Tested!! Does Lifestraw Work? Here’s how I found out in Kenya


Lifestraw Personal Water filters had a contest where you could win a trip to join them in Kenya and participate in their work distributing safe drinking water to students in rural areas of Kakamega. But before this contest, I had never OWNED a Lifestraw, and I had no idea if it worked. I was like “Does Lifestraw Work?” I had only vaguely heard that “you could dip a straw in the filthiest water on your hike and not diewhen you drink it.

I was like – “whaaaaa????” So I bought a Lifestraw, headed to the woods and shot my video contest entry.

It didn’t hurt that after 10 YEARS of trying to win a trip to Africa so I could officially win a trip to all seven continents, it felt like my ship had finally come in!

What is a Lifestraw personal water filter?

Lifestraw is a straw you can use to safely drink any water. It is made of an extremely dense/tight fabric that filters out bacteria and viruses and God knows what else but it keeps you from getting diseases, even if someone else bathed in the water or pooped in it or whatever. It’s absolutely brilliant. I keep one in my car, I drink from one every day.

Lifestraw is a part of Vestergaard, which basically is a company of brilliant people using fabric and science to try to invent products which make the world better in some way, and then use their profits to make the world even MORE better in another way. I think they make other stuff like mosquito nets and these bags that help rural farmers protect their crops, but we are not talking about that – we’re not talking about that! We’re talking about LifeStraw y’all!

Lifestraw hosted a video contest, and I won with this video:

Here’s the video I made. I headed down to the local stream because in Yellow Springs in the winter you can just go to a stream, hashtag rural america.

I won a trip to Kenya with Lifestraw to distribute safe drinking water

  • it was the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever won. Maybe the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever gotten to do (sorry children who I’m raising!)
  • It was the coup de grace of my contest winning career. Because it was my 7th and final continent I needed to win an all-expense paid trip to in order to complete the set.
  • It was magical
  • It was in a region called Kakamega. I got to go to Lake Victoria.
  • Most of the time was spent in rural schools, or driving to rural schools. I hung out with the people of Lifestraw, who are now some of my favorite people on Earth.

How does Lifestraw work?

Here’s how: LifeStraw works by using a membrane microfilter that traps the harmful microorganisms and particles in the water. The filter has tiny pores that are 0.2 microns in size, which is smaller than most bacteria and parasites. When you suck water through the straw, the filter blocks anything larger than 0.2 microns from passing through, leaving only clean and safe water to drink. The filter does not require batteries, chemicals or electricity to operate. To clean the filter, you simply blow back through the straw to flush out any debris or dirt that may have accumulated inside.

What costumes did I bring with me to Kenya?

Greenscreen suit. We used it to make a comedy video while I was there, which was so so fun.

Is it safe to drink from a Lifestraw water filter?

OMG it’s so safe, we literally dipped our bottles in the raw water of Lake Victoria, then pulled them up to our mouths and drank. It’s so safe, they have literally gotten rid of Guinea Fowl or whatever that crazy thigh worm is because it just solves the shit.

Here’s what ChatGPT has to say about how safe it is:

Yes, LifeStraw works as a personal water filter that removes 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.9% of parasites, microplastics and other contaminants from any freshwater source. Independently lab tested, durable and BPA free. Also an ultimate survival tool that has no shelf life, is easy to clean and store, and can provide up to 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters) of safe water. LifeStraw has been used by millions of people around the world for emergency preparedness, outdoor adventures, travel and humanitarian aid.

ChatGPT for the win

Why Kenya? What does Lifestraw do in Kenya?

 LifeStraw does more than just provide a personal water filter for individual use. It also runs a unique Give Back program that provides safe water to school children in need for every product sold. Since 2014, LifeStraw has provided over 6 million kids with a year of safe water through this program.

The program is run by 40 local staff, primarily in western Kenya, who visit schools regularly to distribute filters, test water quality, monitor health indicators and conduct hygiene education. The program improves the health, education and livelihoods of the kids and their communities by reducing waterborne diseases, increasing school attendance and empowering local leaders.

Every Lifestraw employee from around the world heads to Kenya once a year to help carry out their mission of providing safe drinking water to these kids, and it’s incredible. What’s more incredible is that it can be supported just by buying good water bottles for myself at home.

Which Lifestraw water filters should I buy?

I like the Lifestraw Go and use it every day. If I had a neighborhood I’d buy one of those big mama jammas, because they’re so awesome.

You can see a ton of the stuff they sell at Amazon with this Lifestraw Search

Where can I buy Lifestraw water filters?

Buy Lifestraw products at Amazon using the Lifestraw Search

Or buy them on the Lifestraw Website

Can you show me some pictures of Kenya already?

Fuck yeah.

Additional Resources

Products Mentioned In This Post

Greenscreen suit

Lifestraw Go

Book a hotel in Kakamega

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