Recently in Tulsa I am noticing an unfortunate trend. Balloon releases are popping up everywhere! I have an ethical objection to these types of events. Im sure you are thinking something along the lines of “its just a few balloons, whats the big deal?”
Sure balloons look beautiful, floating up, higher and higher until they’re out of sight. Unfortunately, out of sight means out of mind for most people and that can be deadly. If you’re thinking about a balloon release for your big event, please think again.
I absolutely refuse to participate in any event that includes a balloon release. Why? It’s logic. What goes up, must come down. Have you ever thought about “Where is down?” All too often, the plastic remains and the attached ribbons appear to be snacks to unsuspecting wildlife. Blocked digestive tracts cause slow and painful death by starvation. Just as often, animals get entangled in it, causing permanent injury to an otherwise healthy animal. Even the latest so called “biodegradable” latex varieties litter our beaches and wild spaces for years and years. It is estimated that beach litter from balloons has increased 3 fold in the last ten years. There has been a horrific impact on sea life and the ecosystems around it.
It is easy to think we are in Oklahoma and no where near the Ocean but this can impact the wildlife and wilderness right here at home. I am a firm believer in taking care of the wilderness where we are. This is one of the many reasons I along with others formed the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition. These wilderness spaces are the very places I take my clients for portraits. I feel it is my duty to help keep them clean.
The impact has been so severe that several states are enacting specific balloon laws, banning their release as the litter it is. So, before you unthinkingly kill wild animals and sea life, even many miles away from you, by releasing balloons, please consider these wonderful alternatives, and see “Balloons Blow (Don’t Let Them Go!)“ for more information:
Instead I encourage my clients to host butterfly releases, candle vigils, and cleanup days as a way to celebrate the day, a passing of a dear friend or a way to show support.
• Release Monarchs – Butterflies are becoming rarer in the wild. Monarchs, specifically, are in trouble. Instead of littering, why not help rebuild?
• Hold a Clean Up Day. – Choose a wild space and have a race to see who can remove the most debris.
• Begin a Charity Drive – Make the donation to charity in the name of your special day.
Looking for a perfect beautiful alternative for your special event? Contact us at Beyond Ordinary Life Photography we would love to help you brainstorm!