Balloons and the wildlife
I chosen to look at the topic of how balloons have an adverse affect on nature and the wildlife. Every year millions of balloons are released into the air and around 10% fall back down to the ground. They land anywhere you can think of. In cities, in the sea, farms and the coast. They are often unseen by people and are just left to biodegrade which takes a long time since they are made out of synthetics so the animals unwillingly eat them and get caught up in them and ultimately die. Admittedly there are biodegradable options but it is the string which sometimes the killer which was for a cow last year.
Just last year a farmer won a case with a school over a cow that had died after consuming a balloon which had been released. Full article here.
I myself am allergic to balloons. I know, what a stupid allergy. I thinks balloons are great for things like birthdays and weddings but every time I see a balloon I have to try and keep my distance. Even being near a balloon can cause my throat to swell up and any open wound even things like chapped lips will cause them to swell and hurt a bit.
So the empathy with wildlife getting killed it definitely there because they look so good and fun and yet going near them could kill them. Admittedly I am not that allergic that I will die should I touch one but it does stop me doing things like rubbing them on my head and sticking them to a wall.
Not much is known about this issue however, so I feel its a concern that needs to be raised. It has been spoken about but has never really hit the mainstream enough for people to take notice. This little interview says enough about what is happening to the wildlife as a result.
Click the link and find the video.
If you look around there are enough people saying don’t do it but its never done in a widespread manner. Hopefully from what I do will raise awareness and stop people filling their balloons with helium and letting go of their balloons. Would it be worth it if I save just one bird? Of course it will.
What I plan to do:
- Make a short video about whats going on
- Make a poster to discourage people from releasing balloons
- Spread the word about the destruction it causes.
What I plan not to do:
- Ram it down peoples throats – People do this all the time and it makes you not want to do something. I say put the problem out there and let them decide. It’s a free country and people have the right do as they wish.
It is good to see that Oxford City Council are being pro active in this campaign also. However it only really seems to be what is considered one of most intelligent cities on the planet to be doing anything about it.
Here is a leaflet that they have released into the public.
It’s colourful and tells you all the information thats needed along with other facts and figures. Hopefully I can do something similar with a wider audience.