When a balloon is let go it will blow high and fill the sky with colour. We've all seen it happen. At an event you may have seen a mass balloon release or the accidental let go of balloons at a festival as they one by one drift towards that magical place called 'away.'
The sad truth is it will eventually burst or deflate, then return to pollute the planet. A balloon can travel hundreds of kilometers before landing in a forest, lake or the ocean. No ecosystem is safe.
Many animals such as turtles, whales, dolphins, seals, birds, fish and other wildlife mistake balloon debris for food. The ribbons attached to balloons are also deadly when animals become entangled in them.
When ingested, balloons can block an animal’s digestive tract, this will lead to a slow painful death as they eventually starve. It is extremely common for sea turtles to consume balloon litter. Turtles love to eat jellyfish, what do you think a balloon looks like under water?
Balloons are often used for promotion at events as cheap giveaways to children. But at what cost? Balloons are deadly to animals and we believe they are an ecological disaster. Eco Faeries are at events every week and watch sadly as balloons drift away. It breaks our hearts as we think of the devastation that could be caused by them.
We plea to schools, businesses and event organisers to think about the environmental consequences of balloons when they reach nature.
The strong plastic ribbon often attached to balloons can entangle any animal that comes in contact with it. Birds have become entangled in the sky, along with sea animals when the balloon has landed.
The plastic is not biodegradable and will exist in nature for hundreds of years.
Releasing a balloon is simply littering and we believe should be against the law. Many cities around the world are now moving to ban mass balloon releases, you can contact your local council member to see if they are considering banning balloon releases.
The balloon industry is working hard to keep balloon releases legal at the expense of our planet and wildlife. They claim latex balloons are biodegradable but studies show they can take years for this to happen, offering plenty of time for wildlife to encounter the litter.
Balloon releases are popular with charitable events, weddings, memorials for loved ones or to bring awareness to a cause. At the same time, we are becoming more aware of our personal impact on the environment. How about try something different?
Instead of releasing balloons that damage life perhaps event organisers can consider handing out bubbles instead? EVERYONE loves bubbles. Some bubble bottles are recyclable as well as refillable. If used for promotion you can get bottles custom printed.
Rather than release balloons, try planting new life. Give away plants and seeds to celebrate your business or occasion.
Candles and Kites
You can commemorate an occasion by lighting candles, fly kites, or organise a clean-up!
Helium depletion is also a concern. Helium is used for important things such as MRIs, the space industry and deep-sea exploration. Helium is a non-renewable resource and experts warn the US supply is being depleted, forcing it to be imported from Russia and the Middle East.
Using a valuable non-renewable resource for the sake of a balloon doesn't seem like a sustainable approach. As the world becomes more 'green aware,' we need to let go of old ideas that we know are doing more harm than good.
Why celebrate by harming another?
Thousands of balloons are washing ashore everyday and many more are floating in the ocean. There are alternatives that will have a smaller environmental impact.
Eco Faeries would like to support your decision to not have helium balloons at your next event. If you'd like more ideas on alternatives please contact us.
Balloons Blow...Don’t let them go
Pictures and quotes from www.balloonsblow.org
Head to their website for more information or to see how you can campaign in your area to have balloon releases banned.
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