Saturday, December 27, 2014

When Nobody is Watching

Our 11 year old son, complaining about having to wash a used zip-lock bag said, “why are you trying to save money by reusing these?”  I said, “They are cheap.  We can afford to throw them away, but the world can’t afford it… the landfills are full of plastic bags”.  He replied “yeah, like one family in seven billion is going to make a difference.”  I was left thinking for a while.  I had to admit he had a point and that I was not quite sure how it would make a difference.  I gave him the example of the Christmas party for the low income schools that had come to the Center the day prior.  I said, see how quickly they learned to separate the trash, garbage and recyclables?  Now they take that home and some will continue it and pass it on to others… He quickly observed nobody is watching us recycle the bags.
Today, my husband who normally waters the thousands of baby trees in the nursery is gone, so armed with my boots and the hose I started the task.  I went reading the names to learn them… and had the luxury of having time to think (about zip-lock bags and other things) and watch darkness slowly take over the day.  I came to one with a very pretty arrangement of leaves on its tiny limbs and looked at the name: Ceiba.  I immediately felt humble.  I absolutely ADORE Ceiba trees… they are majestic!  And here I was, God or the Universal Intelligence, whichever you call it, had trusted little insignificant ME, to take care of so many of these majestic sentient beings: Ceibas, Guanacastes, Espaveles, etc.  I felt intense joy, love and thankfulness. 
Out there in the darkness that came toward the end of the task and amidst these tiny trees, there came a knowing and a certainty that our recycling plastic bags changed something in the collective consciousness… and that somehow, no longer mattering how, what one family does when nobody is watching makes a difference after all.
Dec 12 2014 at the CDS

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Guacimal’s Tree Nursery

The Costarican Conservation Foundation and the Sustainability Demonstration Center formed an alliance to make the dream of having a nursery in this region to supply the mid- and low-land areas a reality.  The alliance celebrated this partnership by housing almost 17,000 trees and tree seedlings.  This precious cargo arrived at the Center (La Casona de Guacimal) via three flatbed trucks and a pick-up truck thanks to the FCC’s coordination with the electric company (ICE). 


 There is concern in Guacimal as many of the springs that used to supply drinking water are drying up, so this alliance brings great joy and many people have stopped by to enjoy the brand new nursery and they are awaiting the next rainy season to take them home.  Others have come to share seeds to plant.  The new nursery does not have a name yet, therefore, your suggestions for a name are welcome.

The nursery, as with any place where there are babies, requires a lot of attention and work. Many people have worked hard at transferring the trees to plastic bags to prevent dehydration now that the rainy season is coming to an end.  The FCC has paid a great deal of this labor, which has actually been a welcome treat to this region where there are few job opportunities.  But funds are not enough to cover all the necessary labor, so volunteers are always welcome!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Volume I/Number 1  October 3, 2014
We recently visited the U.S. and gave talks about our work in our rural area of Costa Rica to protect the environment… but as always, it is in giving that we receive… We received ideas, information, energy and inspiration… We thank all of you who  are involved on the quest to live healthy, sustainable lives in a world worth living in.

Some times it is easier to see ourselves from the outside

Perhaps if I had stayed in the States, I would never have found out the effects that my everyday choices have on other countries.  For instance, I did not know that the subsidies that the U.S. government gives large corporations which produce genetically modified food (some people call it plastic food) laden with chemicals to produce a high yield are breaking the farming economies other countries.  I never thought about the real cost of cheap food… I did not know that I was already paying through my taxes for these subsidies, paying again at the supermarket and paying again at the doctor’s office for this kind of plastic food makes us, our soil and our water sick.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the kind of information that is not in the daily news or in our school systems.

We can take charge, we can engage in lobbying to subsidize organic, healthy farming, we can form neighborhood groups to bring in healthy food in bulk to keep costs low, we can choose carefully what we buy, we can watch videos to educate ourselves… we need to KNOW the truth and ACT according to this knowledge… and we need each other to help in our personal transitions to a healthier lifestyle.

TRUE GLOBAL INFORMATION and coordinated actions

Q: ¿If global sustainability starts at home, what were we doing far from ours?

