Chinese Millionaire Sells Cans Of Fresh Air
One Chinese philanthropist is drawing attention to the nation’s air pollution problem by selling cans of “Fresh Air.” Chen Guangbiao, a millionaire who established his fortune in the recycling business and is well-known in China for his environmental efforts, wants to awaken people to the importance of environmental protection.
The World Health Organization recommends air pollution levels no greater than 20 on the PM2.5 scale—particulate matter 2.5 micrometers in diameter—and says levels greater than 300 are serious health hazards. Beijing’s air quality often exceeds levels of 500 and as recent as Jan. 12 hit 755.
I go outside, walk for about 20 minutes, and my throat hurts and I feel dizzy,” Chen told Reuters. “I want to tell mayors, county chiefs and heads of big companies: Don’t just chase GDP growth, don’t chase the biggest profits at the expense of our children and grandchildren and at the cost of sacrificing our ecological environment.”
The green and orange cans of “Fresh Air” sell for 5 yuan—80 cents—and the proceeds are donated to historic and poverty-stricken regions of China.
Sales have been moderate but increased substantially after a recent streak of bad air days when 8 million cans sold in 10 days. Chen admits, however, that the canned air is more a way to draw attention to the air pollution issue than a marketable product.
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