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LifeStraw Portable Water Filtration System

April 5th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on LifeStraw Portable Water Filtration System)

lifestraw1Improving access to clean drinking water has been a goal of global development groups and charities for decades. Yet today, roughly forty percent of the world’s population still lacks access to clean water, and more people have a cell phone to play video poker on than they have a toilet. This causes a high incidence of disease and mortality, especially in children.

Over the years, many different solutions to the clean water crisis have been proposed. Some were too expensive, some too impractical, and some simply too difficult to put into place logistically in areas with little to no existing infrastructure.

Enter the LifeStraw. This simple-looking little device is cheap, user-friendly, and long-lasting. It can remove 99 percent of bacteria and parasites, as well as chunks of dirt and debris down to 0.2 microns. The straw uses a series of chemical-free filters to achieve this effect, which will last through 1000 liters of water. All you have to do is put the straw in water and drink.
LifeStraw helps address problems that most water treatment systems fail to solve. For example, helping a village build a well provided clean water source, but when villagers transport that clean water in dirty jugs, they once again become exposed to disease risks. Because the LifeStraw can be used to drink clean water directly from a dirty source, it eliminates the problem of finding clean transport vessels. Also, unlike a well or a piped water system, LifeStraw enables people to carry the ability to get clean water with them wherever they go. This is very important given the unfortunate abundance of refugee situations in the world today.

If you’re interested in charitable giving to support the world’s quest for clean water, consider LifeStraw.

Water: A resource at the core of sustainable development

March 6th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Water: A resource at the core of sustainable development)

Water has always been an important part of the global policy agenda, owing to its necessity as survival tool. The growing trend towards rapid urbanisation that has occurred over the last few decades, however, has led to water increasingly becoming a resource which is at the core of sustainable development thinking.rio +20

On October 31, 2011, the Population Division of the United Nations declared that the world is now inhabited by over 7 billion people. Of these 7 billion, over half live in cities, with this figure expected to increase to more than 70% by 2050. The rapid growth of city population size, and density, is putting much undue stress on water resources, resulting in the United Nations emphasising the need to rethink city development, not as an objective in itself, but instead as a means of delivering a sustainable resource management solution.

At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, held in June 2012, the UN concluded that, “We stress the need to adopt measures to significantly reduce water pollution and increase water quality, significantly improve wastewater treatment and water efficiency and reduce water losses. In order to achieve this, we stress the need for international assistance and cooperation.”

With water resource management firmly fixed on the international agenda, technological innovations are likely to be at the forefront of solving the water shortage problem. Smart meters, for example, which are to be piloted in Malta, allow for the optimisation of water and electricity consumption through loss reduction, remote management and real time consumption analysis.

The future of effective sustainable development may be unclear, but, one thing is for certain, water is finally being recognised as one of the resources at its very core.

Empty water bottles: The solution to lighting the homes of the poor?

February 17th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Empty water bottles: The solution to lighting the homes of the poor?)

Launched in mid 2011, the Liter of Light Project, developed by the My Shelter Foundation, a Philippines-based NGO, is a pioneer in the global fight against poverty, as well as providing an environmentally friendly solution to the problem of how to most effectively recycle plastic bottles.

solarbottlThe Solar Bottle Bulb, originally developed by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), provides a cost effective solution to the lighting problem that affects some 12 million Philippine families that either live without electricity or live in fear of having their electricity cut off.

My Shelter Foundation Founder, and social entrepreneur, Ilac Diaz’s programme uses old plastic water bottles, filled with chlorine and water, and places them in custom made holes in the roofs of corrugated iron shanty town buildings. The solution refracts the sunlight and the equivalent luminosity of a 55 Watt bulb is delivered to the room below. While the scheme may not be perfect, as the bulbs do not work during the evening due to a lack of sunlight, the bulbs produce much needed light during the day; something which is having a transformational impact on the lives of the Philippines’ poorest families, many of whose homes lack even windows.

In a country where 40% of the population live off $2 per day, Solar Bottle Bulbs provide a cost-effective solution for creating light, with production only costing $1 per bulb. The programme itself, while having beneficial environmental implications, has also spawned a burgeoning micro-business in some of the Philippines’ poorest communities.