Many people think of certain events where it would be nice to release balloons. Events that come to mind are graduations, memorials for the passing of a loved one, the birth of a child, advertising for businesses, children’s and birthdays parties and celebrations of all kinds. What people don’t think about is what happens after the balloons are released.
After balloons are released, eventually they make their way back down to earth. Beach litter clean-ups have shown the amount of balloons found on the beach has tripled in the past 10 years. After balloons have fallen back down to earth, they wreak havoc on wildlife on land, sea and air.
Many marine species have been hurt or killed by balloons. Animals as well have been hurt or killed by balloons. Both marine species and animals are usually killed by the balloon blocking the digestive tract. They slowly starve to death. Animals and marine species can also get entangled in a balloon ribbon, leaving them unable to move or eat.
Balloons take years to decompose, even the biodegradable ones. Because a balloon is around for so long, this means there is plenty of time for it encounter many animals, who may think its food or get entangled in it.
Even though the consequences to wildlife and the planet are great, the balloon industry spends millions of dollars lobbying to keep balloon releases legal, it should be obvious to all that balloon releases are simply littering. It’s time to take a stand against balloon releases. No good comes from them. Balloons kill wildlife, pollute the earth, waste finite gases and cause power outages. Everyone should write their lawmakers to protest against balloon releases.
Alternatives to Balloon Releases
Plant a tree, flower or bush to honor the passing of a loved one. Flags, banners, streamers and anchored inflatables are good ways to advertise a business. Kites and spinners (pinwheels) are a fun alternative to balloons. Bunting is a great way to decorate for parties. Drumming is a good way to celebrate an occasion. Floating flowers down a stream is a nice way to let go of a loved one. Rock painting can be done for memorials or celebrations of all kinds. Lighting candles is a great way to remember a loved one or welcome a new life (but be careful with open flames). Blowing bubbles is a fun way to celebrate an occasion. A mass gathering can be held to commemorate an event, to honor a loved one or honor the birth of a child.
As you can see there are many alternatives to the release of balloons. There are others that aren’t listed here. Since there are many alternatives, there really is no good reason to release balloons.
 Balloons Blow, Inc. 2016
Blog posts are written by Shore House members and staff.