I realise this may be a controversial statement for many people, but this month the thing that floated through my ether was an article on the damage caused by balloons. Balloons are a longtime entry on my naughty list and they are something I argue with my kids about on a regular basis. I thought it might be time to get elaborate on why I think they should be banned everywhere, all the time.
Of COURSE balloons are fun. That’s not in dispute. But at what cost?
Recent studies have proven that balloons are the deadliest of all plastics for marine animals. They are NOT biodegradable, as many balloon companies claim. Theya re made of a polymer that hangs around in the environment for a VERY long time.
As with placcy bags, balloons look a lot like a jelly fish to a hungry bird or turtle. They are regularly found in the stomach contents of dead marine life. While hard plastics are also bad, balloons and other soft plastics are worse because they change shape, twist and bend and therefore block things that should remain open, resulting in pain and/or death.
And how many of your kids manage to hang on to the balloons they’re given? Especially the helium ones? Isn’t it lovely to watch a balloon float up into the sky and off on its adventure? NO! Because guess what! Eventually, it comes back down. In fact, depending on where you live in the great land of Oz, it may be illegal to release balloons. It certainly should be, everywhere, because when it does come back down, it’s effectively littering!
So what can you do to reduce balloon dependence and help our marine life?
- Refuse balloon handouts. Everyone is giving out balloons these days to attract attention. McDonalds have even had a special holder built for them in many stores. Don’t take them. Say no. Teach your kids to say no and tell them why.
- If you MUST have balloons, only use balloons INside and ensure all of them are responsibly disposed of.
- Try Bubbles instead! Everyone loves bubbles and they are gentle on this earth and our marine life.
And rather than buying a new bubble stick every time, make your own bubble mix and save on landfill. It’s really easy. All you have to do is mix dish washing liquid with water. And for awesome bubbles that will do NO harm, make sure to use Tri Nature’s Chamomile Dishwashing Liquid (I find 8ml Chamomile Liquid to 250ml water is a good mix for long-lasting airbourne bubbles)!