Eco-tourism is a popular form of travel. It combines elements of travel with outdoor adventure, giving us the privilege to explore beautiful wild, unspoiled natural places, and to connect with nature, which is good for our soul. But is getting back to nature good for nature? Yes, it is!... But, sometimes you need to prepare properly.
When we travel to far flung places, we need to take precautionary measures when drinking the local water. In developing nations sanitation is typically poor, and in many countries may even be lacking completely. Consequently water borne diseases are rife, and travelers are often struck with stomach bugs, which can put a dampener on their travels or even land them in hospital. While this is never pleasant, it can be life threatening if you are touring a remote destination, hundreds of miles away from the nearest hospital or medical doctor.
The Problem with Bottled Water
In many cases travelers opt for bottled water, believing this is the safest option. Yet, while bottled water may be safer than the local tap water – very often it is simply bottled local water, and therefore is not – it is particularly damaging to the environment.
Carrying an adequate supply of fresh water to quench your thirst and keep you re-hydrated while touring remote destinations is problematic in itself – more so if you are backpacking and have to physically lug sufficient water on your person. Very few people take the trouble to repack empty water bottles back into their backpack to dispose of later. Invariably the empty plastic bottles simply get turfed. If there are refuse bins available, the well-meaning traveler may discard their used bottle in a bin, but it still ends up on a landfill site somewhere if it doesn't blow out of the bin beforehand.
Plastics take thousands of years to biodegrade, and because they break down in sunlight, may never break down completely when buried in a landfill. Even when plastics do eventually break down, they don't decompose in the same manner as natural products do – they don't add any nutrients to the soil, but rather break up into tiny pieces that can't be seen, contaminating soils with chemicals in the process. Plastic bottles may blow into rivers and eventually flow into the sea. Plastic pellets wreak havoc in the marine environment where they are ingested by marine animals, such as turtles and seabirds, that mistake them for food.
Mountains of Plastic
Then, there is litter associated with plastic bottles. An ecotourism experience can be totally ruined when you are hiking the road you believed was less traveled, only to discover a mountain of litter and waste from eco-tourists that traveled down that same road before you.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, South America is hailed at one of the top five treks in the world. This popular ecotourism trail is known for its breathtaking mountain scenery, cloud forests, sub-tropical jungle and its famous historic ruins. Although the government has now limited the number of daily visitors allowed on the trail to 500, this still generates large amounts of waste, which unfortunately is evident when trekking to Machu Picchu.
Mount Everest is another landmark that not many of us get the opportunity to visit. One would think that the world's highest mountain, which commands respect, would get just that. But no, it too is littered with waste from climbers that struggled their own personal battles to make it up and down the mountain alive. Understandably, litter is no doubt the last thing on a climber's mind when they are solely focused on survival. Consequently, Mount Everest is strewn with old tents and ropes, discarded oxygen cylinders, camping stoves, food packaging and plastic bottles.
So how does one keep rehydrated with a healthy supply of pure water in an eco-friendly manner when touring remote places?
The answer is to carry a reusable personal water filter bottle, such as the Sport Berkey, that is capable of filtering any water supply to render pure healthy drinking water, wherever you may be in the world.
The Go Berkey Kit is a robust, yet lightweight water purifying solution for travelers on the go. The combined water bottle/water purifier removes pathogenic microorganisms, heavy metals, chemicals, and sediment from any water supply, assuring you a safe supply of drinking water wherever there is water – no matter how suspect the quality, without generating any waste in the process. The Go Berkey Kit provides a healthy, eco-friendly solution for rehydrating in remote locations that prevents plastic water bottles from being discarded into the environment or landfills. Simply refill wherever there is water. (New for Jan 2017 - This kit now contains a primer tool)
Travel safe without harming the environment by investing in your Go Berkey Kit today.