A: Cues about solutions to problems often emerge when we take a look from a different perspective.  We encourage others to travel and see themselves form the outside looking in.

Q: ¿What is behind a beautiful, perfectly yellow banana?

A: A reputable Costa Rican newspaper, La Nacion (sept 27th ), just exposed a law-suit brought about by banana plantation workers who are now sterile due to the chemicals they use on the bananas that are shipped to the U.S.  and other places… Can you imagine what these chemicals do to those eating the bananas and to everything else that lives in the aquatic and land ecosystems where these chemicals end up?  Most of the people we spoke to on our recent U.S. trip did not know of the detrimental effects of (non-organic) pineapple, sugar cane and banana plantations in Costa Rica on our health, our water and our land.

 “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.    Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. – Margaret Mead, Anthropologist

What we do at home, every day ,matters

Yes, corporations, the government, the economy, all have an effect, but NOTHING compared to the effect that over 7 billion people doing things differently would have… we have power, we just need to exercise it… even if a tiny percent of us changed… the effect is beyond what we can conceive.

Our eating habits, the way we spend our free time, the places we stay at when we travel, what we choose to know or not know about… Our current state of global affairs is the sum of the cumulative effects of our individual life-styles.
THIS NEWSLETTER  IS intended as a tool for change
Let’s share with one another.  There are MANY individuals and organizations already doing their part to do things in a healthy and sustainable way. 
This is an invitation to contribute your specific ideas or knowledge.  We can certainly turn the ship around, but we must do it together.
In Costa Rica, we are starting a Sustainability Demonstration Center on the outskirts of the Monteverde Mountains.  If you are interested in learning more and contributing as a physically-present or virtually-present volunteer, please contact us.  Help us help the world.  Do what you love and help… all talents and skills are needed and welcome. We are also very involved in rural tourism as a mechanism for environmental protection and socially just economic gain.
…doing nothing about the issues that face us is equivalent to saying yes to our own destruction and the destruction of the only home we have

- Lynchburg College professor Dr. Shahady doing volunteer work to save our river.
We are looking for a remote or onsite  volunteer to help with our blog, webpage and face book

…So that our children get to live a healthy life in a healthy world




Our Center's Vision, Mission and Newsletter's objective

Corporations, the government, the economy, all have an effect, but NOTHING compared to the effect that over 7 billion people doing things differently would have… we have power, we just need to exercise it… even if a tiny percent of us changed… the effect is beyond what we can conceive.
Our eating habits, the way we spend our free time, the places we stay at when we travel, what we choose to know or not know about… Our current state of global affairs is the sum of the cumulative effects of our individual life-styles.
SHARE WITH US: Veronica Sheehan
Apartado 74
Monteverde, CR 5655
Phone: 506-8302-2522
Do what you love and make a difference: Become a virtual or
on-site volunteer
Specific conservation tips as well as feedback and ideas  are welcome and appreciated J
we can still turn the humanity ship around

Our vision is one of a Golden Age, a Renaissance… the Dark Age of measuring growth and success based only on economic gain is coming to an end.  Mother Earth is telling us in no uncertain terms to correct our course… and millions of people around the globe are doing just that.  United, we are minimizing our impact on our environment and because everything is interconnected, we are achieving a peace we have never known before: Peace with the environment, peace with the animals, peace with one other and the most precious of all: individual inner peace.

Our Mission is to help facilitate a smooth transition from this Dark Age of unconscious self- destruction, confusion and fear to one of conscious living and clarity based on love for ourselves and for the only home we have.

SPECIFICALLY… The Center aims to demonstrate in a constructive and explicit manner  different environmentally friendly ways of dealing with the footprints we each leave behind every day.  It is another support mechanism to effect the life-style changes we are all making or wanting to make.  Our GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY newsletter has two main goals: 1) To help us keep sustainable living at the forefront of our minds and actions by giving us tips for change that can be implemented in our lives and  2) Provide FACTUAL information about the REAL effect our daily choices have on our health and the health of the entire planet.
SHARE WITH US:  506-8302-2522