If you think spending $2 for bottled water is stupid, I wonder what you think about $28 for a can of fresh air?
A Canadian company has sold out its inventory of compressed cans of fresh air from the Rocky Mountains, largely to customers in China where air pollution is a major problem.
The cans sell for about $28 and contain about 150 whiffs of fresh air, said Vitality Air’s China representative Harrison Wang. That’s about 18 cents per breath of clean air.
It sounds dumb, but the product “sold out almost instantly” when offered on China online retailer Taobao. The first wave of fresh air was only 500 cans, but another 700 will be sold soon, so if you live in Beijing, get your mouse finger ready.
Vitality Air founders Moses Lam and Troy Paquette say their product is not a joke, but admit it started as one. They sold their first plastic bag of Canadian air on eBay for 99 cents, then realized they could make a killing after selling a second bag for $122.
The Independent reports a restaurant in China is charging customers for fresh air after buying filtration machines.
Beijing issued its first ever air pollution red alert last week. Before the red alert was issued, breathing the air in Beijing was considered the equivalent of smoking 40 cigarettes a day.
The company’s website features only nine “testimonials” from customers, and only one appears to be from a Chinese customer. “IT TASTE LIKE AIR VERY GOOD THANK U,” wrote an alleged customer named Xi.
Chinese companies are already taking advantage of the polluted situation, including one that sold 10 million cans in only 10 days. The price of inferior Chinese air? About 80 cents.
American companies are profiting from pollution as well, selling millions of face masks to Chinese trying to protect their lungs.
Unfortunately, like canned air and bottled water, the masks don’t really help.
But maybe, as I tell people I don’t send Christmas gifts to, it’s the thought that counts.