Hold off on flying garbage when marking special occasions
July 23, 2014 8:36 PM
Thank you for the column by Linda Wilson Fuoco about helping birds survive the summer (“Pet Tales,” July 19). I am particularly pleased that she brought up the topic of loose balloons. Over the last couple of years I, along with many friends, have been trying to enlighten the public about the dangers involved in balloons released during outside events. These pieces of flying litter can travel great distances, often landing in a body of water where they resemble jellyfish or other marine life, to be eaten by birds and turtles. This results in a slow, painful, sad death for a creature who was just trying to get a meal.
If the balloons do not make the water, they can get caught in trees and the strings can entangle and choke animals. Ospreys carry popped balloons to their nests, to the detriment of their offspring.
Our efforts to educate people on the dangers of this flying garbage often results in hurt feelings as the balloon releases are often staged at memorial services and such. I have no interest in challenging anyone’s beliefs, nor do I want to belittle a memorial event, but please find another way to honor your loved ones.
And please do not buy into the balloon manufacturers’ propaganda that these floating pieces of trash are biodegradable. They are not! The evidence of their destruction is all around. Let’s see past the pretty orbs in the sky to the dying sea bird on the beach.
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