Today we met Richard, the expert in sustainability.
Its role is to improve all departments, following the principles of energy saving, introducing new ideas, favoured by frequent dialogue with each sector.
Implementing a program to support the environment has always been the main purpose of the hotel, from the use of local materials to the choice of cooking only organic food.
We ask Richard:
“Something you’re very proud of?”
He answers us that Hotel Belmar has been part of Corclima for a long time, a group of companies and entities that aim to become carbon neutral, and their efforts to ensure that the whole town of Monteverde has the chance to pursuing the same goal.
“What does it mean to be carbon neutral?”
Being carbon neutral means not producing emissions.
In order to pursue this goal, the Hotel needed to buy a new land, to produce their own food, so they bought and built the Madre Tierra farm two years ago.
Controlling emissions is a complex calculation; there are 16 different CO2 emissions in the hotel, counting the kitchen, the production of renewable energy itself, the biodigester, the staff, to give some examples.
Richard continues to explain to us that each company has its responsibility in terms of “emissions”: it must be measurable and monitored in order to make a picture of their consumption.
Belmar is the first to take an interest about improving the structure and the quality of life for the hotel and the community.
Just for this reason, an annual report is prepared on the basis of which changes or adjustments are planned for existing solutions.
SOME SOLUTIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES
The Hotel has a biodigester, organic crops, high efficiency solar panels, which work well even during not sunny days.
They are still not satisfied with the batteries for energy conservation, still very polluting, so at the moment they are checking the news that the market can give for any changes.
The water you will find at the Hotel comes directly from a source, filtered, and checked every three months.
The black waters end up in the biodigester, the grey ones are poured into a dedicated garden where they are filtered through plants and micro-organisms.
Where ideas come from
Richard continues to explain and respond to our curiosity with a lively and passionate look.
“Which solutions do you expect in the future?”
The hotel continuously evaluates new solutions. One of them is the possibility of using rainwater or the one leaving the sinks to drain the toilet.
“Some ideas come from employees of various departments” he says proudly.
Every idea is evaluated and weighed and if they are deemed suitable, they are applied promptly.
For example, “From farm to table” was an idea of a restaurant employee, as was the planting of coffee plants in the farm or the use of cotton bags for laundry instead of plastic ones, the use of waste oil to produce biodiesel and soap: all these ideas come from different people.
Plastic is a big problem for everyone, and they are fighting it too, to use this material less and less (you will not find plastic straws in cocktails).
To counter the use of water bottles, the Hotel has made aluminium bottles, a material that highly beats plastic in matter of recycling, which can be purchased directly on site and used every day during your trekking.
The last stricture built, follows the principles of Permaculture:
reuse of water and rainwater collection, construction of terracing against soil erosion, use of local materials derived from responsibly managed forests, the supply of natural bath products.
The more the experience and the research in an environmental sphere continues, the more each structure is consciously realized, looking for concrete solutions to real problems.
The rooms are decorated with numerous plants, the design is simple, with the attention for refined details and the use of wood as a construction material makes the hotel a elegant place, completely losing the aura of pomposity that many, so called, “luxury” residences reveal.
Beauty is visible leaning from the terrace, when the sunset falls on the Cloud Forest and few birds cut the sky hovering in mysterious directions.