By now I’m sure you’ve all read the reports of just how horrible the air quality in China has become. The smog has gotten so bad in Beijing, for example, that it has delayed flights, shrouded skyscrapers like fog and prompted health warnings for those venturing outside. But one Chinese entrepreneur thinks he may have the solution to this problem – fresh air in a can.
Last September, millionaire Chen Guangbiao introduced his product to the market for the first time, offering up three flavors of air in cans that resembles a soft drink. Those flavors include “Post-industrial Taiwan,” “Revolutionary Yan’an,” and the always popular “Pristine Tibet.” The cans of air sell for 5 yuan or roughly 80 cents a piece.
It would be easy to dismiss this move as a publicity stunt – something that Guangbiao has a reputation for in the past – but the businessman seems genuinely concerned about the growing environmental problem that his country now faces. He told ABC News that selling the cans of fresh air was an attempt to raise awareness of the issue and to show how committed he is to the cause. He went one step further by also giving away 5000 bicycles in an effort to encourage people to use non-motorized transportation.
For now though, improving the air quality seems like a low priority for the Chinese government, which is focused on continuing to ramp up industrial production for the 21st century. Considering that all but a handful of days in January were classified as “hazardous” air conditions in Beijing, however, perhaps they ought to reconsider their approach. Or at least start stocking more vending machines with these cans of fresh air.
[Photo Credit: Ng Han Guan/AP Photo]