Categories: social, environment, economy
What? A Canadian company is canning and selling Rocky Mountain-area air. Edmonton-based Vitality Air began after its founder sold a bag of air on eBay as a joke. Now the company's business is burgeoning in China, with plans to expand to India. Vitality Air offers cans of unaltered air from Banff and Jasper, Alta. in a variety of sizes, with a 7.7 L can, containing "150 inhalations", retailing online for $32. According to experts, at these quantities the air does not provide health benefits.
So what? That people are willing to purchase Canadian canned air highlights the growing reality of environmental inequality and the potential of money to mitigate the experience of a degraded environment. Environmental degradation is creating demand for location-specific environmental luxury goods. With dwindling environmental resources, conspicuous consumption now includes flaunting high environmental quality goods, in the same way as we wear designer shoes or shirts. As a result, Canada, with its abundant natural resources, may benefit from an environmental boost to its national brand.