Times are changing... keep your event environmentally friendly.
Everyone is doing their bit to help the environment and make our planet a healthier place to live. What steps can you take to make sure your party decorations aren't hurting the planet.
This is something that I have been asking myself recently with all the awareness nowadays of how plastic is destroying our oceans, marine life and rain forests.
We run a tight ship on recycling in our home and the last thing I wanted was my love of balloons to be harmful to the environment. Was I actively harming the environment with my balloon artistry? I didn’t know... So I researched, this is what I found; and how I have come to bring my clients to the compromise of a more planet friendly party design and the measures I take to reduce waste for each event I style.
Thankfully, gone are the days of balloons being made from dried animal bladders (yes, that was a thing). Balloons are made from latex. So wanting to be sure about the information I am delivering this is where I started my research.
First of all, What is latex? What is it made from? And is it harmful to our environment?
Latex is an all-natural product which comes from the sap of the rubber tree, however, latex can be produced from more than 200 other plant species, so the likelihood of endangering one species of plant is very slim.
The most important question to ask, I think is; are balloons biodegradable? From various reliable web sources (Qualatex) , I can find that it takes 4 years for a latex balloon to biodegrade. For some context, that is the same amount of time it takes an oak leaf to biodegrade. This is quite reassuring news!
Are there more environmentally friendly alternatives to latex balloons? It doesn’t seem that there is much in the way more environmental latex balloons on the market, in fact, latex balloons are much more environmentally friendly than foil balloons, or mylar balloons. Foil balloons do not biodegrade, and are not made of natural non-toxic ingredients like latex balloons.
How do I prevent waste and encourage clients to go for a more environmentally friendly design for the event style?
Generally I would encourage clients to go for latex balloons over foil, for the reasons listed above. However, foil balloons are still one of the services I provide. So I make conscious steps to make sure there is as little waist as possible in these instances. Where I can, I re-use foil balloons for multiple occasions. When foil balloons are added as part of a balloon wall or garland to add texture, these balloons can be de-inflated as easily as they are inflated, and if packed away and kept properly, are as good as new to use time again for different designs. I also refer people use paper tassels and curtains where possible rather than foil. Which are just as beautiful and fully recyclable.
I think there is still more to be done in this industry to research and prevent any environmental damage caused from balloons. And I am as innovative with the technology as I am creative with my designs here at Balloons By Beth, and will always be seeking the best most planet friendly way to deliver my designs by continuously referring to the very helpful information from the European Balloon and Party Council
Other great tips to be conscious of the environment when organising your events;
Use paper plates/cups over plastic of polystyrene there are some great designs at the likes of Ginger Ray, where you do not have to compromise on style at all!
Give out your balloons as party favours rather than filling party bags with plastic toys for the kids! They'll have just as much fun with it, if not more - And this turns the balloons into a multi use item, rather than single use!
Be mindful of not over catering with the food, get a good idea of numbers before you order your platters, if there's any left overs, why not bag is up and give it to the homeless? Or pop it on a compost heap in the garden, rather than in the bin!