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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Companies Profit Off Canned Air Non-Solution as China Chokes on Smog

Mel Brooks in Spaceballs
The movie Spaceballs has become a reality. Canned air that was meant as a joke in the Star Wars parody film by Mel Brooks, now sells out in China due to their serious air pollution problem.

As the poor citizens of China choke on smog, companies such as Vitality Air capture and bottle fresh, mountain air and makes a profit off of those who haven't taken a fresh breath in months or more. In fact, children born and raised in modern day China have no concept of clean air, water, or their environment in general.

While these company's aren't specifically targeting places like China, the majority of their customers live in cities. Seems like taking advantage of people who live in pollution prone areas by selling them something as ridiculous as canned air is shitty thing to do. What is even more ridiculous, is that we have let such a product have a growing need by being eco-irresponsible.

Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images
To start, over 4,500 bottles of canned air have made their way to China, with much more anticipated to be sold as "need" for such a product is high and getting higher. The price of Vitality Air is $14-20, not including shipping. In China, a 7.7 litre can of crisp air taken from Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains range sells for 100 yuan ($15.42), which is 50 times more expensive than a bottle of water there.

With the money that is gong to be spent on non-solutions like bottled air, could it instead go towards investment solutions such as alternative energy for transportation? With cars causing so much pollution, is it not time to redesign the car? Are city wide air filtering modules something that makes sense for the future? I don't claim to be a scientist, or an inventor, but I can say that spending more time on critical thinking, and less on canned air is a good start.

Photo: Reuters
Not to mention, in a country so full of pollution and waste, does having thousands of bottles of aerosol cans filling the landscape and landfills sound like it is really helping anything in the end, or just adding to the problem?

High population, plus outsourcing of clothing, farmed fish, other food products, electronics, cheap toys and other products made under loose environmental regulations with toxic materials that nature can't digest, add to the grim reality of China's pollution problem.

Is there anything you, as one small person can do to help? Possibly. Small things you can do right now is  to buy products that source materials produced in your country, buy local, and generally be a more conscious consumer. The products we consume every day do more to affect the whole than we realize.

Photo: Reuters
Is the clothing you wear produced in a factory in China? Is the fish you are purchasing wild caught, or farm raised in China? That is more of a health concern on your part, as water is so polluted that I would not want to eat fish from there for sanitary reasons.

Until we find a more eco-friendly way to produce products from the get-go, I think it is about time we find more eco-friendly ways to obtain and enjoy products without having to contribute to pollution and illness in places around the world. It may not seem like much, but collectively, it makes a difference to the amount of pollution made during production and over seas shipping.


RESOURCES:

 Chinese buy up bottles of fresh air from Canada - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/12051354/Chinese-buy-up-bottles-of-fresh-air-from-Canada.html
  
Canned Canadian air sells out in smog-choked China - http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/blogs/canned-canadian-air-sells-out-smog-choked-china 

23 Shocking Photos of China's Pollution Problem - http://www.earthporm.com/23-shocking-photos-reveal-bad-chinas-pollution-problem-become/ 
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