Filtered tap water would be the ideal solution to drinking water as it is the option that involves the least amount of plastic. Well water is also a good alternative to drinking bottled water. But if neither of those options work for you, what are the next best choices?
RETURNABLE WATER BOTTLES
One less-plastic solution would be purchasing water in 19-liter returnable bottles.
One brand available locally is Aqua Stone. You can purchase these bottles from Mohsen’s place (across from Marine Garden Camp/Karkor the Butcher). You pay a LE 50 deposit per bottle that is returned to you when you bring the bottle back. The water costs LE 17 per 19-liter bottle. Or LE 16 per bottle if you are buying 10 or more. For more information, call 01003999803 and ask for Mohsen.
I am still trying to find a contact at the company that can answer my questions about what happens to the returned bottles. I will report back as soon as I find out anything.
If you choose to purchase these large bottles, you’ll also need to purchase a dispenser. The least-expensive ones are plastic (unfortunately) and simply provide a base to hold and dispense the water. They are available at Carrefour in Sharm el Sheikh for LE 115, according to a friend who purchased one recently. (I purchased one last year and I remember a much lower price.) I have not seen them for sale in Dahab. Has anyone else?
The more expensive option would of course be the fancy electric water dispensers that also cool and heat the water. These are available locally and range in price. Be sure to check out the Facebook groups dedicated to selling and buying in Dahab. You may be lucky and find a used one!
As a last resort, purchase the largest bottles of water available – at least the 19 L or 6 L bottles. These give you the best product-to-packaging ratio.
REFUSE the 1.5 L and smaller bottles. And please REFUSE these small water bottles that now also come with a plastic cup!
TIP: Purchase a large water cooler/dispenser, like the TANK brand thermos dispensers, to put in your kitchen. Empty the water from the large bottles into the dispenser. This will make it easier to pour a small amount without having to lift a heavy bottle each time.
TIP: Purchase a reusable water bottle to carry with you. Or use a glass mason jar or other container that you already have. Bring it with you to school, work, or play time at the beach! I also bring my own water bottle with me to restaurants. As long as I am ordering something, no one in Dahab has had a problem with this.
What are other solutions or resources for obtaining drinking water in Dahab using the least amount of plastic?
Refuse ~ Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle