Our Eco-Friendly Villa
Casa de Luz strives to be the Tamarindo area’s most eco-friendly villa rental and estate. We believe Casa de Luz is the only beach villa rental in the area that delivers ANY of the following, much less all of them:
- Massive energy efficiency & demand reduction to minimize energy footprint with a high-tech insulated roof, LED lighting, double-pane coated windows and distributed inverter ACs.
- Large-scale solar array to provide most of the electrical needs on-site and bank excess power for later use (25kW from 80 panels on 13 roof planes).
- Commitment to using/providing biodegradable household and personal cleaning products for every purpose possible instead of much cheaper harsh chemicals.
- Excess septic tank capacity and separate tanks for kitchen, laundry, and baths to optimize each waste stream’s processing before release to the environment.
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Casa de Luz has the first and only large-scale solar installation of any villa in the area. This combined with demand reduction investments, like a high-tech roof and all-LED lighting, allowed us to remove over half our former energy use from the grid, and we offset the equivalent carbon of 56 trees in our first month!
Our state-of-the-art solar array covers 13 different roof planes on the main mansion which delivers 25kW from 80 solar cells and uses 80 micro-inverters to avoid shading issues – that’s commercial scale. In Costa Rica, we “bank” solar power by selling energy to the grid when the estate is vacant and we get it back when a large event turns on all the air conditioners.
Under the solar array is a very different roof than 99.99% of Costa Rican homes. Only two homes in all of Guanacaste have it.
- First, it is insulated under the corrugated metal, which is very rare in Costa Rica, but it increases your comfort and cuts AC costs.
- Second, the roof is fully-encapsulated with a high-tech polymer on the exterior. The clay tiles are glued on instead of nailed, so there are zero roof penetrations that can leak. Thousands of potential leak points are on the typical roof of even the nicest home in Costa Rica, because they do not use this system.
In addition to increased comfort, no leaks, no critter entries and slashing air conditioning costs by 20%, our roof is much quieter than others. So, you won’t hear the monkeys and iguanas playing on it all night.
Most of Costa Rica is on septic not sewer like most beach properties in the world, which means everything we flush or pour down a drain in our beach villa rental goes back to nature in two steps:
- Natural microbes “digest” the waste in the property’s septic tank: this handles human wastes very well, but not complex chemicals from drain cleaners to cosmetics.
- The processed water is released to a drain field.
It is scientifically impossible to run septic without the chemicals washing off our bodies impacting nature, but the impact can be minimized. To help the microbes work effectively and protect the environment, we’ve done two big things that we believe are unique on the beach, which in our case is the beach of a sensitive marine preserve.
We “terminated Tide” and other harsh cleaning chemicals that harm the septic microbes and/or get released to the environment unprocessed, in favor of environmentally-friendly and biodegradable products. We even provide natural soaps, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for our guests, so you can help by minimizing the use of any chemicals you brought. No one needs makeup in Tamarindo; everyone is beautiful after a day or two at the beach! And please, put away conventional sunscreens and buy some “reef safe” sunscreen in town! 14,000 tons of suncreen annually are killing the world’s reefs.
Separate High-Capacity Tanks
We installed three extra septic tanks in addition to the original one. This allows us to process kitchen and laundry waste streams separately from bathrooms so each can be optimally neutralized, and it provides extra capacity to prevent any risk of an overfilled septic tank from releasing untreated water to the drain field during large group events.
Lighting and Light Pollution
We replaced every bulb we could find with LEDs (hundreds). If you find a CFL straggler that we missed, please let us know. And in case you wonder why our backyard lacks stunning designer lighting, we keep it intentionally dim to avoid light pollution. Strong lights along the beach can disorient sea turtles and cause them to go the wrong direction, which can kill them. The local Leatherback turtles are the world’s largest and oldest marine reptile and among the world’s most threatened species, so we don’t want to harm them with bright lights any more than with chemical waste.
Please Support Minimizing Our Eco-Footprint In This Seaside Jungle National Park
We try to be a neighborhood leader in fighting pollution and we always look for ways to reduce it. So, we don’t spray the yard for mosquitoes like some neighbors do. We don’t have many mosquitoes here naturally, because in our “dry jungle” climate the bats eat them. Bats eating mosquitoes that are poisoned with spray wrecks a food chain, which ends up causing more mosquitoes. Look for the bats flying here right after sunset. Don’t worry, they aren’t scary. We do try to stock bat-friendly candles that repel mosquitoes without hurting them, in case you are bothered.
Please, take a moment to consider the huge eco-footprints we leave in so many ways, and how you can participate in minimizing your footprint while here – and everywhere. We welcome you to our eco-friendly villa beach rental and we hope you enjoy becoming one with nature during your stay.