Balloon trash is no joke

Yellow balloon laying on the ground

I was going to lay off the topic of balloon trash for awhile, but then I walked out my front door this morning and one of the first things I see is a discarded balloon lying on the ground in front of the building next door. That is just too much of a coincidence to ignore.

It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the balloon is a nasty looking faded yellow. The balloon has clearly seen better days. Could this balloon be one of the 1,500 released by Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes on Memorial Day? They did release 250 yellow balloons and it has been windy off and on. Who knows maybe the wind caught one of the floating balloons and managed to send it to my Los Angeles neighborhood near Culver City.

I admit the chances of this happening are pretty low. Based on what I could find on the internet, regular helium balloons only last 12 to 20 hours before gravity wins and sends them back to earth as trash. What annoys me most about balloons is that they are so temporary. So much plastic waste for so little reward. Mylar balloons are especially bad, they can take out power lines and can last up to seven days! That is powerful trash.

I can’t even remember the last time I bought balloons, but now I’m officially never buying balloons again, they’re just not worth it. And yes, I picked up the yellow balloon, cut it to make sure it can’t roll any where and threw it in the trash.


  1. Amie says

    If you’re able, please take just a minute and sign this petition that my 2nd grader has started to outlaw mass balloon releases in the state of Georgia. Please share with others who may share her passion for our wildlife, the environment, and reducing litter. She is seeking signatures from around the globe.

    Many balloons end up in our oceans creating pollution and potentially harm to sea turtles and other marine animals who confuse them with their favorite food — jellyfish! Cameron is meeting with our state representative next week and presenting her petition and asking that legislation be introduced to ban this practice. Cameron has written and illustrated a book about a sea turtle called Juno’s Journey. The story is about a green sea turtle who swallows a fish hook and is treated, rehabilitated and released from a South Florida Sea Turtle Hospital.

    “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.

    Coming soon, Juno’s Journey, a book she wrote to benefit sea turtle rescue organizations. Visit for more information about her work.

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