Can balloons be eco friendly?

Can balloons be eco friendly? What alternatives exist for balloons? Read on to find out! 

This is a bit of controversial topic and the bottom line Is that fully eco friendly balloons do not exist. Birthdays create a ton of waste as we know. Between the gift wrap, food, plastic wear, single use games and trinkets it ends up being a lot. Being low waste or making small changes can help tremendously. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing to still throw an eco friendly birthday. I personally really love balloons and felt determined to find an alternative. Plus when my daughter says “ I want a boon” it literally melts my heart so I really tried to find an eco friendly option. Unfortunately there isn’t a 100% eco friendly option but I did fine some alternatives. I ordered from Etsy, Qualatex, and used foil balloons.

Qualatex Bio-degradable Review 

There is ONLY 1 company that does have truly bio-degradable balloons and that is @qualatex. Many other eco blogs have reviewed Qualatex balloons and have also deemed these as a great alternative to the average latex balloon. They are a bit pricier compared to the average balloon. $4.00 vs 10-20 cents per balloon.

Etsy Biodegradable 

Many companies especially Etsy shops that advertise these biodegrade balloons are green washing. This blurb from rn center.org helps explain the specifics of why these are not eco friendly! “Natural latex is biodegradable and environmentally safe, but, according to Rubber Technology, it is treated with ammonia and with tetramethyl thiuram disulfide plus zinc oxide as a preservative against bacterial decomposition. Balloons are usually made with a small amount of plasticizer added. They hardly classify as natural after all that. In fact, sewage treatment plant operators report that latex is one of several problem materials that are not affected by the biological treatment system.”  Peter C. Hibbard, New York Times 1990 (Balloons’ Effect On the Environment)

(Quoted from https://encenter.org/visit-us/programs/birthday-parties/balloons/ )

Foil Balloons 

These balloons can be recycled once used.  Reused for another party. YES THEY CAN BE BLOWN BACK UP! And you can even cut up the foil and make something new! They really are a great option for balloon alternatives.

Is Helium eco friendly?

Short answer NO-  It actually has a very significant ecological footprint. It doesn’t create more pollution but it is unsustainable. Did you know that we are running out of helium quickly because of its extensive use in products like balloons. We need to keep helium affordable and start conserving this resource. Helium is used in MRI scanners, fiber optics and LCD screens. Instead of filling your balloons with helium blow them up yourself!  Tie them to a large string to make an arch. You can hang your arch over hanging pictures or get a couple nails to keep it up. 

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