Balloon releases are when you let go of a balloon, on purpose, with complete disregard of where it will end up after you go home for the day and have forgotten all about it. The string may be wrapped around a bird’s neck, the balloon bits drifting out into the ocean, but who cares, right? You enjoyed it, for that one minute. You drew on the balloon or attached a card with something written on it. You lost someone, or are celebrating something, so you feel entitled to litter. Whatttttt thhheeeeeee….
Doesn’t it seem a little twisted to honour or remember a life by putting wild life, marine life, and our planet at risk? Doesn’t it seem like it should be illegal EVERYWHERE to have balloon releases, while it is estimated that there are already 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of our oceans?
Guys, I get it. Balloons are pretty. Releasing a ton of them at once into a bright blue sky is mesmerizing. I’m a sentimental gal, I get writing your problems down on a card, attaching it to a balloon and “letting it go, forever”. I get writing a message for a loved one and “sending it up to heaven”. I have a soul, OK? The problem is, well, I have a soul, so I want to tell you that the balloons never get to heaven. They come down along with the strings and the cards. They litter our lands and oceans and land animals and marine life alike mistake these balloons for food and they get entangled in the strings.
What’s more disturbing is that in many of these pictures and videos I see posted, children are doing the releasing. What kind of message is this sending to the next generation? That nothing matters beyond our momentary pleasure or entertainment. That the planet will always sustain us, no matter how poorly we treat it.
If you’re thinking about participating in a balloon release, big or small, I urge you to consider these cruelty free alternatives. We are responsible for our own actions and every person’s actions have impact on the future of this planet.
Plant a tree.
Plant a garden of perennials.
Light a candle.
To let go:
Have a balloon stomp (and pick up the pieces).
Release flower petals into steams, lakes, oceans, etc.
Fly a kite.
Collect and paint rocks to place around your home.
Make streamers or flyers.