From the article: “Women in 27 Bangladeshi villages, where drinking water is generally scooped from a river or canal, were taught to cover the urns they used for fetching water with an old sari folded in four. Over the next 18 months the rate of cholera in these villages dropped by about 50 percent, compared with other villages — about the same effect as that achieved by a much more expensive nylon water filter.”
Rather than making a new or high-tech filter, a much smaller, less “flashy” idea fixed things just fine. Not every solution requires a new product or system.
I think sustainability is so difficult a problem because the issue we’re facing now is that we’re consuming and making too much stuff; and yet we’re still trying to solve the problem by making more stuff.