Anna
VIP October 2020

Don’t release balloons

Anna, on April 3, 2020 at 8:45 AM Posted in Planning 0 25
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Little bit of a rant here, but I’ve been looking for send-off ideas this morning. I’m quite a bit irritated that in every Top # Lists I’ve seen so far lists balloon releases, you know where people have helium filled balloons that are let go at a certain time and we all watch them float away. One of them even suggested tying flower seeds to the end of the string to plant flowers where they land. At least they acknowledged that they will land somewhere.
I’m not a “jumped off the deep end” environmentalist. I still use straws, but I make sure they go in the trash to the landfill not washed into rivers/oceans.
What got me was on these lists there were specific about cleaning up whatever was tossed, but there’s no cleaning up released latex balloons which land who knows were to choke a wide array of wildlife. I just think it’s crazy that we went through this huge thing against plastic straws because of turtles, even though we can make an effort to see that straws are disposed of properly, but yet people are still releasing balloons purposely into nature.

25 Comments

Latest activity by Anna, on April 3, 2020 at 7:24 PM
  • VIP November 2021
    ·
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    I couldn’t agree more.
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  • K.J.
    Savvy September 2020
    K.J. ·
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    I also agree, it's very irresponsible. Although I will say I've yet to see anyone use that at a wedding, so perhaps it's just internet article fodder and less of a commonplace reality? Hopefully. Smiley atonished

    What about those neat little lanterns? The ones you light and they float off? I have no idea what they're made of or if you're supposed to go find them afterwards or what, but that's something similar if you're still looking.


    EDIT: OKAY NEVERMIND. Looked up chinese floating lanterns and they are definitely not much better. Smiley xd Apparently they were banned in the UK because they would sometimes fall still lit and catch things on fire. Yikes.

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  • E
    Devoted August 2020
    Elle ·
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    I completely agree with you!

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  • LB
    Champion November 2016
    LB ·
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    When I see people wanting to use butterflies or other animals it also drives me nuts. Like goodness, lets think beyond ourselves and a photo-op.

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  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
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    Also, tying seeds to them can be a terrible idea. Depending on where they land, those flowers can be an invasive species and have a drastic effect on the ecosystem.


    If you must do something, bubbles seem to be the best since there's nothing to clean up.
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  • Chelsea
    Expert July 2021
    Chelsea ·
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    Agree! We are doing sparklers as our wedding is the weekend after the 4th of July
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  • Danielle
    Just Said Yes June 2020
    Danielle ·
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    LED balloons. Look them up very cool
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  • Anna
    VIP October 2020
    Anna ·
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    Yeah, the paper lanterns started taking off in popularity around here after Tangled came out, but I have recently heard about the fire hazard. While paper is more environmentally friendly, I don't know what else is used in the structure of the paper lanterns.

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  • Anna
    VIP October 2020
    Anna ·
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    Ooh, now that makes perfect sense for doing sparklers. I'd originally thought about getting married around the 4th of July. Mainly I was thinking summer because I'd be out of work/school (teacher here), but he felt like it was rushing things and well then when I wanted it to be outside, he just said it'd be too hot. so we're going with October.

    I did see a thing about using leaves as confetti which would be cute for our fall wedding. I just don't know how many leaves I want to punch holes in to create the confetti.

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  • K.J.
    Savvy September 2020
    K.J. ·
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    Yep. There's really no winning.

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  • Anna
    VIP October 2020
    Anna ·
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    Yeah, I think bubbles has the least cleanup, but there's still the plastic waste, which is a thought. I definitely agree with you on the invasive species part.

    I'm currently thinking between leaf confetti (it's completely biodegradable, just a lot more diy prep time, but at least if done outside won't need clean up where I'm at), or paper airplanes (our tagline is The Adventure Begins, though we're more into camping and roadtripping than flying), or jingle bells to ring (they may take them as favors or return them to the basket and I can totally reuse them over the years with my students as we do Polar Express Day every year and I always give them their own bell, and then we did Jingle Bell day as part of a Spirit Week). I'm all about only using decorations and things that can be repurposed. I'm doing mason jars of flowers, because I can probably borrow from family and even if we do end up buying, FH & I are planning on lots of gardening and I'll be canning what we harvest.

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  • Anna
    VIP October 2020
    Anna ·
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    I know! The butterflies does seem pretty, but timing and location is definitely important.

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  • C
    Super December 2021
    Casey ·
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    Agreed! Things like this or using live animals 😡🤬 boils my blood
    • Reply
  • Chelsea
    Expert July 2021
    Chelsea ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Aww yeah leaves would be pretty too!!! See we got engaged June 2019 and decided either July 4th 2020 or July 10 2021. I love the summer and he loves fireworks so worked out. But we got accepted on our house 2 weeks later so we decided to have our wedding in 2021. Glad I did because of this stupid virus
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  • Katharine
    Expert July 2021
    Katharine ·
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    These and floating lanterns (the ones that go up in the air which cause fires every year, and the ones on water that are ingested by marine life and can kill them) are terrible, irresponsible ideas.

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  • C
    Dedicated April 2020
    Cindy ·
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    I'm with you! I don't consider myself a tree hugger nut, but I do care for the land. We raise livestock and one of the top scary things is racing across a field to pull a bag out of a curious calfs mouth before it suffocates. I don't litter on anyone's place, why should they get the right to do that to me? Also, seeds attached??! That's a new one for me. Yes please litter my land with trash and seeds from a poisonous plant for my animals to eat. Geeeeez....Bring back the good old fashioned soap bubbles!
    • Reply
  • Anna
    VIP October 2020
    Anna ·
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    The 10th is my birthday!!! So yeah, I really like that date. Congrats and yeah, this virus thing is messing so many people up. My FH has been worrying about it, in part because it's likely to affect his search for a new job and also for our ceremony itself. I'm trying to not even think about it. And we've already decided we're getting hitched on that day regardless of who all can be there to celebrate, we'll plan vow renewal/celebration later if must.

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  • Anna
    VIP October 2020
    Anna ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Yep same. My dad raised cows growing up and my FH & I already have plans for rabbits, chickens, and goats.

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  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
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    Thank you for this post. this year i started on a zero waste journey -- or well, a journey of trying to reduce my waste. it's been easy in some respects like i have collapsible water cups and reusable straws and utensils i bring when i go out. i switched to reusable options for menstrual cycles and i am much more mindful of what i can even recycle. however i totally wasn't aware of the implications of balloons! i hate to say this but for my wedding i had balloons -- not as a send off but it was for my photos and one of the balloons ended up accidentally flying away. i sure hope it didn't get littered somewhere awful and that maybe someone picked it up and threw it away.

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  • Anna
    VIP October 2020
    Anna ·
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    I was raised on PBS kids. We only got about 3-4 channels on our TV at a given time (went through odd phases where we'd pick up something different but then lose another) and PBS was the only one showing kids' tv when we got home from school. I'm pretty sure it was in this somewhere that I learned about it. Or watching Captain Planet or something. But balloons and the plastic that holds cans/bottles together got ingrained in me very early as an environmental hazard. I definitely agree with creating less waste. I haven't gotten to the point of bringing reusable things when I'm out, though I often travel with my own drinking cup/class. Using paper over plastic, checking if it's recyclable or not, and knowing what my local recycling center actually takes (their might be a recycling symbol and a number on it, but not all places accept all numbers). I think accidents happen, like your balloon flying off, but it's completely different than intentionally setting 50+ balloons free to the world.
    Also, if you don't mind, how's the reusable option for menstrual cycles going? I've been using a cup for a few years now. I switched more for comfort and security during long runs than an environmental reason.

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