Beijing’s air is so polluted that breathing it has been compared to smoking one cigarette pack a day. The situation has inspired local artist Matt Hope to invent his very own air filtration system attached to his bike rack.
The steampunk-style filtration system was made from odds and ends of unwanted materials from an IKEA rubbish bin. The filtration is driven by the bike rider, pushing the clean air through tubes fastened to the bike through to a fighter pilot’s mask worn by the rider.
Calling it the ‘Breathing Bike’, Hope does not expect most people to be taken up with the idea as he warns that the rider could even get electrocuted in a rainstorm. Thus, the creation is not exactly a practical solution to Beijing’s pollution problems, but rather makes an eye-catching statement about the state of affairs in Beijing.
The more practical solutions for Beijing’s residents are the 3 M dust masks, actual gas masks, or using air filters throughout the house. It is even possible to buy a fresh air can, which can be inhaled.
The culprits for Beijing’s pollution problems include the triad of factory smoke, coal combustion and increasing number of cars on the road, evident with about 20 million new cars hitting Beijing’s streets this year alone. According to Greenpeace, the only way to combat this pollution problem is to cut down on coal use. Otherwise, the recent clear skies witnessed on 4th February would continue to be a rare occurrence.