Sustainability simply means avoiding the depletion of natural resources so that future generations have the same access to nature as what is presently available. This is important in terms of investments because the natural resources that you invest in today should ideally provide the same if not more value in the future for the sake of better returns and sustaining life. So, it is more important than ever for humans to pursue more environmentally conscious ways of living and developing to create a better harmony within nature and to foster a higher quality of life – even in paradise.
There are many good reasons to have a place to call home in Yoko Village, and one that stands out is so you can rest assured that you are part of a community that seeks to mitigate our impact on the environment and lessen the effects of climate change.
How is Yoko Village planning to reduce environmental impact and enhance natural resource value?
One of the biggest environmental issues facing Santa Teresa, and other rapidly developing areas, is the lack of proper wastewater management systems. Septic systems can be really inefficient over time if they aren’t maintained properly or if there isn’t enough space for the effluent to dilute, and many greywaters (from sinks, showers, and washers) end up discharged onto the land untreated. Yoko Village intends to maximize the opportunity of being a community by centralizing the wastewater treatment system and using an aerobic process to treat both black water and grey water at the same time.
Aerobic wastewater treatment systems have many benefits, they are:
- highly efficient
- more effective
- typically have less odors
- have a longer lifetime than septic systems
Another great benefit is that this system produces usable byproducts: biosolids and treated irrigation water. The intention is that these byproducts would be re-circulated back into the community to generate new life: The biosolids would be used in the composting process to fertilize the organic farm and landscaping, and 100% of the treated water would be used to irrigate the crops and landscaping with. This way, Yoko Village would prevent any wastewater pollution and instead contribute to healthier soils and a cleaner watershed for everyone.
Solid Waste Management
Yoko Village intends to make compost from all of the organic matter that is produced within the community. Food scraps, yard debris, treated biosolids from blackwater, and other organic materials are the basis of healthy soils, and when these materials are composted and spread onto the land, much less methane is produced; in fact, carbon is sequestered into the soil instead of released into the atmosphere! This process in turn produces healthy and vibrant food for the community, and directly reduces global warming.
It was only recently that Santa Teresa and the surrounding areas became equipped to recycle thanks to a partnership between Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper (a local environmental non-profit) and Bionic; we can now recycle glass, aluminum, tetrabrik, and three types of plastic. Yoko Village would like to form a partnership with these organizations to establish a routine recycling pick-up for the community. In this way, when we recycle as well as compost, we would be diverting 50% of total solid waste from landfills.
Landfill waste (that which cannot be recycled or composted) is inevitable in any community. Unfortunately, it is also the most pervasive waste. Yoko Village intends to put sorting systems in place within the community that will aid in reducing the amount of non-landfill waste that ends up in landfills.
Biodiverse Farming: The Yoko Village farm plan includes permaculture and regenerative organic farming practices to incorporate a high level of biodiversity and facilitate healthy soils. The goals of these agricultural practices are to build up the land with use, rather than extract the nutrients of the land with use.
Farm-to-table Restaurant: The produce that would be grown on the farm at Yoko Village would feed the farm-to-table restaurant. This restaurant intends to serve food that is produced locally and sustainably, and it features mostly organic food.
Zero-waste Market: Produce grown locally and at Yoko Village could be purchased in the community market along with bulk food and other “naked food” items to eliminate plastic and landfill waste.
Community Produce Boxes: Produce grown locally and at Yoko Village, as well as bulk food items from the market, could be distributed in the community produce box program. Boxes would be delivered to your door, and the containers would be picked back up from your doorstep, similar to the milkman concept.
Throughout the development of Yoko Village, high concern is intended to be taken for preserving natural landscapes, rare species, migratory paths, and critical ecosystem functions. The plan to accomplish this is by transplanting vegetation and wildlife habitats where construction would take place, rehabilitating eroding land, and maintaining native species and other keystone species wherever possible.
Once development has finished, the intention is to restore any broken land with native and edible vegetation to attract biodiversity, replant wildlife corridors, connect any broken tree canopy, and ultimately educate future residents about our wildlife and how to treat them so they will continue to provide benefits to our natural resources at Yoko Village.
Low-impact Building Materials
The use of natural fibers and materials provides a warm and inviting aesthetic to spaces, and it also offers an opportunity to reduce the production of greenhouse gases and other harmful environmental toxins. Concrete use is intended to be reduced as much as possible, and carbon storing materials such as wood and other natural fibers would be used in place of synthetic and carbon-intensive materials.
Once the homes have been built, they are planned to be equipped with energy-efficient appliances and low-impact furniture. There are plans to include options for the home to collect rainwater to further reduce well water consumption and provide water security for homeowners. The rainwater harvesting systems would include filters and connections to readily supply household appliances such as sinks, toilets, showers, and washers with purified harvested rainwater.
There’s plenty of room for improvement…
Yoko Village environment and sustainability team will continue to monitor and assess opportunities to increase the sustainability and long-term effectiveness of our natural resources. It is our goal to maintain the value of our ecosystems well into the future, so the kids of Yoko Village have the same access to nature in the future when they grow up as we do now.
If you have any questions or comments related to the environmental protection plans of Yoko Village, don’t hesitate to reach out. Please feel free to let us know what you are excited about, concerned about, and curious about, and we will do our best to respond with high-quality answers. If you would like more details on any of the plans described above, we are happy to elaborate.
Let’s make a healthy impact together!