Two Canadians are profiting off of the horrible air conditions in Beijing, which was recently put under a smog “red alert.” The Canadian duo is selling bottled canisters of fresh air from the Rocky Mountains.
The red alert, the highest warning in the new air purity system, was in effect from December 8 to 10. Beijing officials recommended that children and elderly citizens stay inside and schools close, and residents should avoid walking outside for long periods of time. The city also recommended that citizens wear masks.
But some in Beijing resorted to using Vitality Air, the fresh air canister created by Troy Paquette and Moses Lam.
Paquette and Lam first had the idea to sell fresh air from the rocky mountains after several of their friends went to China and complained about the air quality.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) December 15, 2015
In 2014, Paquette and Lam captured as much air as possible in a Ziplock freezer bag, and listed on eBay as a joke. The bag sold for $0.99, so they tried it again. Their second bag of air started a bidding war, and sold for $168.
The businessmen now describe their bottling and purification process as a trade secret. The pure air is collected in a canister in Lake Louise and Banff, Alberta, and is then taken home to be bottled for sale.
“As much as it started out as a novelty idea, with the really bad smog they’ve had in Beijing, we’re finding people are buying it as more than just a novelty, but for everyday use” says Paquette. “There’s been quite a demand.”
Vitality Air now sells several different types of fresh air, as well as pure oxygen. Single canisters range from $19 to $32, and are also sold in twin packs. Each canister contains 150 1-second sprays, and include a cap mask on the top of each bottle.
Although sales of Vitality Air started off slowly, the red alert in Beijing sent their sales through the roof. The first shipment of 500 cans sold in four days, and a second shipment of 4,000 is currently on its way to China. Several Chinese realtors are interested in carrying the cans in their stores.
According to Lam and Paquette, citizens in Iran and Afghanistan are also interested in buying their product as a way to relive themselves from their country’s pollution.
Featured image via todayszaman.com