We've all seen it before. Someone at a party or celebration releases a bunch of balloons into the air, and everyone oohs and aahs as they float away into the sky. But what you may not know is that those seemingly innocuous balloons can actually do a lot of damage to the environment. Here's why you should think twice before releasing balloons into the sky.
The Dangers of Balloons
They Litter Our Skies & Landfills
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, balloons are becoming an increasingly common type of litter. These shiny, helium-filled balloons are often used for parties and celebrations, but they can stay aloft for weeks or even months, eventually falling back down to earth where they can cause all sorts of problems.
Foil balloons can injure or kill wildlife. They can also cause power outages when they get tangled in power lines. And because they're made of plastic, they'll take years to decompose in landfills—if they ever do decompose at all. In short, releasing foil balloons into the atmosphere is littering on a grand scale, and it's something we should all avoid if we want to keep our skies and our planet clean.
They Threaten Marine Life
Latex balloons are made of natural rubber latex, which comes from rubber trees. While latex biodegrades relatively quickly—usually within six months to a year—latex balloons that end up in the ocean can be mistaken for food by marine animals like turtles, dolphins, and whales. When these animals consume latex balloons, it can block their digestive tracts and cause them to starve to death. So next time you're at the beach, make sure you dispose of any latex balloon debris properly instead of just leaving it on the sand!
The next time you're tempted to release a bunch of balloons into the sky or leave latex balloon debris on the beach, remember the potential harm they could cause to our environment and its wildlife. It may seem like a harmless bit of fun, but it's actually littering on a grand scale—and that's something we should all avoid if we want to keep our planet clean. Thanks for reading!