From eco-friendly materials to hybrid vehicles and clean energy, we are inundated by calls to take responsibility for our environmental impact and reminded of the consequences of ignoring it. This global transition of environmental consciousness is becoming mainstream in every sector, including real estate.
Fortunately, going green doesn’t just have to be a feel-good trend, there is a compelling financial case to making your Nicaragua property more eco-friendly.
Let’s start with things to consider for your vacation home in Nicaragua:
Energy – Using renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal cooling systems will save you money on your bills from Union Fenosa (Nicaragua’s power company).
H2O – Collecting rainwater and recycling your grey water will drastically reduce utility costs and reliance on the local government supply.
Design – Orientating your house to take advantage of natural lighting, allowing for through ventilation and cooling breezes, while deflecting direct sun rays will all make a huge difference.
The bottom line is that logical housing solutions that are sustainable save money, no matter which country you reside.
And even if your property is already built, it’s not too late to “greenify” your Nicaragua property. Here are a few inexpensive and relatively easy suggestions that can be implemented into the Nicaraguan home you already own. We suggest you take this list one at a time rather than tackling it all once.
1. Instead of renting a car, encourage your guests to share an airport shuttle, catch one of the many beach shuttles from the local surf shops in town or share in public transportation.
2. Use fluorescent light bulbs to save energy and money. They can be difficult and expensive to find in Managua, but can easily be brought into the country.
3. Landscape your garden or terrace with native plants that require less water. There’s a great selection on offer at the local “vivero”, or nursery, in town.
4. Use organic housekeeping products and pest control. With a little baking soda, some lemons and vinegar, you might even consider making your own.
5. Add weather stripping to your doors and windows, especially if you have A/C. Wooden door and window frames oscillate with the extreme sunshine and moisture, leaving gaps in the frames. Weather stripping will prevent cold air from leaking out and warm air from entering. In addition to saving money on electric bills, it will help keep the bugs out which your guests will appreciate.
6. Build a rainwater collection system to water your garden or fill your pool. With just a simple rain barrel, you’ll be surprised by how much water you can collect in the rainy season.
7. Use Energy Star rated appliances when it’s time to replace or upgrade your current appliances. There are Energy Star rated appliances in stock in Managua.
8. Compost. Everyone should compost. It’s so easy to do and it will make your garden flourish.
9. Don’t use the plastic bags handed out at Pali and the pulperias. Bring a few reusable grocery backs down for your guests to use. Or better yet, buy a reusable grocery bag made of old rice bags from Manos Unidas, the local cooperative for adults with disabilities in San Juan del Sur.
Article originally published on San Juan Live http://sanjuandelsur.org.