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Saturdays with Shavara

Saturdays with Shavara

It’s a celebration, but is it harming the Earth?

Happy Saturday Green folks! Who doesn’t enjoy a good celebration? From graduations, birthday’s, to this Memorial Day weekend most people enjoy celebrating memorable moments and people in a special way. I’ve noticed many times those celebrations include releasing masses of balloons and tossing beautiful yet harmful amounts of confetti, and who am I to stop the party? Well folks my intentions are not to cease the fun, rather shed some light on these harmful practices to our environment and provide some tips for how to keep the celebration going with a less negative impact to our environment.

Balloons are tons of fun, pretty to look at, and are super affordable to purchase in bulk. The downside is what goes up must come down, so when balloons are released into the air they can travel up to 1,300 miles before falling back to the ground. Once a balloon loses enough helium or reaches its max height it burst and falls from the sky becoming like every other form of plastic litter. The remaining pieces of balloons harm marine and land creatures alike. Unfortunately, animals can’t tell that this bright colorful plastic is not indeed food, which leads them to ingest it often getting stuck in their intestines and eventually leading to their death. 

Of course, there are safe ways to enjoy balloons and that comes with responsible disposal. The first step in responsible balloon disposal is resisting the urge to release them into the sky, rather popping them, cutting the ribbons off and putting them in the trash when no longer in use. If your celebration calls for a symbolic gesture try blowing bubbles, flying kites, using tissue paper pompoms, or planting a tree in remembrance or an occasion instead of balloon releases. 

Another favorite celebratory item is confetti, which is typically made out of plastic or foil and acts as another form of dangerous plastic litter that can be mistaken as food by animals. Just as a reminder plastic of any form biodegrades at the same rate as a glacier melting… and by that, I mean a super long time. Before you begin to fret about your next big celebration hold onto your hats because I did find some pretty cool alternatives to traditional confetti that have a much lower impact on our environment. Seed paper that’s painted with edible glitter paint turns out to look almost identical to confetti. When sustainable seed paper confetti are tossed in the air to later spread the pieces land and are actually able to grow into the surrounding areas. Another alternative to traditional confetti is lavender seeds, which smell amazing and are environmentally friendly. The most creative option I found is using a hole punch to create confetti out of leaves and dried flowers, not only is this option a zero waste one, but it is sure to make your confetti throwing that much more enjoyable knowing no harm is coming to our environment. 

Balloons and confetti are common party throwing necessities of the past, but they don’t have to be ours of the future when it means harming our environment. We can have just as much fun celebrating others while honoring the Earth and the wildlife that are counting on us to be responsible. Try some of these cool alternatives and you’re sure to be the hit of any celebration you host or attend. As always remember to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle when and where you can.

KOB’s very own Content Writer,

Shavara J.