Organic gardens in Belize? Eco-friendly building in Belize? Green living in Belize? We are doing it at Better in Belize EcoVillage. Here are some reasons why we are the leading green community in Belize.
Living In Sustainable Homes
This is a great place to start when embarking on a green lifestyle. You are living greener and leaner than the average North American already. Your house has a minimal footprint and your construction materials are as replenishable and chemical-free as the region bears. It is powered by renewable energy via the sun. You don’t need the support of a water infrastructure because your water is from the sky. You’re not feeding a centralized sewage facility because you’re just borrowing the water and returning it to nature in a way she can use safely.
Butane Vehicles Are Easy In Belize
Butane burns cleaner than gasoline. If you can budget between $400-$800 USD for full installation of a butane vehicle conversion, this is a move that burns cleaner… and it is cheaper! Gasoline is about $6.00 USD a gallon. For about $2.25 USD a gallon you get about the same gas mileage according to the people who have done the conversion.
Show Them How To Reuse Grocery Bags
It’s not common practice in Belize yet, so somebody has to show them. You’ll find at first the store owners are confused, but then they begin to thank you.
This is a “given” to us, but part of our hope is that the Better in Belize community green and clean reputation will spread and inspire. We want to get them thinking. Even the smallest piece of MOOP (matter out of place) like chewing gum, screws, nails, cigarette butts, loose material, etc. must be minded.
Choosing Greener Cleaners
It may be too easy to just grab the chemical-based default at the local store, but the options to spread less toxins are growing. There are eco-friendly options in Belize for daily cleaners, soaps, degreasers, polish and so on. However, you’ll be surprised how far you can go on orange oil (domestically made) and vinegar.
Buying Bulk, Using Less Or Buying Nothing
It’s wiser to buy in bulk quantities. It saves money, time, packaging and trips to the store.
The Belize waste facility just started doing it and so we are.
- Compost (you’ll take this to your compost pile or the community garden)
- Paper Products
- Whatever is left (is trash)
It’s worth it. Save gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. Belize is so small that you’re probably going to the same places as your ride share partner anyway. Most places are along the George Price Highway so you can even be picked up and dropped off. If you are dropped off in town, note that cab rides between towns are as cheap as $2 USD a trip per person, and the buses are even cheaper.
Eating Local Food, Very Local
Belize is an agricultural nation. They grow food here. The odds are that your food won’t travel as far, on average, as in the industrialized nations. The area around Better in Belize EcoVillage is full of farmers. The Saturday San Ignacio Farmers’ Market may have some imported stuff, if not in season, but there are also many seasonal options too. Don’t forget you have your community garden, maybe even your own garden on your lot or even an herb array on your porch. Your options to eat GMO, pesticide and chemical-fertilizer free are safe. Eating organic in Belize is a way of life.
Walk. Bus. Cab.
It is an option to just walk out the front gates of Better in Belize and hop on the morning or late afternoon bus. For $1 USD you’ll get toted 10 miles into town where you can catch $2 USD cabs or buses as cheap as $.75 USD depending on where you are going. Moving like this is moving like the locals.
Being at an ecovillage it is instinct to shy away from disposables. It’s a little more difficult in a country with few options, but two options are to either buy bulk or not to buy at all. This is a respected practice here.
Another given for eco community folks is to re-use. Saving every break tie, bottle cap, inch of electrical wire, plastic bottle, car part, tin can, etc… is really living green. The locals just call it living. Wasting nothing is not only environmentally friendly, but more cost effective.