Balloons seem great for celebrations. Like buoyant billboards, they declare love, joy and celebration at birthdays, weddings, graduations and other special occasions.
But balloons can kill.
Birds, turtles, dolphins, whales and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them. In addition, many animals can become entangled in balloon strings, which can strangle them.
Surveys of beach litter show the amount of balloons and balloon pieces found on the beach have tripled in the past 10 years.
The old saying is: If you love something, let it go. With balloons and nature, the opposite is true. Show your love for the environment by holding on to your balloons. Please don't ever release them outdoors. Instead, choose an alternative to balloon releases. Do a flower or tree planting. Toss wildflower seed bombs into a field. Use ribbons, bunting, cakes or banners to make a statement. Paint rocks, light candles and blow bubbles. Try kites, garden spinners or pinwheels for something dynamic and festive. This website has a host of options.
There are plenty of creative ways to celebrate a special day that don't involve adding more plastic pollution to the environment.
The American Littoral Society cares for the coast. Our work includes debris and beach cleanups. Please consider helping us continue to care for the coast.