By Faceted Media Staff Writer Caits Fitzpatrick
The concept is simple, (to insanely intelligent individuals), – a book made of pages containing “nanoparticles of silver or copper, which kill bacteria in the water as it passes through.” It is a book capable of filtering contaminated water and removing 99% of the bacteria present. The pages are filled with information regarding the importance of why water should be filtered and different ways to accomplish it, therefore educating the owner and spreading awareness. As I said before, the concept is simple:
A book capable of saving lives.
This blog is not simply informative, but rather a call-to-action from anyone who may stumble across these words. Thanks to Dr. Teri Dankovich, this book exists and now it’s up to the rest of us to help make it accessible to those in need. We have a responsibility.
“More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene related causes. Nearly all deaths, 99 percent, occur in the developing world,” according to the World Health Organization. That is 3.4 million deaths every year that could have been avoided, if those people had access to filtered water. The sheer tragedy of that statement is astounding and entirely unnecessary. The Drinkable Book started a Tilt fundraising page in an attempt to raise $20,000 to create 1000 books. From this information, it would seem that the cost of a single Drinkable Book is $20. Each book lasts long enough to filter water for a single person for four years. For the sake of keeping the numbers nice an even, let’s assume the average person lives to be eighty years old. This means for about $400, that person could have the luxury of filtered water their entire life. I understand that for 3.4 million people, $400 becomes a much bigger number extremely quickly, but if one organization is not solely responsible for the production, that intimidating total (roughly $1,360,000,000) can become much more manageable.
Where I live, in the United States, clean water is something I have always taken for granted because it was never out of reach. Whereas 780 million people, worldwide, don’t have the ability to take clean water for granted because it’s something they simply don’t have access to, according to the United Nations water website. For a comparison, the population of the U.S. is currently just over 3 million.
It is not right that so few of us should live such wonderful and comfortable lives, when so many are dying because of something as simple as clean water.
We have the ability to change this. If every person in America could spare $40 per month, for only one year of our lives, we could raise that big, scary amount of money and save all of those lives. Now, in no way am I trying to insinuate that every American is rolling in the dough. I myself live a paycheck-to-paycheck sort of lifestyle and some months, I really wouldn’t have a spare $40. The point is, if for one year, we made an effort to work a little harder and share a bit more, we could save millions.
Regardless of where we were born, we have a responsibility towards one another – to care for and do everything possible to make sure that lives aren’t lost.
Up until now, we haven’t always upheld this responsibility, but every day is a new day and a fresh opportunity to try again.
I hope that after you read this, and you go to bed, you wake up tomorrow, ready to help our brothers and sisters. As I said before, Dr. Dankovich really did all the work. She researched and developed The Drinkable Book, making it easy for everyone to filter the water. It is our job to help get the book to those who need it.