f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

August 20, 2007

a toast to LifeStraw®

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 9:02 am

This post about LifeStraw® could save your life.

I was intrigued two years ago when I first heard about LifeStraw® — a 10-inch long plastic tube that turns almost all surface water [including salt water] into potable water. Here’s what Time Magazine said about it, when declaring LifeStraw the best health invention of 2005 [“Best Inventions 2005: Healthy Options“]:

Clear Water Revival
Inventor: Vestergaard Frandsen Group
Availability: Early 2006; $3 and up
To Learn Morelifestraw.com

The price of a caffe latte — about $3 — really can save a life. The LifeStraw, a beefed-up drinking straw designed by the Swiss-based company Vestergaard Frandsen, uses seven types of filters, including mesh, active carbon and iodine, to make 185 gal. of water clean enough to drink. It can prevent waterborne illnesses, such as typhoid and diarrhea, that kill at least 2 million people every year in the developing world. It can also create safe drinking water for victims of hurricanes, earthquakes or other disasters. And finally, it makes a handy accoutrement for the weekend warrior’s back-country hike.

LifeStraw has received a lot more attention in the media this past year (from Fortune, to NewsWeek, to Katie Kouric, who asked if it’s the Invention of the Century), and I finally decided to find out whether it’s available yet to consumers.   I am pleased to say that it is, and you can Buy LifeSraw online (from Sunset Productions Limited) for less than $15 each, plus postage.  Each LifeStraw filters enough water (700 liters) to supply an adult’s drinking needs for a year. At this price, every family should have a supply on hand. (Need I mention what a thoughtful gift it would make for loved ones and friends?)

As explained at the website of LifeStraw’s manufacturer, Vestergaard Frandsen, there is an urgent need to find ways to turn surface water into drinking water.

  • At any given moment, about half of the world’s poor are suffering from water-related diseases, of which over 6,000 – mainly children – die each day by consuming unsafe drinking water.
  • Today, 1.1 billion people are without access to safe drinking water, robbing hundreds of women and girls of dignity, energy and time.

LifeStraw can be made available to those most in need for about $3 per device. You can make a donation to help bring LifeStraw to people for whom it truly is a life-saver every single day of their lives.

You can find much more information on the technical details, testing, and product claims at the manufacturer’s website. Below the fold on this posting, I have includied some of that information. Don’t be surprised if I nag you again in a few months to make a LifeStraw purchase or donation — to save lives and bring the world a bit of peace of mind.

blossoms in the wind-shadow
a hiker stops
to sip his water

……………………………………. by Michael Dylan Welch

fresh straw for the garden–
about ten servants
at work

unaware of the thief’s
eyes, melons
cooling in water

…………… by Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

whiskey I sip it till I love it .. ..

………………….. by Jim Kacian – World Haiku Ass’n bio/p.2

St. Patrick’s Day –
drawing the
designated-driver straw

unseasonably warm
a puppy laps up
our snow buddha

………………………………………… by dagosan

good friday
the scarecrow gets
a new straw hat

…………………………………………… by ed markowski

dog day afternoon
a lemon seed
up through the straw

………………………………………….. by Carolyn Hall

mops and pails–
the wren goes on singing
with straw in its beak

……………………………………. by peggy lyles

monday morning
a paper cup
with a slow leak

a dry straw
in a dry cup
no last words

don't forget tack ……….. by john stevenson from Upstate Dim Sum (2006/II)

p.s. If you came here today looking for a law-related distraction, let me suggest the “going back to school” edition of Blawg Review, hosted this week by David Gulbransen of Preaching to the Perverted.  David has constructed one of the most palatable theme-based Blawg Reviews yet, with Blawg Review #122: Course Catalog/122.  I’m particularly interested in studying Scott Moss’ “What is your favorite bad legal argument?“, at PrawfsBlawg.


Find out more about LifeStraw here.

Here’s what distributor Waterstraws.com has to say about LifeStraw:

Lifestraw Personal Water Purifier
The straw that could just save your life .

Drinking through a LifeStraw

A Lifestraw is a drinking straw that purifies water as it’s drunk. It is a highly effective solution for protecting you from waterborne disease when you do not have access to treated water.

Designed by Danish innovator Torben Vestergaard Frandsen the straw is made of plastic which contains a number of internal filters and an iodine impregnated chamber. Bacteria, parasites and small particles are removed from the water as it passes through the straw.

How does it work?

Incredible as it may sound, with the Lifestraw it is possible to drink water from almost any fresh water source, even the River Thames which runs through the heart of London, England’s congested capital city.

The Lifestraw is a must have device for all campers, back-packers, travellers, hikers, aid workers, sailors, volunteers, survival enthusiasts and for those planning for any eventuality.

At only US$14.95 (£7.50) plus postage & packing the Lifestraw is the perfect solution. You can buy your Lifestraw online in either US$ or GBP using any major credit card from our secure online store—CLICK HERE. We offer worldwide shipping with delivery in 3-5 working days.

The Lifestraw is a sealed unit with no moving parts therefore making it exceedingly durable and meaning no servicing or maintenance is required. Like a normal drinking straw, the Lifestraw is operated purely by the user sucking on the end of the straw and so no electricity/batteries are required which means your Lifestraw is always operational.

As each Lifestraw is only 25cm (10 inches) long and 29mm (just over 1 inch) in diameter, it is the essential addition to any emergency survival kit be it for the home, vehicle or back-pack.

As detailed on Vestergaard Frandsen’s website, who is the manufacturer, each Lifestraw can filter 700 Litres of water. The filtration process effectively removes waterborne micro organisms down to 6 microns and uses iodine effectively to remove all iodine sensitive organisms such as Shigella, Salmonella, Staphylococcus Aureus and E .Coli which cause Diarrhea, Dysentery, Typhoid, and Cholera.

The following FAQ’s are summarized from Vestergaard Frandsen’s website (the manufacturer of the Lifestraw).

What is the shelf life for a Lifestraw?

Unused, a Lifestraw has a shelf life of up to 3 years when stored out of direct sunlight and below 30 degrees centigrade.

What do the tests and research studies indicate?

The studies indicate the following:

• The level of bacteria in the water will be reduced to levels that will provide water safe for human consumption. ‘Safe’ implies water from which any health risk is minimal.

• The particulate removal suggests that the number of any parasitic ova in raw water will also be reduced significantly.

• The released amount of iodine in water treated from Lifestraw is not normally damaging to human health. People having thyroid problems and allergic reaction to iodine must seek medical advice before using this tool.

What is the life expectancy of the Lifestraw?

One year from the start of usage (calculation based on consumption of 2 litre water per day) or 700 liters. Use beyond expiry will not deteriorate existing water quality.

Does Lifestraw filter arsenic, iron, fluoride and other heavy metals?


What is the impact of saline water on the lifetime of LifeStraw?

It is expected that continuously drinking saline water through the Lifestraw would reduce effective life to 350 litres.

Can I share my Lifestraw with other people?

It is not recommended that you share your Lifestraw with others. Any outside contamination of the Lifestraw will not be compensated by inside purification.

.. don't forget tack ..

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