Home How to not be a trashy traveler
Don't drink out of the trash. Remember that there is little or no recycling being done in third world countries, including those that are among the Maya. When you buy a series of throwaway plastic or glass water or soda bottles while traveling, each of the containers become trash just as soon as you open it and you are certainly drinking out of it.
If you are unable to book a room in a hotel that supplies water to guests in the large bottle that used to be the norm, it is better to buy in larger containers and place water into your canteen as needed. Although there should be some concern about long term use of throw away bottles due to potential bacteria inside, I have not found that to be a problem with several reuses of each bottle. Still, I now keep a regular plastic canteen for travel.
When buying soft drinks and beer, be careful to avoid aluminum cans. Even in Mexico, where recycling aluminum appears more widespread, you can't be sure it won't end up as waste. If there is a choice, buy any drinks in bottles with a deposit required.
Long gone are the days when if you didn't carry a canvas bag to market, you had nothing to put things into that you bought. Those trashy plastic bags are littering all over the Maya World as well. It sounds a bit much to bring a reusable one from home, but I have decided to start bringing a small nylon duffel for that purpose. Another option is to reuse one or more of the many bags that people wind up with.
If you frequently travel in Maya and other Third World countries
Buy a water filter. If you are like me, you like to travel light. The one I found out about and like is the SteriPEN Portable Ultraviolet (UV) Water Purifier. I am not placing a link, because I don't want to choose a particular dealer, but it sounds great. Google it and see what you think.
Anyone wishing to suggest a better filtration option is welcome to do so at duende (at) mostlymaya.com. Thank you.