EDMONTON — For as little as $13, you can now buy 80 breaths of “fresh Banff air” in a bottle.
That’s what an Edmonton company promises on its website, which also features bottles of air from Lake Louise and of “premium” oxygen.
“We just wanted to start a business that was cool and that helped people at the same time,” said Moses Lam, a University of Alberta business graduate who founded Vitality Air in 2014 with Troy Paquette, a former commercial diver.
The pair had previously tried to sell a Ziploc bag of mountain air on eBay. It didn’t get much love. However, their second offering sold for $160 US.
Now, they’re selling an average of 300 bottles a month.
“There’s a huge demand for fresh air…They’re going to Israel; we’ve had them shipped to Turkey … even to Calgary.”
He said the bottling process is tedious and can take up to 10 hours just to capture quality air.
“Each bottle is hand-bottled, so it’s really, really high quality.”
The company has distributors in Edmonton and two locations in Banff. Three months ago, they started selling online.
“Oxygen in a can!” the website reads. “Helps to boost oxygen content in your body!”
For the last several days, much of central and southern Alberta have been seeing and feeling the effects of wildfires in Washington State.
Air Quality advisories have been issued for both Calgary and Edmonton, with Calgary’s peaking at 11 on the 10-point scale.
“Initially, we didn’t even think of the smog,” Lam said. “In North America, we take this fresh air for granted.”
A portion of online sales from now until Nov. 30 will be donated to the Red Cross to help fight wildfires in B.C., he added.