Selling cans of “fresh air” in China, can be a profitable business. Selling air is exactly what business man Chen Guangbiao is doing. He’s selling it in a variety of “flavors,” too, including “Tibet,” “Taiwan,” and “Yan’an.” For Chen, who is already a millionaire, the clean air in a can is not about providing a valuable service to China’s masses. The air is more about political statement, showing quiet discontent over the horrific state of the environment in parts of the country.
Most of us crack a smirk when we pick up a bottle of water and pay a ridiculous amount of money for it; after all, water requires no real tampering—just bottle it up and it’s good to go. So, we tolerate the idea that we’re paying for a free resource because it’s convenient. Some of us actually need to buy bottled water because our own sources are contaminated, so it’s not completely unreasonable. But would you pay for air? What if you lived in China where the air pollution is so thick people have to wipe layers of soot of their faces as they meander down the street?
The air in a can is not Chen’s first environmental movement. The millionaire has given away a number of bicycles in the past, in an effort to encourage people to get out and exercise. The problem, of course, is that like anywhere else in the world, there are a fair amount of gullible people in China, and some are in panic mode because air in a can suddenly appeared on the shelves. After all, things must really be bad if someone is actually bottling clean air and selling it to people. So, so for some pollution-haters, air in a can is just as essential as out water in a bottle.
Why Pay For Air?
But why pay for air? If you lived in a place where the pollution was so bad you had to worry about your health, wouldn’t you consider moving somewhere else?
Not everywhere in China is polluted; granted those areas of the country with clean air are notably poorer. But maybe that’s the key to China’s economy. If the poorer areas with clean air were to bottle said atmosphere and sell it to the industrialized parts of the nation, the country would probably have an economic upheaval.
And of course, some of us are thinking, “Why didn’t I think of putting air in a can and sending it to China?” I mean really, most of us probably live in an area where the air is significantly cleaner. We really missed out. Just like that time someone invented the microwave bacon cooker and we all went “duh!”