Balloons are often used to decorate birthday parties, conferences and at numerous occasions like gender reveals. Usually, it’s not just one balloon but rather hundreds of balloons at times.
The magnitude of balloons released everyday made the scientists research the effects of balloons on the environment. What they found out was beyond imagination. Although they look nice when we release them into the sky but what goes up comes down. And when these balloons come down they bring great damage to the environment with them.
When balloons return to the environment it could take years for them to degrade.
These balloons when they return to the earth, they return to very remote places that are free of human trash and pollute those areas too.
They are much more destructive when they return to the sea, this is where they float for days and marine animals think of them as food and eat them. These marine animals’ GI tracts get clogged, eventually killing them! Sorry to say, balloons have become the most common debris found in the ocean in the past five years.
This made the manufacturers look for an alternative to the conventional Mylar balloons, which led them to biodegradable balloons.
What are Eco-Friendly Balloons?
Eco-friendly balloons are actually biodegradable balloons which are completely made out of rubber-like natural latex. This natural latex materials comes from the sap of a tree that usually grows in warm climates, Hevea Brasiliensis.
This sap is essentially moulded and dried to make these balloons. This means that once these balloons get exposed to harsh elements of nature like sunlight, they start breaking down very slowly. The breakdown time for such balloons is about 6 months, but it could extend up to 2 years.
Many scientists contest that these latex balloons stay in the environment for too long and damage the environment. That may be true but these natural latex balloons are certainly much more environment-friendly than the conventional Mylar balloons. Just remember to use an eco-friendly string made from cotton or hemp.
However, if you believe that even the latex balloons aren’t that environment-friendly there are still many alternatives to releasing balloons.
Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Releasing Balloons!
As we discussed, Balloons have been a way of representing various types of emotions whether it is a sign of happiness, or remembering a lost one. That being said Balloons being used for multiple things is a serious and widespread cause of pollution of marine and wildlife. Balloons are a hazard to the environment and may result in toxic litter to the environment. To overcome this problem we can reduce the usage of balloons and direct ourselves to more Eco-friendly alternatives.
Here are some examples that we can turn to.
Plants: Balloons are at times used to honor the memory of a person no longer with us; however we can use the act of planting trees for the same purpose. Trees not only serve the task of remembering a departed soul, but also improve the habitat in which they are planted. They help in the development and protection of an Eco-system and increase forestation. Plants can be visited again and again as they grow into trees and they can also be a considerable part of donation and fundraising events.
Ribbon Dancers: Kids love to play with balloons up till the point they float up accidentally or burst, but with a Ribbon dancer this is not the case. They are beautiful and their attractive color demands attention in parties and events.
Bunting: Why use balloons which can only be used once in an event when we can use Bunting. These decorations are made of fabric, paper or even cardboard and can be used again and again making it not just Eco-friendly but also quite economical to organizers.
Kites and Garden Spinners: Just like Balloons kites can fly too, but unlike balloons they can be decorated, painted and be used again and again.This makes them a good alternative especially if you get Eco-Friendly kites. Garden spinners can be used as well, and them dancing to the wind can make your garden look attractive for years.
Pin wheels: Birthdays, events or even in awareness campaigns these colorful wonders will catch the eye of every individual who merely glances at it. Its bright exuberant appearance and flash colors waving in the wind is a great attraction to all passing by.
Lighting Candles and Luminaries: A great way to remember a lost one on their anniversary or to celebrate a new life is to light candles. They offer a connection to the individuals like no other and their appearance at night is a thing to behold.
Colored Lights: Best way to draw attention and appeal is to use lights, lots and lots of light. This is an example everyone knows of, just recall how your attention goes to a Christmas tree that’s lit up with small LED bulbs around it.
Blowing Bubbles: Its fun, its interactive for the kids and who doesn’t love bubbles? It offers great sighting for the viewers and has zero impact on the environment.
Games and other recreational activities: Marches, races and other types of sports can be used to engage the audience and create a friendly and competitive environment without the risk of damaging or harming the Eco-system.
Pompoms: For bursting colors and great attraction at parties. These can be made by anyone and can be used at any party to create a spectacle of great colors and creativeness.
Food Drives, Book Drives, Marches: Community Marches consisting of large number of people can be used to increase awareness or raise funds on certain things. Various Food items, clothing and books can be gathered from people and then distributed to help the needy and spread awareness simultaneously.