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Swiss inventor taps Grand Rapids filmmaker to market innovative water purifier

By: Deborah Johnson Wood

Forbes Magazine calls LifeStraw one of the 10 Things That Will Change The Way We Live and Grand Rapids-based Creo Productions has partnered with its Swiss manufacturer, Vestergaard Frandsen, to create a video that markets the product globally.

LifeStraw is a drinking straw with an instant microbiological filter that removes disease-causing waterborne bacteria. It fits in a pocket or satchel and costs just $4. Users, many of whom live where there is no clean water supply, use the straw to drink directly from rivers, streams or pots of well water.

The 2008 UNICEF Handbook On Water Quality reports that some 1.1 billion people lack access to improved water, and over three million, mostly children, die from water-borne diseases annually.

Last January, Creo co-founder Aaron Carriere, 26, was in Ecuador and ate fish he and friends had speared in a contaminated stream. They all got sick and suffered severe dehydration in the jungle.

“I’ve never had to deal with being so sick because of the water,” Carriere says. “I came back and said what can I do about this, there’s people that live like this daily.”

Carriere contacted Vestergaard Frandsen and about a month later came up with the idea to create a video the company can offer on sermonspice.com, where members buy videos to play for their organizations and churches. The video is currently in production.

“We’re going to reach an audience for LifeStraw that they haven’t reached,” says Carriers. “Sermonspice.com has 90,000 members. You take a local video, load it to the web site and immediately it goes international.

“We’re a two-man company,” Carriere adds, “and for us to have an impact on the world is great.”

Source: Aaron Carriere, Creo Productions

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Deborah Johnson Wood is the development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com.

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