When the air in our cities just gets worse, innovative and radical solutions are needed. The Dutchman Daan Roosegaarde used Kickstarter to fund the construction of a seven-meter high air purifier that is now receiving acclaim from environmental researchers the world over.
"What made me react was a report saying that there was so much pollution in the air in the Netherlands that life expectancy was shortened on average by almost a year," says Roosegaarde.
Smog Free Tower purifies 30,000 cubic metres of air an hour and creates a pocket of clean air around it, using no more electricity than an electric kettle.
The huge air purifier is now in place in a residential area in Rotterdam, but will soon travel the world for instance to Mumbai and Beijing. Two cities where the smog is so dense inhabitants have gotten used to the fact that one can only see blue skies at weekends when there is less traffic.
This will of course not be remedied by hundreds of Smog Free Towers, but Roosegaarde's invention can, if used correctly, create the necessary smog-free bubble in cities and at workplaces affected by polluted air. It can also kick-start a necessary debate on the environment and serve as a source of inspiration.
"We as a race have invented amazing machines that have allowed us to travel quickly around the world. The problem now is that machines are striking back and we must deal with this," says Roosegaarde.
Everyone has to help out. Kinnarps is trying to do its bit to improve the environment for instance by using "pure" materials as much as possible. Between 60 and 90 per cent of all aluminium used by Kinnarps is recycled for instance.
Click here if you would like to read more about Kinnarps environmental and sustainability work The Better Effect.