Saint Lucia’s rich biodiversity and natural beauty play an important role in the island’s culture and economy. The island’s two main industries, tourism and agriculture, both depend on sustainable environmental practices. In 2004, the Pitons were inducted into a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their exceptional beauty and unique ecology. Environmental awareness is therefore a crucial element of life in Saint Lucia. Every human interaction with nature leaves an indelible mark. When building a house in Saint Lucia, you must be vigilant to minimize the impact on the environment. Here are 5 easy ways to do it.
Do not clear the land indiscriminately. Before you begin construction, consider the impact your home will have on the area’s tree canopy. Saint Lucia is a heavily vegetated country. The prevalence and variety of trees is one of the things that makes the island unique. Keep as many mature trees as possible. Incorporate existing foliage into your home design and layout. This ensures that the island stays green. Mature trees also add majesty and beauty, while keeping a property cool.
Use renewable energies. Sunlight and wind are two of Saint Lucia’s most abundant natural resources. It is now possible to have your house fully powered by solar panels and wind turbines. Whether you use wind, solar or a combination of both depends on where your home is located. For example, the host sites on the east coast of the island have a constant breeze from the Atlantic and are well placed to use wind power. Although solar or wind power will increase your construction costs, it will eliminate utility bills in the future. Electricity is the most expensive utility in Saint Lucia and the savings will add up in the long run. Renewable energy also reduces the burning of fossil fuels and helps keep the air clean while reducing the island’s carbon footprint.
Collect rain water. Saint Lucia has about 2000 mm of annual precipitation. Thanks to drainage systems, it is easy to collect rainwater, which is stored in reservoirs or underground cisterns. This helps conserve the island’s public water supply. It also ensures that you have a backup in case of shortages after a hurricane.
Maximize natural ventilation to minimize cooling costs. In Saint Lucia, air conditioning units are the main culprits when it comes to high energy consumption. Keeping your home naturally cool will significantly reduce your electricity consumption. High ceilings, large windows, insulated roofs and cross ventilation are just a few of the ways your home can be designed to stay cool. Many houses in Saint Lucia are located on high hills where there is a constant breeze. A well-ventilated home can eliminate (or at least greatly reduce) the need for air conditioning. (Besides the practical benefits, the high ceilings and large windows are perfect for admiring those incredible views of St. Lucia!)
Cultivate a vegetable garden. The gardens thrive in the rich volcanic soil and tropical climate of Saint Lucia. It is common for backyards to be laden with tropical foods such as mangoes, guavas, dasheen or breadfruit. Eat your own organic and delicious fruits, vegetables and herbs grown right in your backyard! Once you’ve started your garden, it’s easy to maintain. The prevalence of home gardening helps ensure the island’s food security and preserve native foliage. The rewards are delicious and good for you and the environment!
These are just a few ways to live a nature-friendly lifestyle if you have decided to buy real estate in Saint Lucia. The island is appreciated for its green and lush beauty. Everyone in the country must play their part to maintain this. Careful real estate development can enhance rather than diminish the natural environment of the island. Energy efficiency is also a great investment because it will make your home more attractive to buyers if you ever decide to sell.