Drinking is fundamental.
With that thought in mind, DDB New York and Water Is Life have authored a Drinkable Book that not only educates at-risk populations on sanitation and hygiene, but also provides a means to purify contaminated water.
The pages are coated with microscopic particles of silver. When water passes through, more than 99 percent of harmful bacteria—like cholera, E. coli and typhoid—are destroyed, and the resulting liquid is safe to drink. Theresa Dankovich, a chemist, invented the paper. The text, printed in food-quality ink, provides basic safety information, such as reminders to keep trash and feces away from water supplies. The filter paper costs pennies to produce, and a single book can provide a person with drinkable water for up to four years.
DDB and Water Is Life have teamed up before on notable humanitarian efforts. These include an award-winning campaign that saw impoverished Haitians read actual tweets that people jokingly marked with the #FirstWorldProblems hashtag, and "Kenya Bucket List," which focused on what third-world kids hope to accomplish in their lives.
The Drinkable Book is a refreshingly creative (but practical) approach that marks a new chapter in combining communications with real-world action, a direction also championed by the Peruvian billboards that generate clean air and water.