As an environmental activist and entrepreneur, I’ve made my passion for clean air my business. Protecting family and friends from the toxic and now, well-known negative impact of air pollution led me to create Nirvana Being as a one-stop shop for all personal and enterprise protective gear to safeguard from the perils of air pollution.
But through this journey, I always felt conflicted about air purifiers.
This is because the key element of an air purifier is its HEPA-filter, which, while it filters out the microscopic particulate matter from the air we breathe, allowing us to breathe cleaner air, gets choked in the process and requires replacement. Dirty filters go to landfills annually, adding the the collective problem of air pollution. Air purifiers also increase energy costs and can create a problem of excess carbon dioxide, in a confined space. So I never felt this was the best solution.
Tasked with the need to find an Indoor Air Quality solution for PVR Cinemas in India, we decided that we were going to stick to our sustainable and environmental values and find a green solution.
We recommended a filterless solution from a company that works on the concept of electrostatic precipitation – which means so no filter replacements for the 10-year life of the equipment. So, thats one problem solved.
It gets better though. As this filter replaces the pre/media filter on the existing HVACinfrastructure, it has a significantly lower pressure drop. This implies that the motor needs lesser energy to pull in the same amount of air. So, a simple retrofit allowed us not only to improve the Air Quality Index (AQI) by 90% or better, but also lower energy usage and costs. For our clients, this means a company like PVR will recover the initial cost of the Honeywell filters we are using within 2 years, through energy savings. Also, since you are filtering the air at-source, it is easy to regulate and maintain safe levels of carbon dioxide. All problems addressed. Sounds utopic? Actually, it is!!
Another goal we established with the PVR team is to develop loyalty through transparency. We have installed a monitor in each auditorium, which ensures that real-time AQI will be displayed on the movie screen, the PVR App and the Website. Sharing information about the ambient outdoor AQI vs. the indoor air quality is really a shot in the arm for awareness about air pollution.
I feel this is a landmark project for corporate India and we want to make a big statement about not just the state of our indoor air, but making the shift to comply with Occupational Health and Safety standards (Jai - what are these? One line here, pls)
I must also applaud the thought leadership of the PVR team to elevate the cinematic experience in India and actually re-brand their Auditoriums as Audit-Air- Iums. The end goal is providing a holistic experience and peace of mind with a promise that the 3 hours spent watching a movie at PVR will increase your lifespan by 15 minutes.
I see this as a landmark initiative to compel Corporate India to comply – living where we live, and knowing what we know now, Indoor Air Quality is not a “nice to have,” this is simply “Responsible Business.”
Time to binge watch, don't you think?
Tell us your personal stories on how you battle air pollution in your daily life and in your community.