Whether purposeful or accidental almost everyone has released a balloon into the sky. However, there are dire consequences in doing so.
Balloons Blow is a non-profit 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.” The organization recently released a list of many reasons why you should never let go of a balloon, in response to a county permitting the release of balloons in celebration or remembrance. Here are some of those reasons.
1. When a balloon is let go, it will eventually bust and float back down only to pollute the Earth.
2. Balloons can travel very far. Therefore, even if they are let go over a rural area, they can end up in remote and beautiful places, which makes it a hazard to animals.
3. Many exotic marine animals have been killed by balloons.
4. When an animal eats a balloon, it can block the intestinal tract which leads to starvation.
5. Many marine animals are known to confuse balloons with jellyfish.
6. Ribbons and strings can entangle animals and cause death.
7. “Biodegradable” latex balloons are not actually biodegradable. Companies say without a ribbon attached, latex balloons can be environmentally-friendly. On the contrary, as latex balloons contain chemicals, once the balloon combusts and falls back to the surface, they take years to breakdown.
8. Mylar and foil balloons can cause dangerous power outages and can spark fires.
9. Balloon releases are, in general, just a wasteful practice.
10. Helium is a non-renewable resource and experts warn we should be conserving it.
The list continues to suggest that there are many other, more sustainable alternatives to balloon releases, for celebration or commemoration purposes. For examples, plant a tree or flower, use kites or pinwheels, blowing bubbles, and wildflower seed bombs.
If you are interested in helping Balloons Blow you can donate directly to the cause or purchase an item from their online store at balloonsblow.org. Always remember “Balloons Blow…Don’t Let Them Go.”