A park ranger found a starving turtle washed up at a river, and he found a balloon string wrapped around its neck! Even worse, the deflated balloon was wrapped in it, too. This is the effect of balloons on the environment. It hurts humans, animals and the Earth! Balloons are one of the leading causes of wildlife deaths. Sadly, you may have been contributing to this, so, pause and think before letting go or buying balloons!

Balloons travel hundreds of miles, and it also takes a hot minute for them to pop. Even the most fenced-in places cannot block out balloons—they are in the sky! When balloons deflate, they can end up thousands of miles away from where they started out. For example, a man in Tennessee found a birthday boy’s balloons stuck in his fence. The balloons flew all the way from Missouri! It is fortunate that they ended up in that man’s fence, because it could have been worse.

 Instead, that balloon might have ended up in a river, clogging its flow of water and blocking fish from getting upstream or downstream. This is bad for fishing too! If locals such as bears or birds cannot get to a food source that they usually go to, they will starve and die. The clogging of water also makes rivers overflow, which can cause flooding and cave-ins, damaging animal burrows. Image, a poor rabbit sleeping and suddenly the roof starts falling! It can cause unnecessary amounts of erosion and sedimentation. This sedimentation can make the water murky and unsafe to drink. It also prevents the animals from seeing the fish that they need to hunt. Visit  for alternatives to releasing balloons and to see pictures of the damage a balloon can cause.



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Karen Golden