HI Hostels Blog

World Water Day: why HI care

A bit about World Water Day

world water day

Sunday March 22nd marks World Water Day, an event begun by United Nations back in 1993 to celebrate and think about water, make changes to the way we use it and a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future.

Water means different things to us – drinking and washing, along with functions we might not want to think about as regularly like drainage and our sewage systems. One thing is certain, water is vital for all of our lives.

Today, 748 million people around the world still have no clean water to drink.

Save our most precious resource whilst saving on accommodation

By being a HI member, you’re not only getting a 10% discount on your hostel stays across the world, but you are helping to support hundreds of initiatives – from little steps to large-scale projects – in order to save our planet’s most precious resource.

You may not realise that many of our hostels demonstrate buckets full of commitment to celebrating the importance of water, so here are a few who go that extra step to conserve and recycle, along with some simple ways that you can make a difference, whether you’re at home or staying with us.

A few H2O-friendly hostels:

HI Whiskey Jack located in Canada’s beautiful hinterland of Yoho National Park uses a Micro-hydro installation to harness the power of their local natural water resource – a one-hundred foot waterfall, which provides all of their indoor plumbing and electrical power


Stayokay hostels in the Netherlands have a large scale Water Saver programme in place which seeks to create a behavioural change for customers to reduce their shower time by designing, campaigning and raising awareness about the positive effects that such a basic action could have

All YHA Australia hostels have stopped selling bottled water completely. Why? Not only because it costs a ridiculous 3 litres of water to produce a 1 litre bottle, but because it costs us petrol usage for transportation, with carbon generation as a result, and then the creation of litter which takes 1000 years to break down and gets dumped into our oceans and consumed by marine life.

YHA Australia estimate that 40,000 bottles per year will no longer be sold, meaning that we can save 120,000 litres of water in this country alone.


Taking care of water as a citizen of the world

Respecting, experiencing and impacting our natural resources as gently as possible will only work if travellers help out, and taking sustainable baby steps is the best way to make sure you’re taking care of our precious planet.

  • Re-use dishes and soak, don’t scrub: many plates and dishes don’t need a full wash to be re-used, and scrubbing hard-to-clean dishes under running water is a waste – so soak them straight after use for an easy and waste-free clean up
  • Switch taps off: brushing your teeth? Turn the tap off whilst you’re scrubbing
  • Save by sharing a load whilst washing clothes: if you need to use the washing machines, make sure you have a full load. If you’ve just got a few things to wash, buddy up to share the load
  • Reduce your average shower time: the average shower time is 8 minutes. Reduce your shower time to 5 minutes and save 23 litres of water. Sharing a shower is also a good move!
  • Act to change the world’s water story: support other excellent initiatives to promote water saving and celebration by seeing what’s going on in your local area, wherever you are, for World Water Day on March 22nd

Take a look at the worldwide events we’ve got coming up to celebrate sustainable travel on our Say HI to a better world Tripbook.

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