Sustainability

All houses have been built with sustainability in mind.  They are filled with sculpted cement details and functional art made of natural materials.  Wood is almost entirely regional insect-resistant varieties, with some bamboo which is grown on the property.  All concrete was made with sand that washed down the creek, a truly renewable resource.  Beautiful and compostable palapa is used in the garden for privacy walls.

 

Glamping is a buzz-word these days, often rendered as glamorous camping. Senor Webster informs us that glamour is “an exciting and often illusory and romantic attractiveness,” and google adds “…seem(s) appealing or special”.  Glory, on the other hand, is “magnificence – great beauty and splendor.”

 Yes, that´s us!  Glorified camping.  Funny what skipping half the walls can do.

The words green and ecolodge are everywhere these days, and are often nonsense.  We once stayed in an “ecolodge” where they ignored the fact that a south facing tile roof with no solar panels turned the interior into an oven, then they ran a generator all day to run the hot water heater and fans, which barely cooled the joint.  Somehow they forgot to double up on machine time, as we woke the next morning to a noisy pump taking a few hours to fill their reservoir.  D’uh.

Contrast that to the intelligence of a desert design where a two story U-shaped house surrounds a shady north-facing courtyard where all windows open into, and a huge black chimney on the sunny south side creates a convection current which draws cool air in from the shady courtyard, allowing the house to be naturally cooled to 70 degrees F while the desert sun is beating at 110.

We believe that Casa Isabel lies between these two extremes.

Does the word eco-luxury belong in the same reality as a single-stage septic tank at the high tide mark?  Is eco-chic a wholesome and truthful approach or a trendy lure?  Ah, windbaggery…

If an ecolodge is sustainable and does not harm our environment, surely it is replete with appropriate technology to reduce our carbon and waste footprints, let alone feed us. Casa Isabel has a modest claim to green with our giant trees and lush garden and solar hot water and well-proven composting of poop, food waste and brush.  But the big picture?

Sustainability is the question.  How long can access to distance and goods continue as the norm in a global culture addicted to fossil fuels?  Countless individuals of many lifeforms have given way to accommodate how and where we are today.  Anyone contemplating jumping on a jet for a regenerative jaunt belongs to the huge class of privileged beings in our amazing world.

We are blessed beyond belief.

A Consumer Guide to Evaluating Eco-Lodges    

  1. Are pee and poop treated as (a) resources or (b) waste?
  2. What systems are in place to accommodate these inevitable and often problematic human by-products?
  3. If the answer for 1. was (b), is a single or double stage septic system used?  How far from water is the drainage field?
  4. Is grey water utilized on gardens or mixed into a septic system? (see 3.)
  5. What happens to food remainders?  Leafy garden prunings?  Woody garden prunings?
  6. Are toxic sprays used in the houses to kill insects?
  7. What packaging by-products are avoided or recycled?  What efforts are made to reduce contributions to regional landfills?
  8. Is hot water produced by the sun, electricity, or fossil fuels?
  9. Is electricity produced by the sun, hydro-electric, or fossil fuels?
  10. Are edible plants a substantial part of the landscaping?
  11. How far away do building materials come from?  What is their ratio of durability versus carbon footprint?

Explore Casa Isabel’s answers on our Amenities page…