Beijing, China (Bike Lane Living) – The ‘Breathing Bicycle’ was created by Beijing resident and artistic innovator, Matt Hope. Concerned by very unhealthy air quality, Matt developed a bicycle-mounted air cleaning system, allowing the bicycle commuter to breathe healthier air than the immediate surroundings.
China’s drive for economic expansion is coming at a heavy environmental cost. The world’s most populous country currently consumes about as much coal as the rest of the world. Even with recent emphasis on more sustainable energy production, the use of coal is still expanding albeit it at a slowing pace. The gas and particulate pollution immediately impacts human physiology with the net effect of reducing the lifespan of the population. This is a serious problem.
While this innovation could potentially be a big step forward for the choking residents of Beijing, it only solves a fraction of the problem. Firstly, the filter only removes particulate matter – leaving the gas pollution. This means that carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and many other toxic gases are still being inhaled by the rider. Plus, this bike is more of a political statement than a sustainable solution.
The breathing bicycle should serve as a wake-up call to policy makers to move with greater urgency and intensity on solutions to the pollution crisis.