If you have ever been on a mission trip, or even just ventured into the developing world, you know how much of an issue clean drinking water can be to people living there.
Their surface water supplies that they usually do everything with from wash clothes, to bathe, to even use the bathroom, are becoming more and more contaminated. This leaves some of the water supplies alright to do certain things in, but certainly not drink from.
Thousands of people around the world are dying everyday from very preventable diseases, and as Christians who are supposed to care about the world, we should be outraged. Why should the less fortunate have to die at the hands of the inaction of the more fortunate? We’re all God’s children, and deserve the right to life!
Well we started to do some searching around for cool companies and technologies that are really making a difference in this epidemic. These simple and functional devices are not only giving people in impoverished areas a clean supply of drinking water, but a new lease on life. A life without meaningless disease.
The first, and probably most utilitarian water-purification device is called the LifeSaq. This brilliant innovation was meant to be a shipping sack for grains and supplies, and then turn into a water purification bag, using UV radiation, and a 5nm filter to eliminate almost all bacteria from the water. This bag also has very simple slits in the sides, so after filling the bag, it can be worn as a backpack for ease of transportation over longer distances.
The Lifestraw has a number of innovative systems out there for water purification in the developing world, but its flagship and initial innovation was the actual Life Straw. A small, plastic tube that looks a lot like the recorders we used to play in elementary music class, this portable device can provide instant clean water from virtually any water supply. So if someone is traveling and comes across ground water, they can safely drink it without catching any sort of disease.
The Solarball is a device that looks like a large hamster ball. It has two sides, one completely translucent, and the other black. It is meant to heat up using the solar rays, and have the evaporated water move from the dark side to the clear side. Overall, one of these balls with result in about 3 liters of clean water per day. Simple, yet effective.
Ceramic Water Filters
The last water purification device on our list is a series of ceramic water filters developed by UNICEF and the Water and Sanitation Program for use in Cambodia. These gravity filters are made from fired clay, and have very small pores that virtually remove all harmful bacteria from the water, and will produce about 1-3 liters of clean water per hour.
So if you are going on a mission trip in the foreseeable future, or just want to make a difference, I highly recommend that you look into one of these amazing technologies. They could just save a couple lives with a very easy donation.
I think just about everyone has a few pounds to lose somewhere on their body. With the holiday season coming up, we could all use a little help preparing for those trays of christmas cookies and roast hams. Or you may want to get into shape for a beach vacation.
Here are the 5 tips that we received from fitness expert Tony Calhoun, who is a personal trainer in downtown Toronto. Without taking any exercise into account, Tony has compiled a list of simple eating changes you can make to your diet that can dramatically affect weight loss for you.
So let’s just straight into it! Take it away Tony:
1. Use small plates
The first rule of weight loss eating is to control portion size using small plates. I’m talking about plates that are no larger than your hand. Feel free to pile them with as much food as you would like, but just know that that plate size is your meal portion, and all your body really needs to sustain itself.
Too often we tend to just finish whatever is put in front of us, just out of physiological habit, and not even hunger. By using smaller plates, we’re tricking our brains into saying that we are full, and that it just finished one helping.
2. No white carbs
The next easy eating habit that you can change today is to stay away from all “white” carbs. Generally this will mean breads, rice, pastas, starches, and anything else that can be deemed a starch or grain. These just convert into sugar so fast that our bodies really don’t have a good way of processing them, so we store them as fat around our bodies.
3. Don’t drink your calories
Along side simple eating habits, an important area to look out for is the calories that you drink, and not just eat. Beverages such as soda, sweetened tea, beer, wine and many more things have a significant caloric load that can really add up quickly on you. These beverages are usually of very low nutritional value as well, so the calories really are ‘empty’. Use simple alternatives such as unsweetened tea or water to quench that thirst, but not consume nearly the amount of calories.
4. Eat within 30 mins of Awakening, and Not After 7pm
Another simple rule of thumb to go with throughout your day is make sure and eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up, and not anymore after 7pm at night.
By eating an early breakfast, especially with tons of good protein, we make sure that our metabolism gets a big jump start in the morning, and will be at a higher level for the rest of the day. We also say not to eat after 7pm because that is when most of the binging in our day really happens. We often eat out of habit and not hunger, so can pack in quite a few calories without even realizing it.
5. Cook for Yourself and Eat Slowly
The last weight loss and eating tip is to take more time to enjoy cooking and eating! When you take more time with your food, not only are you putting more care into the things you put into your body, but you are also able to really make things that you like to eat, but are still healthy for you.
Eating slowly will serve two purposes – feeling full faster, and enjoying the food more. They say our stomachs take 20 minutes to tell our brains that they are full, and we can keep eating and keep eating without feeling it, then suddenly feel over full. Eating slowly also helps us enjoy our food more, and get more pleasure from eating.