Eco Rating Saladero Lodge
Name of property: Saladero Eco Lodge
Person completing this form: Harvey and Susan Woodard
Address of property: Northeast corner of the Golfo Dulce adjacent to the Rio Esquinas, 30-40 minutes by boat from Golfito or Pto Jimenez
Country Costa Rica
Phone number including country code and area code: 506-8721-0425 Costa Rica, 561-283-1947 US
Web site: Saladero Ecolodge
Type of property: Eco Lodge
Number of rooms or cottages: 3 cabins
Maximum number of guests: 14
Eco ratings, certifications, awards: Eco Rating at Eco Tropical Resorts 4.2, IStayGreen 4 leaves
1. Do you have a written environmental or social sustainability policy? YES
If yes, please attach.
2. Do you have a written environmental management system? YES
If yes, please attach.
3. Describe the property – aim, size, facilities, amount of land owned and leased (150 words max)
Saladero Lodge is an eco lodge located in an environmentally sensitive area of Costa Rica, the primary rainforest of the Piedras Blancas National Park and fronting on the protected waters of the Golfo Dulce.
There are 480 acres of privately owned property, 30 acres of tropical gardens includes the 3 rental cabins, owners cabin, caretakers cabin and workshop. The remaining 450 acres is primary rainforest
3. Describe the location, including distance to nearest town and size of town (100 words max)
Saladero is located 30-40 minutes by boat from either Pto Jimenez or Golfito. We are located at the Northeast corner of the Golfo Dulce.
Golfito population is about 6,000 people and Pto Jimenez is about 3,000.
4. Describe WHY you made the decision to develop an eco resort (100 word max)
We had been coming to Costa Rica for over 15 years and love the country and the people. We longed for a simpler and more sustainable lifestyle and decided in 2005 to move here.
Introduction to the Butterfly Club’s Eco Rating
The Butterfly Club Eco Rating has five equally-weighted categories:
(3) Recycling and waste;
(4) Land and nature conservation; and
Each category has five levels, designated by one to five butterflies. Through self assessment, resort operators completing this rating will determine their own levels within each category based on their responses to items listed below.
Two categories – energy and water – have similar rating systems with Levels 1 and 2 addressing conservation of existing resources, and Levels 3, 4 and 5 addressing creation of renewable energy or capturing water.
Level five in every category also requires written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record consumption; (2) test and apply additional conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific targets. We require a copy of your policies if you achieve level 5 in any category.
Eco Rating Saldero Lodge Energy
Levels 1 and 2 – conservation: Check all that apply:
_X__ use natural air circulation and fans, not air conditioners
__X_ use natural light during the day
__X_ minimize use of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines and equipment
__X_ use “on demand” or solar heating for hot water
__X_ air dry clothes/linens
__X_ wash dishes by hand
__X_ use energy efficient appliances and electronics
__X_ use low wattage fluorescent or LED light bulbs
__X_ change linens, tablecloths, napkins upon request
__X_ switch off lights when not used
Other energy conservation activities? Please list:
All unused electrical appliances are unplugged when not in use
Water is heated with a completely passive solar system. Backup is gas on demand. Two of our cabins are illuminated with solar lanterns.
Level 1 = four or fewer energy conservation activities
Level 2 = five or more energy conservation activities
Levels 3, 4 and 5 – renewable energy: Indicate proportion (%) of energy from each source:
___ public utility
Other energy sources? Please list:
Wood fired bread oven and bbq. All wood is naturally fallen limbs.
How were these proportions developed? All buildings have Solar power. One building has a mini hydro in addition to the solar panels that provides 165 watts continuous.
Level 3 = renewable energy is employed and is less than 1/3 of all energy
Level 4 = renewable energy constitutes 1/3 – 2/3 of all energy
Level 5 = renewable energy constitutes 2/3 or more of all energy. In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record energy consumption; (2) test and apply additional energy conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific energy targets.
Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Energy Level 5 (required).
