On January 30th 2012 we were informed that some students of Finland’s Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, supported by Blue Cross and Haaga-Helia University, were organizing charity event to raise awareness and funds for people in countries affected by the famine in East Africa. As part of the publicity stunt they were planning on releasing a large number of helium filled balloons into the sky, which we consider to be a serious environmental crime! The event was planned for February 10th, which was only 11 days away and if wanted to stop it we had to act quickly.
We immediately wrote an email to the organizers, Sharon Pownall-Helenius from Tanzania and Anna Bello from Nigeria, in which we provided as much information as we could find on the Internet, about the negative impact balloons have on the planet, in hope they would understand and decide against it. Sharon and Anna replied relatively quickly showing understanding for the situation and deciding to do something about it. We suggested some alternatives, planting trees or flowers, floating flower petals, candles and blowing bubbles. However, since the event was just few days away instead of eliminating balloons they have decided to keep the balloons but not to let them go. They ended up using a long string for each of the balloons and pulling them back after the release. Even though we would have preferred for this event to be completely free of balloons we are excited for the fact our small action did make a big deference.
It appears that some people are just not aware of the fact that balloons are one of the most commonly found litter in the nature like woods, mountains, rivers, beaches, etc. It is simply bad for the environment. Any balloons you are intending to release will eventually fall back on Earth and possibly cause animals to die, nature to get more litter and make people who are doing nature cleanups work harder. This is a serious crime against nature and humanity. This is not different than throwing your garbage out the window of your home or automobile. Just because you don’t see it fall back on earth it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.
For more information on the effects that balloons have on the nature check out our friend’s website Ballons Blow