Man sells British countryside air to China

An English businessman has a business selling bottled, British countryside air to Chinese people. Leo De Watts, 27, thought of the idea of selling air to China after seeing news of pollution in Chinese cities. He guessed there was a market for cleaner air. De Watts launched his company last year. It is part of the creatively named industry of „air farming”. His team „harvests” air from various locations in Britain and sends it to China. Even though the air is cheap to collect, the price of the products is high. A bottle of the fresh stuff costs $115. De Watts is from the British countryside. He said he appreciates the quality of the air in rural Britain. He now lives in Hong Kong and sells his air at local markets. Most of his products are sold in Chinese cities, where pollution can be bad. He said his Chinese customers are fussy about what kind of air they buy. He said in his video that: „We have clients who request very particular circumstances for their air. Sometimes we’ll be at the top of a mountain, and other times at the bottom of a valley.” He added: „There’s really a market for this. We’ve just started.”


Exercise 1
Find in the text above the English equivalents of these words:

1. firma
2. przemysł, branża
3. zespół, drużyna
4. wysyłać
5. jakość
6. klient


Exercise 2
Match these English words from the text with their meaning:

1. pollution                   – doceniać
2. to launch                  – szczególny
3. to harvest                – uruchomić
4. to appreciate          – wiejski
5. rural                         – wybredny
6. fussy                        – zanieczyszczenie
7. to request               – zbierać (plony)
8. particular              – żądać


Exercise 3
Say these sentences in English using the words from the previous exercises:

1. Żądamy wysokiej jakość usług.
2. Przemysł produkuje dużo zanieczyszczeń.
3. Mamy wielu wybrednych klientów.
4. Szefowie powinni doceniać pracowników swoich firm.


I know English idioms!

The topic of this lesson’s reading text is air. And this word id also often used in English idioms. Let’s study this sentence:

  • The whole future of the project is still up in the air.

The idiomatic expression “up in the air” means that something is uncertain, often because other matters have to be decided first (= pod znakiem zapytania).


Phrasals, phrasals…

A sentence from this lesson’s text reads: “De Watts launched his company last year.” which means that he started his business then. We could express the same idea using a phrasal verb: “set up”. Then the sentence would read: “De Watts set up his company last year”.
And you? Are you thinking of setting up your company?


Grammar corner

Here’s another sentence from this lesson’s text: “Even though the air is cheap to collect, the price of the products is high.” The sentence presents contrasting information (cheap to collect but of high price) and this contrast is expressed with the underlined expression “even though” which is usually translated as “chociaż”.

Try and say these sentences in English using the structure “even though”:
1. Chociaż się staraliśmy (try), nie zdobyliśmy (win) tego kontraktu.
2. Spóźniłem się, chociaż wyszedłem o czasie.
3. Chociaż miał właściwą zdolność kredytową (creditworthiness), nie dostał kredytu.


countryside – wieś, wiejski
air – powietrze
bottled – butelkowany
news – wiadomości
pollution – zanieczyszczenie
to guess – odgadnąć, domyślić się
market – rynek
cleaner – czystszy
to launch – uruchomić
creatively – kreatywnie
named – nazwany
industry – branża
air farming – uprawa powietrza
team – zespół
to harvest – zbierać (plony)
various – różnorodny
location – lokalizacja, miejsce
to send – wysyłać
even though – chociaż
to collect – zbierać
stuff – rzecz, coś (nazwanego wcześniej)
to appreciate – doceniać
quality – jakość
rural – wiejski
fussy – wybredny
to request – żądać
particular – szczególny, specyficzny
circumstances – okoliczności
top – szczyt
bottom – spód, dno
valley – dolina


download lesson (pdf)


1. business, company
2. industry
3. team
4. send
5. quality
6. customer, client
Ex. 2
1. pollution – zanieczyszczenie
2. to launch – uruchomić
3. to harvest – zbierać (plony)
4. to appreciate – doceniać
5. rural – wiejski
6. fussy – wybredny
7. to request – żądać
8. particular – szczególny
Ex. 3
1. We request high quality of services.
2. Industry produces a lot of pollution.
3. We have a lot of fussy customers.
4. Bosses should appreciate the employees/workers of their companies.
Ex. Grammar corner
1. Even though we tried (hard), we didn’t win that contract.
2. I was late, even though I had left on time.
3. Even though he had the right creditworthiness, he didn’t get the loan.