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.
The Tamarindo area’s first large-scale solar array, to provide most of our 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.
The first ozone laundry system in Guanacaste, which reduces laundry chemicals reaching our septic by 50% while sanitizing hundreds of times better, eliminates the need for hot water, and eliminates fabric softener and its unhealthy residues while leaving laundry much cleaner, healthier, and fluffier.
The first ozone swimming pool system in Guanacaste to ensure the cleanest, healthiest, least polluting pool on the coast, using the method preferred by bottled water companies. Ozone reduces chemical use over 90% while sanitizing up to 3,000 times better, and eliminates cloudiness, bloodshot eyes, skin irritation, damaged bathing suits and bleached or green hair.
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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SolarCasa 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. And they do! Before this roof, the monkeys sometimes threw the tiles off.
Like most beach properties in the world and most of Costa Rica, Casa de Luz is on septic not sewer, which means everything we flush or pour down the drains 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 or through our bodies impacting nature, but the impact can be minimized. To help the microbes work effectively and protect the environment, we’ve done four big things that we believe are unique on the beach, which in our case is the beach of a sensitive marine preserve:
- Chemical Avoidance
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.
- Ozone Laundry System
Casa de Luz was the first villa in the Tamarindo area to install an ozone system on our laundry. By using ozone to oxidize dirt, we reduce our laundry soap by over 50%, reduce our bleach by 90%, and completely eliminate fabric softener – much better for septic and the ocean! Ozone also eliminates the need for hot water, to save energy and reduce our carbon footprint.
Ozone sanitizes nearly 100x better than bleach while leaving fabrics fluffier and softer than fabric softener, so our linens and clothes are much healthier, containing no germs or chemical residues to irritate your skin – that “clean laundry” smell is actually an artificial chemical designed to smell good that can irritate you! No smell at all is much better for you and the earth.
We expect to save enough on water heating and chemicals to pay for the system in less than one year, while our guests enjoy better health and comfort and the planet enjoys our reduced eco-footprint. Technology that serves people, planet, and profits all at once – what can be better than that? Everyone should get this.
- Ozone Pool System
Casa de Luz was the very FIRST property in Guanacaste to convert our pool from chlorine to ozone! We now have the healthiest, cleanest, least polluting pool on Costa Rica’s entire Gold Coast, using the same disinfection approach preferred by bottled water companies.
Ozone allows us to reduce chlorine by 90%, which saves many pounds of irritating and poisonous pollutants evaporated into the atmosphere annually. Ozone does not affect pH like chlorine, which saves more pounds of chemicals typically used to adjust pH.
Ozone sanitizes up to 3,000 times better than chlorine and even kills chlorine-resistant microbes, so our pool water is healthier and safer. Our water is also clearer, because ozone flocculates (clumps together) iron and other minerals in the water so they can be easily filtered out.
Our super-clean water eliminates bloodshot eyes, skin irritation, and destroyed bathing suits. No more bleached or green hair!
Did you know that “salt pools” are really chlorine? They use electricity to crack salt molecules (sodium chloride) into sodium and chlorine, which enables the chlorine to oxidize organic compounds just like bleach from a bottle. Then the chlorine recombines with the sodium to convert back into salt. In contrast, ozone is an electrically-created molecule of 3 oxygen atoms, which is one of the strongest oxidizers known, but after doing its job it converts back into regular two-atom oxygen – which is of course what we need to breathe.
Only Casa de Luz cleans its pool like it was bottled water. So, would you rather swim in a pool full of oxygenated water, or noxious chemicals? Now you have a choice.
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 or plastic wastes. Please help us.
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 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.