Your Energy Level (select 1 – 5) = 5
Eco Rating Saldero Lodge Water
Levels 1 and 2 – conservation: Check all that apply:
_X_ low flow faucets and showerheads
__X low water use toilets (Rocks in the tanks)
__X change linens, towels, tablecloths, and napkins upon request
_X__use table mats that can be wiped and not laundered
_X_ use biodegradable laundry detergent, dish soap and hand soap
_N/A_ treat swimming pool with chlorine-free processes
Other water conservation activities? Please list.
Dishcharge water from the pelton directly back into the stream.
Level 1 = three or fewer water conservation activities
Level 2 = four or more water conservation activities
Levels 3, 4 and 5 – capture and treat fresh water and manage waste water. Capture water: Indicate proportion (%) of water from each source:
___ reuse gray
___ public utility
Other water sources? Please list.
Fresh water treatment: how is captured fresh water treated?
__X_ naturally. Indicate method: The spring water goes through a sand filter and the drinking water is UV treated.
___ chemically. List chemicals used:
Waste water management:
__X_ septic tanks
___ other? List methods:
Grey water is directed to a dry well, naturally filtered through gravel and a filter cloth before returning to the ground water.
Level 3: Water is captured (from springs, rivers, rain or prior use) and constitutes less than 1/3 of water from all sources. Water is treated chemically. Water disposal does not minimize damage to coral reefs and rain forests
Level 4: Captured water constitutes 1/3 to 2/3 of all water. Water is treated naturally. Water disposal minimizes damage to coral reefs and rain forests
Level 5: Captured water constitutes more than 2/3 of all water. Water is treated naturally. Water disposal minimizes damage to coral reefs and rain forests. In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record water consumption; (2) test and apply additional water conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific water targets.
Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Water Level 5 (required).
Your Water Level (select 1 – 5): 4
Eco Rating Saldero Lodge Recycling and waste
Check all that apply:
__X_ use durable service items, e.g. cups, glasses, dishes, tableware, storage items
__X_ buy fresh and local to reduce packaging and emissions from transportation
__X_ purchase in bulk to reduce packaging
_X__ recycle steel, glass, plastic, aluminum
_X__ minimize emissions from fossil-fuel powered vehicles, machines & equipment
___ zero waste in the kitchen
_X__ serve local water, not bottled water
__X_ cleaning products are biodegradable
_X__ compost organic matter
Other methods to recycle waste? Please list.
By growing many of our fruits and vegetables we eliminate packaging.
By making our own natural juices and yogurt we eliminate packaging.
Other soft drinks or beer provided are returnable glass bottles. Milk cartons are recyclable tetra paks.
We raise our own chickens for meat and eggs. Besides being organic this eliminates packaging and emissions from transportation.
No chemical fertilizers are used. Only chicken manure tea.
We use reusable supermarket bags and reusable plastic cartons. (Plastic cartons provided free from supermarket)
Level 1 = four or fewer recycling activities
Level 2 = five recycling activities
Level 3 = six recycling activities
Level 4 = seven recycling activities
Level 5 = eight or more recycling activities. In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record recycling and waste; (2) test and apply additional recycling and waste conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific recycling and waste targets.
Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Recycling and Waste Level 5 (required).
Your Recycling and Waste Level (select 1 – 5): 4
Eco Rating Saldero Lodge Land and nature conservation
Check all that apply:
__X_ minimize tree removal when building
___ use only botanical (plant-based) herbicides & pesticides in garden & grounds
_X__ maintain organic gardens as food source for resort
__X_ use biodegradable cleaning products
_X__ minimize external illumination
_X__ take additional specific actions to preserve the local habitat.
_X__ Landscaping with native plants
Please list actions
Saladero Lodge consists of 480 acres of privately owned land. 450 acres of primary rainforest is protected by us and is part of the Piedras Blancas National Park. No hunting, cutting of trees or even entry without permission is allowed.
We work closely with the Parks department and have provided financial assistance to the field office for boots and food. We are developing a brochure about the rainforest to sell to tourists. Proceeds to benefit the Piedras Blancas National Parks through purchase of much needed supplies like boots and night vision glasses.
