A travel agency sent to Zhengzhou city bags containing fresh air. The inhabitants queued for them so they can breathe, even for a few minutes, the air that they don’t have because they are living in one of the most polluted cities in China. The scene in the image on the left is not from a SF movie, nor a satire. It took place in the city Zhengzhou, at the initiative of Henan travel agency who sent 20 blue bags which contained air from mount Laojun. The event had the purpose of drawing attention on the issue of the bad quality of air in China, besides the publicity inevitably gained by the company who made this event possible. Inhabitants of Zhengzhou queued in order to breath the precious clean air and everyone of those who were present had the chance to “taste” it for a few minutes. Not being accustomed with an air so clean, people almost “got drunk” with it and they tried to inhale it to its last drop.
Because of the fact that they are living in a town so polluted, people are bereaved of the basic joys of health and of human existence – such as breathing as you like fresh and clean air. The quality of the air in Zhengzhou, measured two weeks ago, was 158, much higher than, for instance the quality of the air in the most polluted city in USA, Bakersfield, which was 45. The idea of offering bottled air to the people is not new: in Japan, near mount Fuji, canned air is sold as souvenir for tourists. The Chinese company Chen Guangbiao sold them in 2012. And the publicity activity of the travel agency accomplished at Zhengzhou it is not a solution to the problems of the inhabitants they have daily regarding the air. However, because of the uniqueness and the dramatic images they generated, they drew the attention of the entire world on the issue of air pollution and it also reminded the people in that area what they had lost. Maybe this will be a good impulse so they won’t let things get any worse.