900 million people in the world are without access to safe drinking water. That’s a serious problem. Announced to the world in 2005, the LifeStraw invention is a huge step in the right direction towards tackling this problem. Swiss-based Vestergaard Frandsen designed two LifeStraw products: the LifeStraw (left) and LifeStraw Family (right).
LifeStraw technology effectively purifies water without any use of chemicals. There is no need for batteries, and there are no moving parts. The patented filtration system relies only on suction (LifeStraw) or gravity (LifeStraw Family) to purify the water.
LifeStraw can provide 1000 litres of safe drinking water, which is enough for one person per year. LifeStraw is easy to use as it functions like a regular straw – you simply suck on it and the water will start flowing. It is also compact and easy to carry. LifeStraw removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of parasites. It costs around $20 in the USA, and is cheaper or subsidized for places in need. That makes it a relatively inexpensive solution that could serve a lot of people.
LifeStraw Family provides 18,000 liters of safe drinking water, which is enough for a family of five for up to three years. In addition to filtering out bacteria and parasites, LifeStraw Family also removes 99.99% of viruses.
LifeStraw does not filter out heavy minerals or desalinate water, but is a huge step in right direction in terms of technology and product design.
Deservingly, the LifeStraw won the “Best Invention of 2005 Award” by Time magazine, and 2008 Saatchi and Saatchi Award for “World Changing Ideas”.
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