What's more festive than party decorations? Streamers, favors, and balloons make events that much more fun! When the party is over though, it is important to be cautious with how party favors are disposed of, especially balloons.
There are two types of balloons: Latex and Mylar. Latex are the elastic, classic balloons commonly used. Latex balloons are deemed biodegradable, but take years to completely wear down. When released, if the balloons are not ingested by birds, they pop mid-air and float back down to earth, polluting the ground. The colors of balloons confuse animals in to thinking it is food. The string can become an entanglement threat to small land creatures, while the latex can cause choking.
Balloons can end up in oceans and other waterways where they risk being eaten by turtles, dolphins, or fish. Sea turtles are at risk of becoming wrapped in the balloon bits, preventing them from swimming to the surface for air.
Mylar balloons are the metallic, often theme shaped balloons. Mylar is a form of polyester material dangerous in both production and destruction. The chemicals in this material are harmful to wildlife and the environment. If ingested, the ammonia and various other unnatural additives can kill animals. If left on the earth or in water, the chemicals pollute ground water and natural ecosystems.
Some states have noted the detrimental effects of balloons and have restricted the release of balloons into the air. Although there is a long way to go before balloons are completely banned, there are alternatives you can adopt instead!
Instead of balloons, try blowing bubbles to celebrate! Create a fun banner and break threw it like a football team. Use reusable tissue paper pom poms! Get inventive for your next party and save a life!