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Tag Archives: pollution

Londoners: Wanna Know How Safe The Air Is To Breathe? These Pigeons Will Tell You

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In an effort to raise awareness about air pollution, Twitter put on a contest where ones of the winners was a team composed of PR agency DigitasLBi and tech startup Plume Labs. Their project involves strapping tiny air sensors to the back of domesticated racing pigeons (which return home to roost every night) and have them fly around the city. You’re then free to Tweet your location to any of the 10 birds in the project, and they’ll send you back info about ozone, nitrogen dioxide and volatile compound levels. In other words, the birds will tell you how safe it is to even breathe the air around you. Granted with only 10 birds you won’t get a very complete snapshot of the city’s pollution levels, but again, this is more about raising awareness than it is about creating an accurate network. The bird squad is known as the Pigeon Air Patrol, and they’ll fly the skies for only 3 days.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

So… The Chinese Are Apparently Buying Bottled Canadian Air

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We imagine that people laughed when water started being sold in plastic bottles, and now look at the industry that became. So we’re not entirely surprised that more well-to-do Chinese folks are turning to a company called VitalityAir that sells pristine Canadian air in a can; when there’s a market, there’s a market. Considering the astronomical pollution levels over there, we can also see the appeal. So for prices ranging between $20CAD (around $14 USD) and $32CAD (around $23 USD) you can buy a bottle that contains 3 litres of compressed air from places like “Lake Louise” or “Banff”, and it’ll last for about 80 one-second puffs.

Vitality Air’s Mr Lam admits that he started out the company as a joke as well when he and co-founder Troy Paquette filled a plastic bag of air and sold it for less than 50 pence on the auction site Ebay.
A second bag sold for $160 (£105).
“That’s when we realised there is a market for this,” says Mr Lam.

Sure enough, their first batch of 500 sold in just 4 days, and there’s another shipment of 4,000 en route to China that’s all already mostly sold out. The company will ship their air anywhere in the world for a flat $9 ship rate.

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