Teaching our kids how balloons affect the environment

I am that mummy who, after having my first born, was totally engrossed in the arrangement of kids parties and having maximum fun. It always started with the most important decoration of all time: balloons.

I would rush to the local Clinton’s to purchase a red shiny balloon as I already had a whole load of normal balloons.

Imagine my horror last year when I was really into my minimalism journey and discovered a lot of extra benefits such as more time for hobbies, less waste but then the random plastic rubbish I was buying was suffocating animals to death.

I went straight online to ask about the dangers of balloons. Yes I know it may be small in the grand scheme of things but so many of us use balloons that it does add up. Some people said the balloon news is false but I came to the conclusion that we should totally abstain from using them. This is one of the links that explains it well including some pictures: Latex balloons are NOT biodegradable.

Since then we haven’t purchased anymore balloons and we don’t miss them. We have resorted to making out own bunting and we reuse them as much as we can.

My four year old has no inclination to use balloons as party decor. We had a very simple conversation where I shared what I had learnt. I said to her that balloons are not good for the environment. It hurts the animals because it isn’t natural material and we need to try and look after the planet and the people and animals on it by buying natural things and leaving the extra things. We can work on it every day and one day we will manage.

And that’s what we did.

My kids don’t see a balloon in shops and go “Oooo balloon!” anymore. That probably came from me anyway as I emphasised that balloons were so amazing. Instead they’ll exclaim how balloons are bad for the environment.

I’m happy that we have managed to learn a lesson together and work our way towards leaving it together. A simple chat and then the bigger step of not being tempted to buy any.

Kids are stronger than we think. In fact I remember a time soon after we had the chat, we went to a shopping centre and they were giving kids balloons. I took one without thinking to give to my kids and my daughter asked me why I had taken it as they are not good for the environment. She had a point. If I was going to avoid buying them, I should probably not take them even if they’re free and be a bigger supporter of the no more balloons movement.

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