Amelia and I met during our Master in Sustainable Design at Aalborg University, DK. From first semester to the last, we worked together. We are quite different, but similar at the same time. We have a good work flow, and our skills complemented each other within projects, studies and analysis. Amelia is also a very good friend whom inspired (and inspires) me in so many ways – on my way of looking at the world, cooking and on expressing myself.
Amelia is one of a kind – she conquers everyone around with her big smile, strong hug and professionalism. Therefore, she is an important part of this project, as well as her vision towards the environment, health and sustainable management. She may inspire you in how sustainability can be part of a start up.
What is sustainability for you?
A lifestyle that is harmonious with nature.
I know you have quite a sustainable routine and life, but you are also part of a great team at work. Can you explain us what Airlabs is and does?
Airlabs is a start-up company that creates clean air zones for people in cities. We combine engineering, chemistry, and design to deliver solutions that remove air pollution and deliver clean air back to people. We have projects at different scales from personal solutions to small space solutions. We aim to further develop our impact by creating solutions to treat an entire building or even a comprehensive application to clean air for a whole street or neighborhood.
Pollution is part of the city organism. How your technology is helping the city to be more health?
Air pollution is the world’s biggest environmental threat to our health. 92% of people living in cities around the world live where the air quality is over the recommended threshold for safe air quality as set by the World Health Organization. This constant exposure to polluted air causes serious harm to our health and is cause to 7 million premature deaths every year. Our products aim to reduce this exposure and thus provide a higher quality of life to people in cities.
How Airlabs is benefiting city planners, municipality and citizens? Or how this collaboration actually works?
Airlabs work is a truly sustainable case as our solutions act to improve social, environmental, and economic considerations. Our approach is quite open and we have worked both with public agencies (Transport for London) as well as private companies (The Body Shop and JCDecaux). While working with the public sector governments can choose to implement our innovative and healthy technology in their cities. When working with the private sector, companies take improving urban environments into their own hands. Finally, we have our consumer product, the Airbubbl, to create a personal clean air zone inside of your car. This is a very flexible solution that is available here and now without the need for any bureaucratic inputs to reduce your personal air pollution exposure.
What is the role for this kind of technology for the cityscape?
Our technology and products and contribute to multifunctional infrastructure, for example, a city bench or bus stop that also cleans the air. Our work supports to improve environmental conditions and public health for urban citizens. Airlabs clean air zones have the possibility to reactivate outdoor areas that previously could not be used due to toxic air.
What are other elements of your living mode that contribute for a more sustainable planet?
In my personal life, I aim to live as sustainably as possible. I have been a pescetarian for the past 6 years but for the last 4 months, I have been on a completely plant-based diet. This is primarily driven by my personal health, along with a sustainable lifestyle and animal welfare perspective.
I ride my bike to commute to work every day and haven’t driven a car in over 3 years. This was something I prided myself on until I tried to drive on a summer trip and it was a scary experience!
I love buying second-hand clothes and home furnishings to reduce my environmental footprint and give my personal style a unique flair.
One area I would like to improve my lifestyle to be more sustainable is reducing the number of flights I take, though it is difficult to cut this down as I live on the opposite side of the Atlantic from my family.
Sustainable living mode does not have to do only with simplicity and functionality, but with the way you appreciate your lifestyle and care about the planet. How do you think this project can influence a change?
I think that this is a very inspiring project, not only to bring individuals to reflect about where sustainability is active in their own lives but also to share this knowledge with others and thus encourage the message to spread. The project itself has inspired me personally about how I can use my skills and talents to further share my sustainable living mode!
Interview by Camila Buschle
Amelia Strohsnitter, 1989
Project Manager at Air Labs
Currently living in Copenhagen