I’m in Tenerife for a few days, in fact longer than I usually spend here and that has opened my eyes more to the environment around me and how other tourists act whist abroad.
I am no activist, although I believe in ‘doing the right thing’. The recent highlighting of the use of single-use plastic in the travel industry is one of those causes, and opening our eyes to things which see as ‘normal’ but with a few changes can have an impact on the wider world.
Thanks to G Adventures at the ATAS Conference, who are strong supports of this cause, I have an excellent water bottle which keeps water cool – very handy in warm conditions, such as the thirty degree heat here in Tenerife. However, amongst a sea of plastic bottles have I only seen one reusable water bottle. Maybe the message just isn’t getting through to the mass-market traveller.
Where I am staying, at a private apartment complex in Los Cristianos, the owners association are clearly taking it seriously and have installed a water machine by the complex office and are encouraging people to recycle and use multi-use water bottles and containers.
Really, hoteliers should be offering water stations instead of putting bottles of water in the rooms, and apartment complexes finding better ways of suppling mineral water in hot weather. The same goes for restaurant owners who are still using plastic straws.
Maybe there is an argument that tour operators should promote our wish to reduce single use plastic, even with the use of branded water bottles like the version G Adventures gave us at the ATAS Conference. Although there is a cost, there is a great environmental cost at the end of it.
You only really notice these things when they are pointed out to you. Really so much more can be done, and keeping it to niche players isn’t going to scratch the surface.