Can Balloons Be Killer?
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What Goes Up Must Come Down
These round, colorful balls of joy are often seen as representing happiness and being displayed at celebrations. Children will often be given these latex inflations to play with but will usually accidentally let go and are even sometimes encouraged to let them go. But never are they thought of as to where they go and what exactly happens to them. I remember when I was a child I thought the released balloons would fly up into space and disappear into the universe and not affect anyone or anything. This idea, similar to others, needs to abate and people need to be educated as to what really happens when you release a balloon.
How They're Affecting Wildlife
From above in the sky, to the deep, blue below, and the ruddy brown ground; animals are ingesting balloons. Releasing a balloon into the air is just as harmful as tossing your soda can into the ocean but not many are taking notice to this. The number of balloons released have tripled since the past 10 years, causing a huge increases in animal deaths related to balloons. The animals will usually either get the latex stuck on them, which inhibits them from being able to move around. Or they will eat the latex, thinking it's food, and the balloon will obstruct their digestive tract, causing them to slowly starve of nutrients. Balloons, bio-degradable or not, can take 6 months to 4 years to degrade and become harmless, but can take only a few weeks to kill an animal, including possibly your dog.
What Can We Do To Stop This?
- Stop releasing balloons or having balloons at celebrations. Instead opt for better options, such as releasing butterflies and/or fireflies. Or wave flags, banners, and streamers, which can be reused every year.
- Educate other people on the importance on this subject. Words are strong, but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Show people pictures of what happens to animals when they do so. If they still can't see how bad it is tell and show them how not only can deflated balloons affect wildlife but also their pets, such as their dog. Surgery to remove this foreign object from your dog's intestines can cost up to $900.
This issue can easily be avoided if you educate yourself and others and switch to more environmental options. Remember, not only can you save money but save the environment. Petition Now!
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