Minimizing waste everywhere you go
Better Places is a social enterprise, which means we are committed to making a social impact above making a profit. Whether it is through supporting initiatives or spreading the word about how to limit plastic waste, we want to increase sustainable living – at home and abroad. You, as a traveller, play an important part in this.
When it comes to travel, plastic waste has a massive impact on the environment. On average, with just a two-week trip, at least 30 plastic bottles are used up per person. By trading in those single-use plastic bottles for refillable water bottles, we can really minimize our plastic waste when traveling.
In some of our destinations, you will have access to clean drinking water from the tap, making refilling your water bottle easy. In countries where it isn’t safe to drink tap water, we’re working closely with our local travel experts to make sure that you can refill your water bottle at as many locations as possible during your travels. This can be challenging in some countries, but we’re taking it one step at a time. Many hotels, restaurants and shops now have water stations where you can refill your water bottle when needed throughout your trip. This is a great way you can minimize your plastic imprint. If you’re unsure about a country’s water safety, visit Is The Water Safe to Drink.
More and more countries that do not have access to clean running water are coming up with initiatives to reduce plastic waste. A few examples can be found below.
CAMBODIA – REFILL NOT LANDFILL
Several hotels in Cambodia have started an initiative to greatly reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste. Travellers can purchase and refill reusable bottles in hotels, and are able to refill their bottle in various Google Maps-marked locations. For more information, please see Refill not Landfill – Cambodia.
BALI – REFILL BALI
Refill Bali is a Bali-based initiative set up by several eco-hotels, restaurants and shops to increase and map the number of water refill stations in Bali, in cooperation with Social Impakt water filter initiative. For more information about Refill Bali, please visit their Facebook page.
REFILL MY BOTTLE
RefillMyBottle, an extension of Refill Bali, now allows travellers outside of Bali to also refill their bottles at water stations. These stations can be found through the mobile app, website or RefillMyBottle window stickers at various shops, restaurants and hotels. For more information, please visit their site.
INDONESIA – GILI ECO TRUST
Gili Eco Trust is a local organisation on the Indonesian island of Gili Trawangan that has been working for years on reducing the amount of plastic waster. Read more about it on their site.
THAILAND – KOH TAO AND KOH LANTA
On the island of Koh Tao, a number of diving schools and hotels joined forces and started an initiative to reduce the number of single-use plastic water bottles. It’s now possible to refill your water bottles at a number of places on the island. Read more
On the island of Koh Lanta, the locals started an initiative to clean up and reduce plastic waste. They’re using a number of different methods, including raising awareness for the problem and mapping the places where it’s possible to refill your water bottle. Read more
NEPAL – OUTDOOR CHILDREN’S WORKSHOP
Jagan Timilsina, a Nepalese mountain climbing guide, organizes outdoor workshops for Nepalese school children. Through this project he is able to teach them key skills, such as waste management, that they aren’t taught in the more traditional school systems. Read more about this initiative on their Facebook page.
Social Impakt provides simple, safe, affordable and eco-friendly technologies to improve living conditions in both the remote areas and urban centers of Bali and East Indonesia. They do this especially through technologies, such as water filters and solar lamps. Read more about their initiative here.
PLASTIC SOUP FOUNDATION
Plastic Soup Foundation raises awareness about plastic waste and plastic soup (plastic waste that ends up in the oceans and seas). Through campaigns, partnerships and various media channels, they strive to prevent continued plastic waste ending up in our water sources. For more information, you can read about their foundation here.
Travel tips – what you can do as traveller
DOPPER – REFILL YOUR BOTTLE
Dopper was designed with the aim of reducing the use of plastic water bottles and encouraging people to drink tap water, whenever possible. The bottles have a simple and stylish design and are easy to clean. Their vision is to live in a world in which people are conscious of the environment, where we actively reduce single-use plastic waste, and where everyone has access to fresh and safe drinking water. For more information, you can visit their site.
ECO-FRIENDLY REFILLABLE BOTTLES
STERIPEN – PURIFY WATER ON THE GO
Another way to reduce the use of plastic water bottles during your trip is by taking a water filter or SteriPen with you. The handheld SteriPen uses ultraviolet light to purify water in a matter of seconds, while killing all bacteria and viruses.
“The SteriPen is super easy and very handy to use, even if you’re travelling with a group like we were. It takes just 28 seconds to purify half a litre of water, and because of the SteriPen we were able to predominately drink tap water during our travels. It was also really convenient not having to lug around a huge amount of bottled water with us.”
– The Bremmers Family, Peru, Summer 2016
A Care Plus® Water Filter fits in the palm of your hand and filters up to 375,000 liters of water from fresh water lakes, rivers or creeks – 30 times as much as comparable filters. The membrane filters out any harmful bacteria and protozoa. Watch the instruction video or read more about the SteriPen in this review.
MORE WATER FILTERS AND PURIFIERS
Join us in making a positive impact and reducing single-use plastic waste around the globe.
Let’s travel as waste-free as we can!