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Unwanted Message About Fun Balloons

Can we please stop buying helium-filled balloons? The seemingly benign escape of an occasional party balloon is not without consequences. Trash adds up, and Mylar balloons with their metal coating are particularly offensive. Releasing balloons to honor someone is a practice whose time should end. While it may offer comfort in the moment, the enduring pollution is a lousy legacy for an expression of love.

Here's a video showing balloon debris washing up on Great Lakes beaches like invasive fresh-water jellyfish.

Meanwhile, despite being the second most abundant element in the universe, helium is in short supply. While we blithely pump helium into our balloons (and sometimes into our throats to make silly-speech), the inert gas is a dwindling resource needed for other national causes. A prescient source in a 2020 New York Times noted Russia's dominance in the helium market and said, "“The geopolitical risks of threats to supply, and potential supply outages, will rise.” Indeed they have. See

Clear balloon on beach

And if you mention Mylar balloons that get stuck in power lines, well, that's a whole 'nother argument against balloons.

Mylar balloons stuck in power lines


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