LifeStraw- Just For Developing Countries Or For the World?

While I was scrolling through my Facebook feed last night, I stumbled on a very unique product. LifeStaw. As I watched the video, I was informed that this product can take unfiltered and unsafe water and turn it into safe drinking water. Intrigued by this idea, I decided to do some further research on this captivating product.

LifeStraw is a company whose mission is basically to help create safe drinking water for those who do not have that access or luxury. This company sells products from straw-like designs to water bottles. The company started in 1994 when Carter Center wanted to develop a filtration system that could remove Guinea worm larvae that contaminated the water. Guinea worm disease is very common in under-developed or developing countries. Symptoms do not show up until about a year after being infected. After that, a blister forms and causing the infected to feel discomfort. According to the CDC website, many people put the blister into water to help with the pain and in most developing countries the available water comes from rivers and streams near by where they also get drinking water. It is said that the worm leaves the blister and release larvae into the water due to the change in temperature that they detect. This causes relief of the infected but it also contaminates the water. This creates an on-going loop for the infection to spread.

LifeStraw sought out to find a solution to help those in developing countries. After developing such a filter, and with must success, the company decided to expand their vision to filtering any contaminants in water. They created a straw-like filter that people in areas that did not have pipe-lined water to use to filter out the water and make it safe for drinking. Pretty cool right?

Image result for lifestraw

LifeStraw has created such an amazing product that could help change the way we obtain fresh, safe drinking water. According to Wikipedia, 2.5% to 2.75% of the total amount of water on the Earth is freshwater. It also claims that of all of the water available, 1.75% to 2% is freshwater that is found in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves somewhere between 0.5% to 1% of freshwater that the human race can have access to. That is not enough freshwater for an exponentially growing population. Clean water is a big problem not only for developing countries, but for environmental scientists as well. With the global population growing exponentially, there is a concern for running out of fresh water. LifeStraw could be the beginning of creating more fresh water not only for those who don’t have any available but for the entire world.

The idea of this could transform into one that helps us live a sustainable lifestyle. Many people forget that fresh water is a scarce resource and it could run out. LifeStraw would be the answer if we actually did run out. Using the water around us, clean or contaminated, we could turn it into drinking water by a simple filter. I look for this product to become more apparent in our lives and to expand its horizon as a company. Sustainability is being pushed by environmentalists and this product can help advocate that concept. It only takes one small spark to start a flame.




3 thoughts on “LifeStraw- Just For Developing Countries Or For the World?

  1. Matthew Porr

    I too have seen the LifeStraw on Facebook and think that it is pretty amazing. This could be a solution to the issue of infected water around the world. I think that potentially this could be good for care packages too. When countries are hit with natural disaster, water is one of the first things that are sent over in care packages. Unfortunately, a water bottle can only be used once and then its useless. Instead of sending water bottles we could send these straws that are reusable and beneficial even after the disaster is taken care of. I think that we should collectively look into mass producing these straws because it would be cheaper to fly these straws over because they are lighter than water bottles and more useful.

  2. Katrina Burka

    This article really caught my attention because as we are living in the “first world” it is so easy to forget how inaccessible some natural rights are to people. Today, we can go into any store and pay under a dollar for water. We can walk up to water foundations anywhere in the U.S, and get water..for free. It’s absolutely mind blowing. Questions I have about this product are how often do you have to replace the lifestraw and is there any way they can be recycled? I wonder how many countries on average use these straws, and, how these straws could transform life in countries like the U.S if we banned plastic water bottles. This reminded me of the Armani champaign to provide drinking water for developing nations. Basically, the longer one can stay off their phone, the more water Armani will provide. I highly suggest doing this when you sleep, need to study, or as an excuse to take a break from your phone.

  3. Erin Johnson

    I have seen LifeStraw over Facebook as well a couple times over the past few years. In America, we take fresh drinking water for granted because we have such easy access to it and it is never in short supply for us. In addition, this has made us blind to the other countries who are technologically behind the U.S. More countries than not, don’t have a great source of clean drinking water. This has led to even more issues because it leads to diseases and other illnesses that these regions are not able to fight off either. While clean drinking water is an issue, so is world hunger. Again, hunger is found in the U.S., but not as bad as it is in other countries. When I was in middle school, my teacher had us log into this website after we finished a test in order to kill time. This website was called Free Rice. Free rice is a website designed for kids to play school related games and with every question you get right, they donate 10 grains of rice to a country battling world hunger. It’s super easy to play and you can change the subject and level of difficulty of the questions. Overall, I think that we are making great strides to help fight world hunger and provide the world with clean drinking water.

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