In 2012 we will implement installation of cameras through Yaguar. S.A. to document the different species, their movements and the number of ?animals living in the park. Especially targeted will be the quantity and movement of endangered cats between the Corcovado National park and Piedras Blancas National Park.
All guests are given a complimentary tour of the property with an emphasis on the value of the primary rainforest, the symbiotic relationships that affect all aspects of a healthy rainforest, endemic and endangered species and an introduction to tropical plants and foods.
In the future we are hoping to organize with some of the other lodges in the Golfo Dulce to address common goals regarding community projects and promotion of ourselves as sustainable and unique destinations.
Level 1: one or two land and nature conservation activities
Level 2: three land and nature conservation activities
Level 3: four land and nature conservation activities
Level 4: five land and nature conservation activities
Level 5: six or more land and nature conservation activities. In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record land and nature conservation activities; (2) test and apply additional land and nature conservation methods; and (3) work towards specific land and nature conservation targets.
Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Land and Nature Conservation Level 5 (required).
Your Land and Nature Conservation Level (select 1 – 5): 4
Eco Rating Saldero Lodge Community
This category addresses policies and activities regarding staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the community.
Check all activities that apply:
_X__ hire staff residing near the resort 100 ___% local nationals
__X_ use local suppliers 95___% purchased goods produced locally
__X_ re-invest resort income locally 100___% income re-invested locally
__X_ pay above local prevailing wage
_X__ pay into local social security
__X_ provide health insurance or coverage
__X_ use regular staff meetings to educate staff about sustainable processes throughout the resort, in the garden, with waste disposal, etc
__X_ provide educational awareness programs for staff, guests, suppliers and other members of the local community
___ provide sustainable transport to work for staff
__X_ take additional specific actions to support the local community. Please list actions and projects.
Saladero Lodge is 30-40 minutes by boat from the nearest town. We provide employment in a remote and work impoverished area of Costa Rica. Without employment our employees had a very basic subsistence living. Before we opened 5 years ago none had refrigeration or lighting in their homes, telephones or in some cases, boats with motors to go to town.
By introducing sustainable and best practices to our employees it has influenced their families as well. A small community in a remote area now recycles, composts and purchases more with the environment and the future in mind. They normally go to Golfito every two weeks for groceries, not Pto Jimenez where the recycle center is so we are the collection point and provide the boat transport for them to be able to recycle.
The local one room schoolhouse (because it is so remote) is required by the school district to be maintained by the parents of the students. The parents cannot afford paint (at $40 per gallon) so our project last year was to paint inside the school and build new desks to replace the old termite ridden ones. This coming year we will repair/replace some doors and paint the outside.
This 2012 season we are introducing stainless steel drink containers we will “loan” to guests while here to eliminate more plastic bottles.
We encourage guests to bring Spanish/English books for the children.
My wife Susan teaches English to the students and also to our cook when we do not have guests.
___ Have enrolled your staff in any personal green training/certification schemes such as ecohelpline.com green leaf certification.
Level 1: one or two community activities
Level 2: three to five community activities
Level 3: six to seven community activities
Level 4: eight to nine community activities
Level 5: ten or more community activities. In addition, there are written sustainability policies or environmental management systems to: (1) monitor and record community activities; (2) test and apply additional methods to support the community; and (3) work towards specific community targets.
Attach a copy of your policies if you achieve Community Level 5 (required).
Your Community Level (select 1 – 5): 4
YOUR OVERALL ECO SCORE (add your level for each category and divide by 5and enter the result with the decimal point, e.g. 3.6): 4.2
We have three final questions which are not part of the eco rating:
1. Please describe your single most important eco achievement:
Elimination of garbage burial, restoration of mangrove area where garbage was thrown originally and implementing a recycling program amongst our neighbors.
2. Indicate additional sustainable practices that you plan to institute within the next 6 months.
Improve our purchasing to lower non-recyclable waste.
Camera monitoring of animals in the Piedras National Park.
Providing Financial support to the Piedras Blancas National Park through the sales of the rainforest brochure.
3. Is there anything else you would like to add to this eco rating?
Thank you for the incentive to put into writing the policies that we live by and the opportunity to be introspective on how we can improve.