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They are supposed to make us feel festive, but Mylar balloons are responsible for power outages and seabird deaths, let alone a rather wasteful use of the non-renewable resource known as helium. They may be sparkly fun, but there are better ways to decorate for your next holidays. In this episode, we’ll talk about:
- how Mylar balloons impact the environment
- alternatives to Mylar balloons for your next festivities
- craft ideas for creatively reusing Mylar balloons that you already own
- stories about artists who have creatively reuse Mylar balloons
Environmental Impacts of Mylar Balloons
Mylar balloons are responsible for power outages if people release them outside and they make contact with power lines.
Mylar balloons use up helium, which is a non-renewable resource, and necessary for use in machines like MRI machines.
Balloons are one of the highest-risk debris items that kill seabirds because they fit into their stomachs and then block them off.
Alternatives to Mylar Balloons
- Bubbles – especially if you blow them with wands made from recycled materials or rent a bubble machine
- Ribbons on a stick
- Planting native plants
Crafts that Creatively Reuse Mylar Balloons
Some creative reuse centers accept Mylar balloons in their donations of craft supplies, such as Upcycle Recycle Reuse Center in Alexandria, VA.
The simplest way to creatively reuse Mylar balloons is as wrapping paper.
You can also make pompoms and tassels from Mylar balloons.
My favorite garland from Mylar balloons or wrapping paper by Kathleen Ballos on Oh Happy Day