Laugh all you want at the idea of selling air in a can (like our grandparents do with the concept of bottled water) but with the alarming levels of pollution and smog-choked air everywhere you go, breathing out of a canister may soon become an everyday reality. According to a recent report by Greenpeace, 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities were in India, with Delhi again ranked the world’s most polluted capital. Almost 7 million people die from air pollution worldwide, with India suffering most pollution-linked deaths in the world. Other than the dystopian vibe around the entire concept, bottled air has been around for the past few years, with companies like Auzair and Vitality Air being at the forefront of starting sales. We now have our very own homegrown company, Pure Himalayan Air.
Based on tapping into the pristine environment of the Himalayas, the company aims to make portable the beneficial effects of the air available in the region worldwide. As their website states, “The sad reality is that many people across the world are not as lucky as us and are exposed to unclean and potentially harmful toxins in the air they breathe every day. This fact is our inspiration.”
They use medical-grade equipment to cold compress and filter the air directly from a Himalayan location, into individual aluminium containers. They assure customers that the air in the container retains all the properties of the pristine region it was sourced from. As their website states, “Our canned air is mountain sourced and a combination of oxygen, nitrogen, forms of carbon and other naturally found elements. This air is pure, just as it would exist if you were standing on that mountain yourself and breathing in the lush green trees and snow-crested peaks.” A 2-3 second spritz from the bottle can rejuvenate you, giving you a ‘physical and emotional boost’.
While the benefits definitely seem tempting, environmentalists such as Peepal Baba are against it, believing that it is unnecessary stress to the body. The man who is famously known for planting over 20 million trees in the country told India Today, “We are inviting a huge amount of sickness and illness in the population because taking artificial air in bits and pieces can increase your dependence on it, hampering the bioengineering of your lungs”.
Setting aside the personal advantages or disadvantages, will resorting to such a solution encourage people to shirk off from their larger environmental responsibilities, in fixing the fundamental issue of unsustainable development of mankind? With the commodification of such a basic right and necessity such as clean air, in what state will the lives of those who can’t spare 500 bucks a pop be in?
We hope that the scary reality that these products represent makes environmental destruction more tangible to us, instead of an abstract concept we read about just to promptly forget.
Click here for more information. Each 10-litre bottle retailing for INR 550.
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