Innovation That Matters

Environmental campaign | Photo source Pixabay

CO2 from cars used as ink on public health billboard


A Peruvian natural gas company ran a campaign that used pollution from passing cars to reveal a billboard message.

Peru is swiftly on its way to becoming South America’s most polluted country, says the World Health Organization’s Global Urban Air Pollution Database. In recognition of the need for cleaner air, Calidda, a leading natural gas provider, worked with the McCann advertising agency to run a public health campaign called Lima Talks. The campaign transformed the carbon dioxide from passing cars into a billboard advert with a message for the citizens of the city.

The billboard was placed at one of the busiest intersections on Abancay Avenue and started out as a blank canvas with no writing on it. As the days went by and the city’s traffic flowed along, a message slowly started to appear. A device integrated into the billboard gathered pollutants from the air and transformed them from gas to powder. Through this transformation process, the powder was manipulated to spell out the message “Me cuesta mucho respirar” – I am finding it very difficult to breathe.

A healthy citizenry is essential to the development of a city. Around the world, a range of organizations are running projects to support and improve public health by raising awareness and encouraging positive change. In the UK, an interactive billboard tests the lung capacity of the passersby and provides information on lung health and support to quit smoking. In South Korea, a wireless ultraviolet LED is being used to sterilize escalator handrails using the movement of the handrail. What other solutions to widespread or widely known public health dangers could use an innovative rethink?



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