Kids do it for fun at birthday parties. Merchants use them as
gimmicks. Our own government
does it in celebration.
time or another we may have all done it, ignorant of the
I am talking about the release of helium balloons into the atmosphere.
How, one might ask, is that doing any harm?
must eventually come down and the problem, is
those brightly colored balloons with their long dangly strings come down..
currents frequently float these helium-filled potential killers out
where they burst and enter the
water. Hungry sea
mistaking the floating balloon for a jelly
fish, snap up the
string and all. The turtles fill up
on plastic bags
and balloons, and then lacking nutrition, they starve to death.
marine life affected by this simple toy.
A young sperm whale was found dying from a balloon stuck in its stomach
feet of purple ribbon wound throughout its
have been spotted as far out to sea as 200 miles, generally
but clusters have also been sighted. Balloons
in Toronto in a 1981 Balloon race were found in Souris, Prince Edward
Island, 1,392 km,
Nova Scotia, 1,352 km, Fuguay Varina, North Carolina, 933 km, and
‑Eleuthere, Que., 909 km. away from the release site. These
seemingly innocent party balloons are much hardier than we could ever
Are there any alternatives to these helium-filled little killers?
the merchants, hand out balloons but let the
the fun of blowing them up. As for
would not the release of thousands of lady bugs have a greater
impact to our environment? Or think of the beauty and
fun of releasing butterflies in celebration.
tree, or visit a wood-lot.
If the event involves children, have
some pine cones stuffed with peanut butter and
bird seed to take home to their backyards.
not give nature a
hand? The next time you feel
some environmentally-friendly ways
to share your
with our earth, like freeing those
little bugs to do what they
....eating up aphids.
Dee at firstname.lastname@example.org. She'd love
to hear from you.