Eco Friendly Guide We are as concerned about the environment as you are. In our particular situation and because we are in a small semi-isolated island we need all the help we can get. We have the highest energy costs in the nation for which we ask all the help we can get from you. I will outline some of the things we are doing and some of the things we are going to shoot for. Hopefully, together and with time we will make it better for all of us. $We Only water plants and lawn during the night or early mornings - This will provide more effective use of water, since watering during the day can quickly evaporate. $Encourage guests to minimize their shower time - You did tell usabout the water not getting as hot as most people are used to, and encouraged us to try and conserve water, but maybe a sign in the bathroom would be a good reminder. $Install water aerators into faucets - These are little metal disks that fit into the shower heads and faucets, which reduce the amount of water that comes out, but increases the pressure of the water. These are very inexpensive to purchase. $$Collect rainwater for gardening - (future) If you can install some rain barrels to collect rain off the roof, you could reduce your water usage. The rain barrels can cost around $100, and you’ll have to modify or install gutters to collect the rain. $$We have low flow toilets - Reduces water usage significantly, depending on the current model you have. Standard models use 3.4 gallons per flush, where newer models use 1.6 or 1.2 gallons per flush, which is 50% or more reduction. Most newer models in the U.S. cost $100-150. There are other options for retrofitting existing toilets with dual-flush (heavy and light flushes) and storage tank size reduction devices, if you don’t want to replace the toilet completely. $We Offer bicycles to guests to rent- Vieques is not bycicle friendly but we offer two bikes to rent and ride in the Wild Life Refuge areas were it is safe. Roads cycling is not safe or recommended. $Encourage walking instead of driving - If guests rent a car, encourage them to walk to Colmado Mambo, instead of driving. I think the nature preserve and Isabel Segunda is probably too far to walk, but some of the food stops on the way may be close enough. $Highlight the environmental benefits of your culinary skills - You might provide a handout that includes some estimated costs per person, as it may be more affordable than they think. In addition, any food offered from your land or a nearby farm reduces food transportation fuel usage from the mainland. Any information about the close proximity of the food could be added to the handout (if it’s not already). $$Compost food waste - (Future item) Instead of throwing away leftover or spoiled food into the landfill, collect it up and compost it on your property, for use in the flower beds and garden. You will need a compost tumbler ($100-200) that can be sealed from animals, and smaller collection containers to be placed in the kitchen of each studio. You may not see a reduction in your waste pickup (unless they charge by the pound), but it will reduce methane release from the landfill, which contributes to greenhouse gas.
Setup a clothesline to dry clothes - This will reduce electricity for the dryer. Guests could also use it to hang up and dry towels from the beach, or after showers. Lines could be adjustable, so they can be reeled in when not in use, so as not to create an eye sore. Also, the verandas on the porch of the Pitirre can be used to hang your beach towels. $Remind guests to hang towels to dry for reuse - Please reuse your beach towels.The washing/dryer machines are available as an added comfort for you at no expense. But we need your help here. You can wash your clothe upon arrival if this is not your first leg of the trip. You can also do it if you are going somewhere else before going home. We would like you to avoid washing and drying beach towels every day. $Educate guests on proper and economical air conditioner (A/C) usage – Please be aware that we have the highest electrical cost in the nation. If you want to use the A/C please be sure the windows are closed. Do not turn on the A/C if you plan to leave the apt. to go out to dinner or the beach. $$Replaced all bulbs with LED lights - This may seem simple, but quite often, there are bulbs that have been overlooked, and not replaced yet. They can cut the energy usage by over 90% from traditional incandescent bulbs. $$Solar security lights - They will come on only when they detect motion. $$Hot tub turn off/standby option -The hot tub turns on twice a day for self cleaning. This is an expensive but necessary higene action for everyone's health safety. Remember, you are in the tropics soaking sun all day, you do not need water above body temperature.
$$Use eco-friendly fabric softeners and detergents – Choose options that contain no polarizing dyes, chlorine, perfumes or phosphates, and are all-natural or organic. This will reduce chemicals going down the drain, which could possibly get into the ocean.
$$Increase recycling options – please use the recycling bin in the washing machine areas.We recycle plastic, aluminum and paper. $Use all-natural, organic, non-toxic and low VOC cleaners
We initiated our solar drive after hurricanes Irma and Maria and must say have moved on at a fast and successful pace.
First we turned a 450 gal hot tub into solar. Gain free heating, loss powerful jets. Now they are relaxing sitting dipping pools great for conversation, relaxation and star gazing.Then followed the sowers in my house, two bathrooms, both solar. Then a second tub 550 gals and two more sowers for Paloma and Pitirre units. Last event is the inflatable tub at Paloma also connected to the sun.
More recently, our house, all items but the a/c's
Next phase; solarize both Pitirre units and Paloma and then Gaviota.
Most water heaters are made up of polyethylene hoses and wood boxes sealed with a glass. Very inexpensive.
All patio lights are solar.
1 one hundred fifty gallons-outside shower
2 four hundred gallons -house and Gaviota unit
1 600 hundred gallons-Pitirre unit