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Dream Tripping in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

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Inside the Beautiful Osa Conservancy

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Today we visited the Osa Conservancy–Neenah Paper is one of their bigger sponsors. Over the last 5 years, they have acquired over 1200 hectares of land, former cattle ranches, teak plantations and areas where other non-native hardwoods. They’ve been replanting a lot of the areas with a large variety of native trees. In some cases, they are pulling out non-native trees and replanting them with natives (pulling out all the old teak trees means they’ve got some great wood to make furniture for the research center). Along with private landowners, the government and hotel owners, they are trying to develop contiguous “nature corridor” down the mountaintops all the way to Corcovado National Park. The idea is to allow wildlife a corridor to roam. They are planting trees that will attract certain animals that provide a benefit to the corridor. For example, they are planting a particular fruit tree that will attract a particular kind of fruit eating bat. The bat eats the fruit and then drops seed (ready made with fertilizer) in other areas, ensuring the growth of even more trees. Aside from trees, the Conservancy has some other cool project going on, including the protection of sea turtle hatching grounds (by the way, they are lacking only $500 to attend an international sea turtle conference in San Diego in April–any generous folks who care about the turtles out there, feel free to donate). That’s all for now!

In-flight Eco Lessons

Sean Arian Blog 5

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Things I found out about Costa Rica from an in flight magazine: They have eliminated all taxes on renewable energy to encourage local businesses and individuals to install more. About 25% of Costa Rica has been designated national parkland. Both of Costa Rica’s small domestic airlines (Sansa and Nature Air) are carbon neutral.

Arriving in Costa Rica

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Saturday, March 05, 2011 02:39 PM

Thanks to the Gran Hotel Costa Rica’s WIFI connection… It is day 1 of the trip in Costa Rica, we’re on a long layover in San Jose. Hunger. On the overnight flight, we slept through the meals, it’s now close to noon and we haven’t eaten yet.  But we’re about 15 minutes away from pollo asado, rice, beans and tortilla. And then a walk around the center of San Jose until it’s time to catch our puddle jumper to Puerto Jimenez. Coffee at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica. A very fancy hotel. The piano man in the lobby is playing Aerosmith. Seriously. And they have wifi!

Out of Los Angeles

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Saturday, March 05, 2011 12:11 AM

It’s midnight and I’m waiting at LAX for the flight to take off. Overnight flight looks to be rough–the flight is totally booked. This will probably be my last post in awhile. Bosque del Cabo is completely off the grid. Seriously. They generate their own electricity. No phones. No TV. No wifi. I think it’s one of the 5 places left on the planet like that. Take that, Zuckerberg.

And the Winner Is!

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Wednesday March 2, 2010

No one ever wins a competition.  That’s what I thought. I certainly hadn’t. I only filled out the Neenah Paper entry form at the Opportunity Green conference in Los Angeles because my intern Max did. When the first call came from Neenah after a few months saying that I won the grand prize, I thought it was a scam. I ignored it. Then I got a second call. I ignored that one too. It was only when I got the FedEx package with all the details that I thought “wow, this might be real. What did I win? A trip to Costa Rica? Seriously?!” My fiancé Mike did a little internet research–it was legit. Damn, I won a trip to Costa Rica! And it’s a NICE one. No lectures about timeshares.  Later that day, I went out and bought a lottery ticket.

What’s This?

Have you ever one a nice trip somewhere? Well, Sean Arian—to his astonishment—did. And now this Los Angeles lawyer with a passion for the environment is hardcore environmental adventurer on Neenah Paper’s “Eco-Trip for Two” in Costa Rica and its miraculous Osa region.   Mr. Arian was randomly selected from more than 5,000 entries in Neenah’s contest to win the environmental adventure of a lifetime in celebration of its ENVIRONMENT® Papers line late last year. He kindly agreed to blog about his experience for Against the Grain. But! In the heart of nature’s most fragile environment deep inside the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, WIFI is no sure thing. We bring you up to date today and will fill you in with his remaining post until he returns home. Go Green! But not with envy.