Your Caribbean Eco Trip: What to Pack

At eXtreme, our eco-hotel is nearly entirely self-sustainable. We do our best to ensure the hotel has a minimal impact on the environment. But we do need your help.

A little preparation before your trip to Cabarete can make a big difference.

Read on to find out what to pack to make your stay more eco-friendly.

Refillable Water Bottle

In Cabarete, we all drink bottled water. This can be a bit of an adjustment if you’re not used to it. In your hotel room, we provide big reusable water tanks. But, out and about, it’s likely that you’ll end up buying a fair few plastic bottles of water.

To cut down on this single-use plastic, please pack a reusable water bottle. Better still, pack one or two per person. Filling these up at the hotel will save you money and save the ocean from another tourist’s plastic.

Reusable Straw

On a similar note, pack a reusable straw to reduce your use of single-use plastic straws. All those mojitos and pa coladas on the beach do add up!

Though we are an eco-hotel, the restaurant, and many other bars and restaurants in town, will serve you plastic straws unless you specifically request they don’t. We’ve tried to get around this problem, but many cocktail-sippers weren’t a fan of our metal straws!

So, come prepared and learn the Spanish for ‘I don’t need a straw, thank you’: ‘No necesito un calimete, gracias.’ If you wave your reusable straw around, it should help get the message across!

Go full island chic and pack a bamboo straw for some ultra-stylish sipping. The ocean will thank you for your efforts!

Backpack or Reusable Shopping Bags

Pop a few sturdy reusable shopping bags in your suitcase if you’re planning on getting any groceries while you’re in the DR.

At shops and supermarkets, you’ll quickly see how many plastic bags are handed out. They generally bag everything up in plastic here. Actually, most of the time they double-bag items, as the bags are frail and tend to break.

Reduce the chances of your groceries rolling around on the street AND your environmental impact by packing strong bags or backpacks.

‘No gracias, tengo mi propria bolsa’ can be a good phrase to learn. (No thank you, I have my own bag.)

Ocean-friendly Sunscreen

You may have heard rumour that sunscreen washing off swimmers and divers is killing the coral reef.

Those rumours, sadly, are entirely true.

To preserve our beautiful ocean, we need to be alert to this potential danger and be responsible travellers.

Please be sure to check the label on the bottle before you buy sunscreen. Avoid products that conatin these four ingredients:

  • Oxybenzone (very common, sometimes written as Benzophenone-3, or BP-3)
  • Butylparaben
  • Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate)
  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4MBC)

These chemicals have been shown to harm coral, even in really tiny concentrations, like one drop in six and a half Olympic swimming pools!

An estimated 6,000 – 14,000 tonnes of sunscreen wash off swimmers into the coral reef environments every year. That’s not even counting the amount that washes into the ocean from our water waste systems.

Cabarete is an ocean-centred town. We love the beach and hope you will take pleasure in its beauty. Please do your bit to take care of it, too.

Join the eco-tourism movement!

If we all chip in and minimise the individual impact of our vacation, together we can make a difference.

We will continue to research ways to make eXtreme even more eco-friendly and sustainable. But we can’t do it without you.

The time commitment required from you is small. It only takes a few thoughtful choices. The stakes are high, and there’s no time like the present to join the fight against careless, wasteful tourism.

Share this around, so that together we can spread the word on how to be a more responsible eco-tourist!