I Get You, Twine-String-Mom

I really do.

When my kids were young - balloons-for-birthday-parties-young, I would go into the party store with my own spool of string, shunning the gaudy, plastic "curly ribbon" variety they would have used to attach to my bright bundle of balloons. I say attach, because I see more clips attached to balloons these days, which according to Party City, for less than three cents a piece, allow you to "Seal balloons in seconds — no more fumbling with small knots in hard-to-manipulate material." PHEW, another problem I didn't know I had = solved by plastic. 

But no, not this mom, not the mom that tied her own damn balloons with her own earthy twine, she and old-me were cut from the same well-intentioned, burlap cloth. 

What old-me, and twine-mom had in common, was the belief that balloons (often called biodegradable latex) would biodegrade, and therefore cause no harm. Attach one of those to a piece of twine and you're basically hugging the planet, except it's the opposite of that.

In reality, those burst pieces of latex are commonly mistaken for food and ingested by marine animals. Like plastic, these pieces cannot be digested and end up contributing to the ingestee's miserable starvation.  Balloons with string/ribbon (twine OR plastic) also have the dubious capacity to entangle/strangle wildlife. 

Then there's the whole issue of helium depletion. I rather cluelessly have spent most of my life not knowing it is a finite, and scientifically critical, resource. Had I known, I wouldn't have so ignorantly inhaled it for cheap laughs, and I would certainly have found a better way to visually embellish the passing of another 365 days of my children's lives, had I known

Now I know, and with the helium colored glasses off, balloons make me cringe (yes, even water balloons).

The good people at "Balloons Blow" do great work in their efforts to educate the masses on the topic of balloons and the dangerous litter they create, as well as to reach out to organizers of Balloon Releases (those are a real thing) to educate and encourage the various marketing departments of these churches, schools, event organizers, to choose an alternative form of publicity, preferably one that doesn't cause widespread harm.