For about the price of a caffe latte (around $3), you 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.
Inventor: Vestergaard Frandsen Group
Availability: Early 2006; $3 and up
Learn more: [LifeStraw.com]