At some point in your life you must have released a balloon into the air. We’ve all let go of that colorful plastic ribbon and watched the balloon float away. Whether intentionally or accidentally, we all did it. Most times, children are the ones whose fingers let balloons slip through, and although you shouldn’t get angry at them for accidentally releasing balloons, you definitely should not encourage it.
Have you thought about what happens to the balloon after you can’t see it anymore? After all, out of sight out of mind. Well, we all need to start thinking about it.
What most of us don't understand is that releasing balloons into the air is extremely harmful to the environment, especially for animals. Balloons Blow, an organization that “provides information to educate people about the destructive effects released balloons have on animals, people, and the environment, and strives to inspire and promote an eco-conscious lifestyle,” recently posted a photo guide explaining why you should never release balloons.
Ribbons And Strings From Balloons Are Also Dangerous
It takes years for latex to break down
On March 29, 2017, the Balloons Blow Facebook page posted the above photo, trying to convince Cullman County, Alabama, to not permit intentional balloon releases. The photo explained, “Balloons can travel thousands of miles, polluting the most remote & pristine places. Once they do, they become a danger to any animal that comes in contact with it.”
It kills marine life
Many aquatic animals can’t see the difference between food and litter, so they accidentally ingest items they find in the water. Causing damage or even death to many of them. “When an animal swallows a balloon, it can block its intestinal tract, leading to starvation,” explains the project Balloons Blow. “Sea turtles & other marine creatures are known to confuse balloons as jellies. Ribbons & string that are sometimes attached to balloons can cause entanglement & death.”
"Once they’ve deflated or popped, and have been bleached by the sun, balloons in the ocean look exactly like jellyfish — a primary food source for sea turtles. The turtles ingest the deflated balloons, which can cause severe harm to their bodies, and eventual death," say the researchers at Balloon Blow.
Releasing balloons is a form of polluting, it’s no better than throwing trash into our oceans and across our forests. This practice poses serious risks to the wildlife we share the planet with.
Even balloons that claim they are biodegradable still often take years to break down, and they may release chemicals into the environment as they do. Latex balloons primarily affect animals, but “mylar/foil balloons can cause dangerous power outages & spark fires.”
How we can solve this balloon problem?
• The best way to start is on your own house. Make sure not to release your own balloons when you have them.
• Reduce the use of balloons to a minimum or replace it for other kinds of party supplies made of biodegradable materials.
• You can also encourage businesses to not to host balloon releases.
• Paper pom poms are beautiful and REUSABLE. There's no need for helium and you can decorate another event in the future.
• Ribbons! kids love ribbons and they will not ask for balloons. If they do, explain about the harm balloons cause to many animals. They will be happy to help the planet.
• There are many websites that help you create amazing posters. Guests will be delighted to see your creativity. Plus, you don't have to worry about deflated balloons ruining your party.
• Banners come in all shapes and colors and most of them can be recycled. If you want your event to be memorable you should skip conventional decorations like balloons.
• Using biodegradable materials like paper or fabric will make your party look great and remind everybody to take care of the environment.
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