Monday, May 24, 2010


One more month and I'll be getting a chance to check out an eco-friendly beach resort in Belize - Calypso Beach Retreat. While it would be possible to say that I'm staying to because I want to be an eco-tourist, that would not be completely true. I'm going to stay there because it is close to the Great Blue Hole. I've only seen photos of the Great Blue Hole, and it is one of things on my list to see.

That being said, I'm really looking forward to also having an opportunity to check out the resort because of it's eco-design. For those that may not be aware, I live 100% on a rainwater harvesting (or catchment) system, and I've learned a lot about rainwater harvesting. I bought a house 3 years ago with my first-ever rainwater system. Since that time, I've doubled the collection area, increased my storage capacity from 10,000 gallons to 20,000 gallons, and even built my own 300 gallon catchment system for the livestock.

The Calypso Beach Retreat has rainwater catchment, composting toilets and solar hot water and power. That last part really intrigues me. I've seen solar hot water systems, and even have a few friends that have had them installed in their homes. I'm considering one. It's a trade-off. I have a tankless in one half of my home, and a tank in the other. Do I upgrade the tank to solar or go tankless? Either way is an expense with a resulting cost saving, but I need to analyze the trade-offs. I'll let you know what I find out.

What really interests me is the 24 hour AC using solar. I've set up a small scale system at home to charge a battery that powers the lights and pumps in the goat shed. Calypso is a retreat though. There are 4 rooms, kitchen, wireless network, etc. While I understand it is possible to go off-the-grid - and this place is a long, long way from any "grid" - I'm intrigued what amount of storage capacity is required for a resort. I'm hoping that they will let me take a look at their system. If so, I'll defintely try to get some pics for here.

It's great to look forward to getting away to a beach retreat. It's even better when you get the chance to learn more about eco options that you can bring home.

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