So I did an image search for Bonaire, fell in love, and booked a flight.
As my departure rapidly approached, I checked the CDC website to read their recommendations for water and food safety in Bonaire.
Like many things, the government got it all wrong.
- Bottled water that is sealed
- Water that has been disinfected
- Ice made with bottled or disinfected water
- Carbonated drinks
- Hot coffee or tea
- Pasteurized milk
- Tap or well water
- Ice made with tap or well water
- Drinks made with tap or well water (such as reconstituted juice)
- Unpasteurized milk
Okay, I thought. I'll bring mymost favorite piece of travel gear ever -- my Oko Advanced Filtration Water Bottle, which allows you to drink river, tap, or even mud puddle water from almost anywhere in the world safely -- without creating tons of plastic waste like bottled water would.
(I also bought a new Lifestraw GO Water Bottle, which I actually liked a little better -- the flow rate was faster.)
But very soon after I arrived in Bonaire, I realized something:
The person who made the bottled water recommendation has clearly never been to (or even Googled) Bonaire.
The drinking water here is perfectly safe. It comes from a desalination plant right here on the island. I have been drinking it this entire trip without any problems whatsoever.
How disappointing, then, that the US is making careless, clueless recommendations that cost travelers money while harming the environment.
I was at the grocery store the other day, and was sad to see so many travelers walking out of the store with tons of plastic. We all know exactly where that plastic is going to end up:
In short, buying bottled water in Bonaire is not only completely unnecessary -- it's also really horrible for the environment. So please don't. If you're super worried about the (completely safe) tap water here, invest in an Oko or a Lifestraw water bottle. That way, you can still minimize your plastic footprint and keep Bonaire beautiful.