By Annie Su
It all started when I thought it was a joke. But as I looked more into it, the reality of this service turned out to be real. Companies or individuals in China are using a design initiative to deal with their public health issue, air pollution. These businesses are literally selling cans or bags of fresh oxygen.
Fresh Air Stations
In response to the growing concern, people are selling fresh clean oxygen, in hoping that they’ll help with the situation. China is one of the most polluted countries in the world, so I am not surprised of the increasing data indicating the immense growth and air pollution that they deal with.
Many locations in China are offering city dwellers a breath of fresh air. Fresh air stations are set up, where visitors are handed over oxygen masks to breath in fresh Laojun Mountain air, which is located in Luanchuan where it is 80% greenery in Henan province. The air bags are meant to address the dangerous smog levels, where only just 3 pf 74 cities in China have met the official air quality standards according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection in China. It is shocking that it has led to this environmental crisis and how they just let it happen.
Chen Guangbiao handing out canned fresh air.
Having the same response, Chinese entrepreneur Chen Guangbiao who made a fortune selling cans of fresh air at 5 yuan (80 cents) each. His estimated net worth is $740 million, even though he claims he isn’t trying to make profit from all this. He encourages people the inhale the compressed air cans.
Vitality Air started as a gag gift, but who knew that bags of air was in such high demand. It all started when a couple of Canadians sold a bottle of air from the Rocky Mountains on eBay. Vitality Air officially launched back in 2014, where their main consumers were from North America, India and Middle East. Ending with China as their biggest buyer and market.
With a high risk of public health crisis, the Chinese government are taking actions, either you believe it is unethical or creative, but things are happening. Companies and individuals are now dealing with the public health issue and hoping to somehow to help with the air pollution in populated areas in Asia. But is it too late? What has it become of China? And why did it have to come to this stage where there is a need to drag around oxygen tanks?
Daily Mail 2014, China’s latedt fad is breath of fresh air: Oxygen stations set up across the country so city dwellers can escape smog, UK, viewed 16 February 2017, <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2592762/Chinas-latest-fad-breath-fresh-air-Oxygen-stations-set-country-city-dwellers-escape-smog.html>
Daily Mail 2014, Central European News Images, viewed 16 February 2017, <http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/03/30/article-2592762-1CB0750000000578-488_634x359.jpg>
Daily Mail 2014, Central European News Images, viewed 16 February 2017, <http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/03/30/article-2592762-1CB0752000000578-209_634x352.jpg>
Science Alert 2015, People in China are Buying Cans of Fresh Air from Canada, viewed 17 February 2017, <http://www.sciencealert.com/people-in-china-are-buying-cans-of-fresh-air-from-canada>
NPR 2017, In China, A Breath Of Fresh Air (In A Can), viewed 17 February 2017, <http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/02/03/170891295/in-china-a-breath-of-fresh-air-in-a-can>
NPR 2017, Mark Wong/EPA /LANDOV , viewed 17 February 2017, <http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2013/02/01/chinaair_3_custom-e07ccc8b8d542752eaf1c13a611244d3d602bccb-s1500-c85.jpg>