Q. Dear Umbra,

I’m moving abroad for work to a less-developed country where I will have no option but to drink bottled water, and there isn’t a recycling program for the empty bottles. I’ll be there for one year, and my work provides shipping of household effects. How can I minimize the environmental impact of relying on bottled water? Would it be less harmful to save the empty bottles for the year and include them in my shipment of household effects back to the United States, where they can be recycled? Or would adding the extra weight to my shipment offset the benefits?

Washington, D.C.