It appears we live in an age when the seemingly impossible keeps becoming possible. We now have the ability to drink water from dirty sources using nothing but a 2 ounce blue straw. The LifeStraw is an invention created by Vestergaard, which is located in Switzerland. It was originally envisioned as a device for use in developing countries where clean water is scarce.
To use the blue straw, you simply place it in the water you want to drink from and suck on it. You drink directly from the device and expel the unwanted bacteria and other undesirable materials by blowing into it. It doesn't get rid of viruses or change the taste of salt water, but renders most water sources into tasteless, drinkable water.
The LifeStraw filters approximately 1000 liters (or 264 gallons) of water, or the amount of water a person drinks in a whole year, but usually lasts longer than 5 years for most people. The straw was first brought to North America for sale in 2011, when demand for it increased. The straw is mostly used by those travelling in other countries or hikers, but can be purchased by anyone.
The LifeStraw has received over 8 awards including "Invention of the Century" from Gizmag in 2005 and the "Saatchi and Saatchi Award for World Changing Ideas" in 2008.