Eco Friendly Ways to Have Clean Water:
When traveling to other countries there are many places that it is not safe to drink the tap water. This means that many people will opt for bottled water to insure that they do not run the risk of getting sick while traveling. However, there are other ways to drink clean water without consuming multiple single use water bottles. Here are some suggestions for cleaning your water no matter where you are.
Remember the main threats to your water are: floating material, protozoa, bacteria and viruses
A UV Pen is a handheld device that is used for disinfecting water with ultraviolet (UV) radiation. These devices are light and portable and are used by placing the pen in your water bottle and stirring it for the instructed amount of time based on how much water is in your bottle(typically about a minute). This device operates using a rechargeable battery and is very Eco Friendly. Please understand that while UV is not healthy to have your skin exposed to it is safe for cleaning water.
The UV Pen is great for many different situations but if there seems to be anything floating in the water it is recommended to use a different type of water purification system.
One of our favorite UV pen brands is the SteriPen. This is a great product, though it is a bit expensive it is long lasting and can be taken with you backpacking or in your travels to other countries (typically ones that are in developing areas of the world).
Iodine tablets help to kill bacteria, viruses and giardia. These are easy to use, simply place the right amount of tablets (typically 2 tables for 1 quart) into your reusable bottle of water and wait about 30 minutes. These are lightweight and do not require anything to use them like other options that require batteries.
Please note: These tablets can alter the color and taste of the water and will not help with floating objects in the water. Also, Iodine tablets are not effective against Cryptosporidium.
Potable Aqua is a great brand to use. They come in a container that typically holds about 50 tablets. So you will have plenty of tablets for any multi-day trip. This is typically used when you are worried about
Typically, we recommend this as a backup option that you just keep in your emergency bag in case your other water purification method is no longer an option. Iodine Tablets do not expire so they are great to have with you even if they are not what you plan to primarily use in your travels.
Filters technology has gotten smaller and smaller and are easy to use. They are able to clean out the small particles in the water. This should not be used in areas where human waste many be contaminating the water because it does not filter out virus associated with this contaminant (this would be in places like the backcountry of Canada or the US).
A great filter option that is low cost is the LifeStraw. This is a great option if you are worried about not being able to find large amounts of water in the area you are traveling to . You can simply stick this in a puddle and drink.
Water Bottle Purifiers:
There are also water bottle purifiers. These purifiers are built into a reusable water bottle so that you are easily able to fill up your water bottle from the tap and drink. One great brand for this is Grayl. These water bottle purifiers protect against waterborne virus, bacteria, protozoan cysts, pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, and even microplastics. While this is an expensive option, it is a great way to make sure that any place you go in the world you will be able to use the. It is a bit bulkier compared to other options like the tablets and the UV pen but is dual purpose since it is a purification process as well as the water you would use to drink the water.
There are many different brands and options for each of these types of purification systems. Make sure to look at where you are going to determine the best option for you. It is recommended to always have a backup option in case a situation arises that your primary purification system no longer is an option.