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Balloons: Bad for marine life

Balloons are fun and festive, but unfortunately, when released outside they are really horrible for the environment.  They can harm wildlife, namely when they enter waterways.

Balloons often mark celebration.  I remember as a Girl Scout releasing balloons outside for part of an event.  A few years later looking upon that event in horror when I realized how much litter it must have caused  -- litter that could have hurt an animal.

It's not unusual for balloons to be eaten by whales, dolphins, turtles, and other marine life, who mistake them for food, such as jellyfish. gives an example of a a young sperm whale dying when it stranded on a New Jersey beach due to a balloon lodged in its stomach.  

Check out Save The Whale's ideas for some festive alternatives to balloon releases.    

Meanwhile, play with balloons inside and clean them up responsibly so they don't end up in nature.