Stop Releasing Your Balloons Into The Air, Here's The Frightening Reason Why
Katie Mooney 4/27/2017
There's something magical about watching a balloon float into the sky - the way it dances as it slowly rises, calmly changing its direction with the wind. Who would ever imagine that such a peaceful moment could end in such tragedy?
"Balloon releases" are often incorporated into wedding ceremonies, fundraisers, and grand openings; children joyously watch as their balloons rise into the sky after birthday celebrations; and many even mourn the death of loved ones by saying goodbye with balloon send-offs. The sky absorbs an unimaginable number of balloons - every single day.
But, as we know, "whatever goes up, must come down." The balloons we send up do eventually fall from the skies - and they are causing great destruction to our environment, and claiming the lives of our wildlife.
Balloons Blow is an organization which is raising awareness about this dangerous, global concern. They explain the motivation behind their cause,
"All released balloons, including those falsely marketed as "biodegradable latex," return to Earth as ugly litter. They kill countless animals and cause dangerous power outages. Balloons are also a waste of Helium, a finite resource. Balloons can travel thousands of miles and pollute the most remote and pristine places."
Although this "balloon debacle" never crossed many of our minds before - it's time we become aware of how even the simplest of human actions can detrimentally affect our planet, and the life on it.
Balloons Blow shares important statistics about this growing problem:
- "Balloons can travel thousands of miles, polluting the most remote & pristine places"
- "Birds, whales, sea turtles, bighorn sheep, & other animals have been killed by balloons"
- "When an animal swallows a balloon, it can block its intestinal tract, leading to starvation"
- "Ribbons & string that are sometimes attached to balloons can cause entanglement & death"
In addition to these eye-opening and startling facts, the organization also explains that latex balloons (even when marked "bio-degradable") take years to break down and contain harmful chemicals and dyes. Mylar balloons, also taking years to fragment, have the ability to cause power outages and initiate fires.
Balloons Blow suggests alternative ways to decorate and celebrate memorable life events,
"We can opt for reusable banners, flags, ribbon dancers, pinwheels. For memorials & fundraisers, we can plant trees, gardens or build birdhouses - actions that promote life. Perhaps organize a clean-up in a loved one's honor or blow bubbles."
The bottom line is, balloons are a one-time-use hazard to our wildlife and our environment. Be mindful of how you dispose of them - or get creative, and come up with alternative ways to celebrate!
Learn more about this issue below (be aware that some images may be disturbing):
More than ever before, we are seeing the effects of our human actions on the planet, and on the life which inhabits it. Share this important issue with your friends and family, and open the eyes of others to the lasting dangers of our "simple" actions.