As an experimental center of permaculture, Hoja Nueva strives to incorporate as many sustainable practices as possible into our Eco-Center and everyday site management.
In the initial construction, we used resources primarily from our own land surrounding the Center. For instance, we used downed logs for the walls that had fallen 1-2 years prior. The fungus may not be aesthetically pleasing to all, but we are proud of our fungus-laden wood (and don’t worry, it’s been fully coated since!).
Our composting toilets are one-of-a-kind. We used the original design of Rapaport (1996) with several new additions and changes. These aerobic double vault composting toilets are great for tropical environments and achieve zero-discharge sanitation with low maintenance requirements. This means that aerobic conditions are promoted so well in the digestion chambers without the need for manual turning (unless you’re super inclined!).
Growing around the Center are a variety of native herbs, vegetables, and fruit trees, as well as other plants with useful and/or medicinal values. Our fruiting forest(s) will not only supply those living at the Center with an endless supply of delicious goods, but the local wildlife as well! Equally as important as the success of our crops and the crops of our neighbors is the health of the rainforest, which is why we’ve been planting threatened and endangered tree species throughout our lands to support natural regeneration in the future (i.e. Mahogany, Cedar, and Peruvian Walnut).
We would like to encourage natural recycling processes and forego petroleum consumption for the energy created on site. This means pumping water from the nearby stream using solar power in addition to the electricity. We are also incorporating natural pesticide solutions (fermented bio-insecticides), encouraging pollination through native stingless bees, and reducing our plastic waste through ecobricks. As water is the most valuable resource on this planet, we are utilizing and valuing every source from which it is available to us.
A list of our current sustainability projects is below!