Every month OneKind Planet features a new campaign. This month we have chosen Say no to sky lanterns and balloon releases, why not have a read and sign up now?
In support of the campaign, we have decided to look at a few reasons why sky lanterns and balloons are bad for animals and the environment. We have also come up with a few alternatives that you may like to explore.
Why you should say no to sky lanterns and balloon releases?
There is nothing like the sight of sky lanterns or a mass balloon release; watching as the burst of colour fills the sky. But, beauty shouldn’t come at the expense of nature. Once released, sky lanterns and balloons become a problem. They travel long distances before falling and littering the environment – if the look of lots of deflated balloons and broken lanterns isn’t enough, here are a few more reasons to avoid them.
- Animals can become tangled in the rubbish and get injured or die.
- They can be mistaken for prey and eaten by mistake. Once ingested, they can cause animals to choke or starve to death as their stomachs fill with rubbish.
- Balloons and sky lanterns can spook and stress out wild animals. If they react strongly they may run into a road, a fence or another obstacle which could result in injury or death.
- Sky lanterns can cause fires when they fall which damage property and can burn animals if they land close by.
- Lights from sky lanterns floating above the ocean have been mistaken for flares and resulted in unnecessary rescue missions by the coastguard.
What can I do instead of a balloon release?
Balloon releases and sky lanterns are often used to celebrate special occasions or to remember our lost loved ones. If you are looking for an alternative, why not try one of these ideas:
- A virtual balloon release – All the fun of a balloon release but without the negative impact. Release virtual balloons online and see where they end up.
- Plant trees or flowers – A great way to remember someone, and you always have somewhere to go back to. It is also an inspirational way to teach kids about nature.
- Blow bubbles – still beautiful to watch, especially when produced by many people all at once, but not harmful to the environment.
- Float flower petals – You still get the effect of releasing something, and they will look beautiful heading downstream, but they won’t last in the environment and kill lots of innocent animals.
- Light candles – Lighting tea lights or candles is a fabulous way to remember someone. All the flickering lights will look beautiful, but there will be no lasting impact, as all candles will be blown out and removed from the environment.
Any other suggestions? Why not let us know in the comments.