Living so close to the Canadian Rockies, we often take the fresh air afforded to us for granted.
But it turns out the pure, mountain air is quite the commodity, and two Edmontonians are taking advantage of that.
Moses Lam and Troy Paquette are selling bottles of air from Banff and Lake Louise, compressing the air in canisters and shipping it worldwide.
According to their website, VitalityAir.com, one large bottle of Banff air goes for $15 plus shipping, and contains about 150 breaths of oxygen.
The capture and storage of the air is not an easy process, however.
“It’s a long and tedious process, you know. We sit in Banff for about 10 hours capturing the air and then after that we bring it back and we have to fill it into these bottles individually,” Lam told CBC News.
Lam admits their venture into the clean-air industry started as a joke, after he listed a Ziploc baggie of clean Banff air on eBay as a gag.
“One bag sold for 99 cents. And then another bag of air sold for like $168 US,” he explained to Metro Calgary.
But the joke has quickly turned into a viable business, he said, selling an average of 300 bottles per month online, as well as being on shelves in two Banff stores.
“Most of this stuff is going international,” Lam told Metro. “Our main target markets are China, India, and Dubai, because the pollution is so bad there.”
Wildfires burning in British Columbia and the U.S. have cast a thick cloud of smoke over Banff National Park this week and Lam told Global News a portion of the proceeds from his online sales from now until the end of November will be donated to the Red Cross to help combat the fires.