Cape Town - As South Africa is still in the midst of a pretty serious drought, ASATA members across the country have been very active to help save water.
What can you expect from your ASATA travel agent, hotel and car rental company when it comes to saving water?
Tourists use up to 2 000 litre of water per day, with Sun International calculating up to 3 423 litre water usage per bedroom per day, says Michael Farr, Group General Manager: Corporate Brand and Communications for Sun International.
An impressive amount of water! But, before you think that you as a traveller can't possibly use that much water, Farr clarifies that only 10 percent of water consumption is used by guests with the majority being used for cleaning, laundering, landscaping, cooking and leakage.
As a result, hotels such as Sun International, have invested heavily in ingenious water saving strategies such as low flow showerheads, flow control in taps and duel flush toilets. These new technologies mean that the guests can continue to enjoy their experience at the hotel without being negatively impacted by water restrictions.
But, travellers are not entirely off the hook; they still have a role to play. Sun International actively communicates to guests on how to use water wisely. The hotel encourages guests to shower instead of bath, and suggests travellers do not leave the tap running when brushing teeth. Did you know this can save up to nine litres of water?
After you have spent up to 2 000 litres of water per day at the hotel, the car rental company uses about 200 litres to wash the car you have just returned. No wonder car rental companies have started being inventive in trying to find water-saving solutions.
First Car Rental introduced an 'E-Washa' system in larger airport branches, which recycles water that can be re-used for car washing. In smaller branches, First Car Rental uses the CMH Green Machine system. This system sprays wax onto cars as a fine mist. A specially-manufactured microfiber cloth is then used to wipe the wax off the surface of your car, essentially trapping the dirt. The only water used in this process is the water used to rinse off the microfiber cloth using no more than one litre of water.
ASATA travel agents
ASATA travel agents help save water by sharing knowledge with their clients. “We have been communicating water restrictions to ensure that everyone has the necessary information,” says Luana Visagie, Marketing Manager for Club Travel
Tracey van den Berg, Corporate Communications and Events Manager for Tourvest Travel Services, explains that Tourvest has not waited for water restrictions to be implemented to become more water savvy. She says: “Becoming eco-friendlier has been a focus area within the travel industry for a number of years - which includes water savings. In terms of the environment, a long term strategy is required and should not just be a focus point during critical times.
Here are five simple tricks from ASATA travel agents on how you can best save water during your holidays:
* Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Remember this can save up to 9 litres of water.
* Turn off the shower while you're soaping up or shampooing. Or to make it really cozy, share a shower with a friend.
* Don't throw out the hot water you've been carrying around all day. Find a smart place to empty it: a tree, a vegetable garden, or give it to a thirsty animal.
* Use a glass or stainless steel water bottle instead of a plastic bottle and fill it up whenever possible.
* Turn the taps off properly. If the tap is leaking, report it to the hotel staff immediately.
* Most hotels will give you the option of not having your towels washed every day. Take them up on the offer.