With over 1.1 million people in the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water, water-borne pathogens are a huge problem for the environment and for human health. Fortunately a clever little design has come to the rescue in the form of the Lifestraw The cigar-sized plastic tool is both a feat of engineering and an inexpensive way to deliver potable water to those who need it. Lifestraw delivers the most basic needs and purifies water from potential pathogens like typhoid, cholera, dysentery and diarrhea, becoming one of the icons of humanitarian product design- by the time the water hits your lips, it’s completely safe and potable. The Lifestraw is one of the highlights of the Cooper Hewitt’s Design for the Other 90% exhibition, which highlights products, architecture, and technology that benefits under-privileged demographics across the globe.

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Lifestraw was also featured in the Massive Change exhibitions and won an INDEX: Award in 2005. Designed by socially-focused design manufacturer Vestergaard-Frandsen, the straw can purify more than 700 liters of water without electricity or additional attachments.

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