When Americans travel abroad, the vast majority of them buy bottled water. According to data released by the U.S. Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, 8.1 million U.S. citizens traveled abroad in the first two months of 2012. Calculated across the calendar year, this means approximately 48.6 million Americans traveling internationally each year. Estimating that each traveler takes a 2 week trip, and consumes an average of 3 bottles of water a day, we are looking at 3.5 billion plastic water bottles used and discarded worldwide by travelers annually.
There is movement in the United States to discourage the use of disposable water bottles, and for good reason. It is hard on the environment, hard on the communities left with the garbage, it’s expensive, and it can often be unhealthy. In most cases, these impacts are vastly amplified in foreign destinations. No traveler wants to leave a trail of plastic water bottles behind them, but many don’t know how to avoid it. The solution is easy: Carry a reusable Klean Kanteen water bottle and a method to treat your drinking water, such as the SteriPEN, which uses (UV) light technology to purify water, destroying more than 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses and protozoan cysts such as giardia and cryptosporidia. One SteriPEN cleans 8,000 bottles of water and one Klean Kanteen reusable bottle can last a lifetime. The savings alone are outstanding; the benefit to the environment is priceless.
Crooked Trails, a Seattle based non-profit and a leader in responsible travel, is spearheading the TAP Campaign along with Wildland Adventures to spread awareness about the impacts of disposable plastic water bottles, and to garner support from outbound tour operators to get their clients carrying re-useable water bottles and a SteriPEN the next time they travel abroad.