When travelling or on holiday, people often consume more water than they would at home. This causes a tangle of problems that may not be immediately obvious, especially when you come from a relatively water-rich country where the resource is literally on tap.
Litter – in the shape of discarded single-use water bottles – is the most immediately apparent side effect of travellers’ thirst. From the fringes of the Inca Trail and the shore of Ko Phi Phi Leh, thoughtlessly discarded water bottles are stacking up.
Water scarcity is an increasing issue across much of the world and tourists (along with popular amenities like swimming pools and golf courses) further pile on the pressure. Finding water, then harnessing and purifying it, puts huge demands on local infrastructure.
Ever-conscious of our global footprint, a few years ago, we joined forces with Travellers Against Plastic to raise awareness about sustainable travel and how we can all be more thoughtful when it comes to water use.
There are a few good ways you can make a start in taking responsibility for your personal water use:
- Treat your own water – you can choose purification tablets, UV light or mechanical filters to clean drinking water.
- Choose a reusable bottle – you don’t need a fresh bottle every time, plus carrying a vacuum flask has the extra bonus of keeping your water cool. Or opt for a design with a built-in filter that eliminates contaminants. We’ve partnered with Water-to-Go to offer STC Expeditions travellers a 15% discount on filter bottles.
- Take shorter showers – estimates vary wildly, but let’s say an average shower lasts eight minutes and uses 62 litres of water. Bear in mind it’s recommended by the NHS that we drink 1.2 litres of water a day. That’s a lot of water circling the drain that could go to better use. So just don’t stay in there quite as long.