable tourism are the economic efficiencies.
Leading by Example
Blue River Resort & Hot Springs showcases one of Costa Rica's ecological jewels so we feel an obligation to lead by example. This requires commitment and dedication to discipline, integrity, team work, safety practices, honesty, responsibility, social values, solidarity, professionalism and friendliness. As a result, we will not only protect the Rincon de la Vieja mountain environment, we will teach and be a role model for sustainable tourism and social practices throughout Costa Rica and the world. Examples include:
- Products are recycled, biodegradable, returnable or recyclable. This includes the separation of garbage into glass, plastic, aluminum, paper, carton and organic products. All organic material becomes food for our compost pile, which is then maintained and used to fertilize our gardens. All fertilizers and pesticides are of organic nature to avoid harm to the environment.
- Natural mineral hot springs used for the pools flows back into the hot springs rivers.
- Water for washing and toilets and water used for cooking are separately treated. Clean water runs into a pond where we grow tilapia fish and that then runs into a creek.
- All organic material becomes food for our compost and then fertilizer in our gardens.
- Programs are practiced to conserve the consumption of water and electricity. Energy saving appliances and posted signs encourage and educate guests and staff about conservation practices.
- Office staff is converting to a paperless system. This means printing only as needed, using both sides of the page and recycling when printing is done.
- At the restaurants, reusable linen table cloths and napkins are offered to minimize the use of paper products.
- During tours we avoid disturbing wild life and plant life. This, of course is what tourists wish to view. Our ecologically responsible travel programs bring together the best components of Costa Rica.
- Respect and acceptance of the cultural practices, beliefs and values is shown to the locals and guests.
- Staff are selected for their belief in supporting the environment and trained to comply with environmental policies and practices. They teach our guests to discover the many natural wonders; but also model and educate a respect for environmental practices.
- Our suppliers are partners in good practices for environmental friendly programs. Those who show honest, ethical and sustainable commitment through their actions are given priority. All detergents and cleaning products in use throughout the hotel are certified biodegradable and eco-friendly.
- Clients are encouraged to take the lessons we model and practice sustainable environmental practices at home.
- Government laws and regulations are adhered to. This includes but is not limited to natural environments, cultural patrimony and business development. Volunteer programs that save time and resources will be practiced.
As part of responsible travel, sustainable tourism and ecotourism means knowing more about the destination's social, political and environmental issues. This will not only enhance your experience, it makes you a responsible consumer.
We hope this information adds to the richness of your experience in the jungle rainforest at Blue River Resort and Hot Springs. Part of promoting sustainable tourism comes with the hope you are able to incorporate these practices into your daily lives. Perhaps some of this advice may be easier to practice here than elsewhere, either when traveling or to at home. However, by supporting environmental tourism in the jungle hotel at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs, this will contribute to reducing the impact on our planet. So, be a responsible traveler while you are on vacation, and after you leave the rainforest jungle hotel of Blue River Resort & Hot Springs we hope you will also to have a positive impact on the other places you visit. Enjoy the rainforest, Rincon de la Vieja at the same time as contributing to the well being of communities and to the sustainable conservation of our planet!