When I tell people that I want to start an ecotourism company, their first question is usually “Eco-what?” Once I explain that, their second question is usually “How can you be more environmentally friendly when you travel?” One of the easiest ways to be more environmentally friendly when you travel is to be conscious of your drinking habits…water drinking, that is. If you are coming from a developed part of the world such as western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, or North America, to a developing country, you may be concerned about the potability of the tap water…so concerned, in fact, that you decide to drink only bottled water. That’s fine, I get it, I’ve done the same thing in Latin America. There are different organisms in the water that your body just isn’t used to and will make you sick. Some places I went, not even the locals would drink tap water. So bottled water can become a necessity. No disputing that fact. What is not a necessity is for you to buy a small bottle of water every time you get thirsty. A lot of developing countries don’t have much in the way of recycling so take a reusable bottle with you. That way, if you’re traveling with other people you can buy the largest bottle you can get and split it up into your reusable bottles. If you’re traveling solo, but staying in the same place for a while, you can still go ahead and buy that huge bottle, refilling your reusable as needed. No, the water won’t be ice cold, but do you really need it to be? Also, be on the lookout for places especially hostels and restaurants that will refill your bottle for you from one of those gigantic office water cooler type jugs. When I was in Utila, Honduras, I found a hostel that did just that for a fraction of the cost of a small water bottle.
You may be asking, why does this matter? You are still going to be producing garbage. What does it matter if it’s in the form of 1 large bottle or 4 small bottle? That 1 large bottle holds the same amount of water that those 4 small bottles hold, but actually uses less plastic! Ah, the wonders of the volume/surface area ratio!
Just a small change you can make that can really add up after a while 🙂