LifeStraw Draws Attention to World Water Day
Today, World Water Day, may never rank at the top of our list of yearly observances, but it’s original purpose—to draw attention to clean water as a commodity that remains unavailable to much of the developing world—is worth an annual reminder. As does the imagination of product designers, who continue to find innovative, low-cost ways to mitigate the problem. LifeStraw, a drinking straw that quite literally saves lives, remains one of the most notable solutions, having been introduced in 2005 as an emergency response to natural disasters, and their related water contamination issues. LifeStraw’s patented technology, created by the Swiss global health company, Vestergaard, is a portable filtering system that removes contaminants from polluted water. Packed in a small device, weighing only 2 oz, it requires no batteries or electrical power, and can, even in the far reaches of the world, be used to drink water directly from streams, rivers, and other water sources laden with disease-carrying bacteria and pollutants.
Each LifeStraw has been designed to turn 1,000 liters of contaminated water into safe drinking water, rendering a single device a viable drinking water solution for an entire family for months. There are, of course, other practical applications for LifeStraw, closer to home. Backpackers, hikers, and campers can trade in earth-polluting plastic bottles for LifeStraw, and partake, instead, of the organic water resources made available by nature. The advantage of buying a LifeStraw is twofold in that every purchase—which now includes the swankier LifeStraw Steel iteration, above, as well as a suite of related portable water purification products—helps pay for the installation of water filters in schools across Kenya: “For each LifeStraw you purchase, one school child in a developing community receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.” Now, don’t you feel a little silly for buying that bottle of Evian?