A Deflated Future

Throughout the years, a party was not complete without helium or Mylar foil based balloons all over the place. However, recently various environmental organizations have started to caution users to be careful on using these balloons because of the danger that comes with them when they are let go.

Senate Bill 1499 of California  made an attempt at banning helium-foil lined balloons on Feb. 12, 2012. However, event planners and smaller businesses who use these kinds of balloons to make a living were highly opposed to this legislation. They argued that balloon banning would cost them thousands of dollars in potential earnings.

This balloon issue is not only prominent in California but other areas in the world such as Australia. According to the Government of Western Australia, “Balloons that are released into the air eventually come back down to earth and end up as litter, with the potential to harm the environment and animal life, in particular birds and marine animals.” Hence the reason why balloon banning is a necessary facet of taking the initiative to protect the environment and the  wildlife contained within it, humans included. 

The reason why this issue should not be taken lightly is that when balloons are released with foil lining, they can get tangled into power lines leading to power outages and fires. Other examples of danger caused by balloons of this kind include the risk it causes for marine life, “who ingest balloon debris mistaking it for food, or who can become entangled in balloon strings” state Tweed Shire Council, an Australian environmental activism agency. The innocent birds in the sky are forced to pay the price for humanity’s need to experience the joys of helium balloons. Individuals who marvel at the impromptu appearance of a balloon in the sky are sadly oblivious to its devastating effect in the sky. 

Various wildlife organizations around the world promote other safety alternatives such as banners, streamers, and garlands.  

We ask you as the reader to be more careful when planning your next gathering to refrain from balloons and instead use a friendly alternative. Although distancing ourselves from balloons will be hard, the wildlife will be grateful.