July 12th, 2014 |    mangotree

You are newly married, madly in love and want to spend a significant moment in time with your beloved. You are also a Green child and very conscious of the environment and the low-impact a meaningful, highly playful honeymoon could have on the universe. Yes, it all adds up!

You have several options. You could stay in a Green hotel and enjoy the low-impact romantic experience and do local, low-impact activities like river walking, exploring for special secret pools and waterfalls. You could visit gardens, go for nature walks, plant medicine walks or play at the beach and explore caves. You could walk out to Ballena Park’s whale tale and snorkel. You could hire one of the locals to take you on a horseback ridding half day trip. You could go on bird watching trips and listen to the different calls of the numerous birds here in Costa Rica.

Or, for those even more ecolodgically minded, how about volunteering on a project in some nature reserve, in one of the local schools (offer to teach English for a week or some aspect of being green), saving the turtles, volunteering to work on a farm, ranch or botanical garden.

Here are some guides to being a green honeymooner:

By planning your trip ahead of time and making a conscious choice to be informed about where you are going you will embody the right attitude and act appropriately on this journey. Fully intend to be a part of your destination and interact with the locals. Make that effort to be a stellar tourist, holding to the values of “ecotourism” and keeping things green.

Learn about the local history, customs and culture as well as vital ecosystems in the places you will be visiting. Learn at least the basics of the local language. A simple “hello”, “please” or “thank you” goes a long way. More is even better. Take a course or home-study the local language. When you get there, show interest in learning and understanding more words as well as the values held rather than expecting others to cater to your wants and standards. You are the guests, so be an appreciative guest.

Every place has a set of customs and values possibly very different than yours. Make every effort to learn these ahead of time or while visiting and engaging the local community. This can vary from how to dress to being photographed. Never assume. Be open and interested. Ask about marriage customs in Costa Rica. Do they have honeymoons? What do they normally do? You are the visitor, the guest, so do not impose your expectations.

Learn ahead about tipping and level of wealth in the communities you plan to visit. Be very sensitive about any show of wealth. Do not pay for everything or think you can buy whatever you want. Leave your jewelry at home (except your new wedding ring), along with your big fancy cameras and fancy clothes. Try to fit in not lord yourself over the “natives”. Be conscious of not raising the standard of salaries and paying above the going rates for services. This only creates corruption and a manipulative mentality.

Be aware of your possible over-consumption of local resources. What is readily available and what requires the sacrificing of resources to meet your needs? Conserve whenever and wherever you go. Do not allow your guide to get special resources for you that might deplete the local environment.

You have embarked on an adventure, one that can enrich your life and open your eyes to different ways of living. Be open-minded, be flexible and mostly be appreciative. Roll with the punches and differences and treat these new experiences as an opportunity to expand your thinking. Leave at home the attitude of “my way or the highway”.

How can your visit to this new place be one of positive benefit for that environment? Never leave waste, remove plants or animals, shells, etc., or pour anything into a river or local water source. Take a spare old plastic bag with you and pick up litter or wastes. Move in a positive direction. Every little step counts.

The larger the hotel or place you stay, the less likely it is to be “eco”. Stay small, quaint and ask for a local tour guide who cares about the environment and demonstrates this behavior. Quiz him or her ahead of time.

Rural sustainable tourism involves supporting the local economy. Our hotel is next to a small pueblo. We encourage local horseback ridding, employing someone from the village to guide you up the river, or asking the local “elder” lady to take you on a guided medicine plant walk. Supporting the local communities promotes true eco-tourism and keeps the locals engaged in local activities that might otherwise be leaning toward destructive practices. The old saying, “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime” applies.

How can you get to know that person sitting on the bus beside you, or at the table next to you in a cozy restaurant. Talk to them. See if you can share something with them about yourself and your life and usually people will reciprocate. Be a personal ambassador. Give of yourselves as much as you are getting from this experience and that is not in money paid for services. If you say you would like to remain friends and keep in contact, do so. Try to avoid returning to your same life experiences. Try to incorporate what you learned from this trip. Keep your eyes, ears and hearts open.

Words of wisdom from:

The Mango Tree Spa

Rosemary MacGregor

506 2786 5300

Tags: green honeymoon, honeymoon, honeymoon Costa Rica, low-impact, low-impact honeymoon