Mylar Balloons

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

You can listen to my podcast episode about Mylar balloons from January 2020 in this YouTube video:

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

  • Garlands
  • Flags
  • 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

Artists Who Creatively Reuse Mylar Balloons

Beth Kindle from Recyclabowls

Linda Thomas Eco Design

View this post on Instagram

"99 Dead Balloons Dress"⠀ ⠀ Made from balloon waste found around the UK by the # 2minutebeachclean community.⠀ ⠀ Bristol, UK⠀⠀ @linda_eco_design on Instagram⠀ @lindathomasecodesign on FB⠀ ⠀ Making dresses out of marine debris began after I saw an image of a pile of 100s of cheap broken polystyrene surfboards found on Cornish beaches. The image was powerful but I only saw it a year later, so I thought how could I get more people to see and know about this. I am used to upcycling with luxurious fabrics for all of my eco fashion designs and I suddenly woke in the morning with a vision in my head of what the dress would look like. I know that images of dresses are more likely to make 'front page' news than images of trash so it seemed like something that I might be able to do using the different skills and passions I had. My desire is to make beautiful dresses to create powerful positive images that can then start educating and bringing about change. Now I can't help myself and just wake up with new marine waste ideas…⠀ ⠀ Photography by Symages Photography. It is the daughter of a children's author who writes books about marine waste @wildtribeheroes.⠀ ⠀ #SplashTrashArtExpos##SaveOurOcean#ocean#plastic#pollution#marinelitter#JustGraBits#art#contemporaryart#bethechange#startwithyou#beach#artexpos#artistsoninstagram #womenartists #bristolart #bristol #repurposedart #marinedebris911 #balloonart #⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

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Suzanne Tick

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