Balloons and the Environment
Balloons have been getting a bad rep due to its environmental impacts.
- Pieces of helium balloons can end up in the ocean and get mistaken for food by marine animals such as sea turtles, fish and dolphins. Ingesting balloons can result in painful deaths to these animals.
- Helium balloons that are released outside can settle into trees and become a tangle hazard to birds. The birds may also eat the balloons which will result in death due to the latex preventing nutrient absorption in their stomach.
Now, these can easily be prevented by one simple thing - do not release helium balloons outside. It may be tempted to do a balloon release at a funeral or other occasions, but all helium balloons that go up will eventually come down in smaller pieces and end up in the oceans or trees causing harm to the animals above.
So what do you do? When you're done with your helium balloons, pin it and bin it.
Same thing with balloon garlands - when you're done with them, pop them and put them in the bin. Do not take loose balloons outside as they may fly away and end up in all sorts of places.
Are balloons bio-degradable? Latex balloons are made out of natural rubber (not plastic as some people think) so they are 100% biodegradable, however the foil varieties including confetti are not.
We personally think it's ok to have some balloons every now and then at special occasions. When you look at the amount of non-degradable disposable nappies or foil packets of chips that you dispose of, or the amount of carbon foot prints that you create by driving your car or flying every year? These will cause considerably more environmental damage then a few balloons you get to enjoy a couple of times a year. Just saying.
The key to responsible use of balloons? Always put them in the bin when you're done.
For more information, please see PEBA website.