You know those gold letter balloons? You know, those gold letter balloons? ...The ones in the background of every millennial birthday party photo. These 'magical' balloons will get about 20x the likes on Instagram vs. sans ballon. Everyone knows an Instagrammable-worth party isn't complete without them.
However, not everyone knows what happens to these balloons when the party is over. Most likely, someone will throw them in the trash after sucking the helium out of them a weeks later. Then what?
On your next birthday, those balloons will still be around. And on your next, next, next, next, next birthday they will still be around. The balloons will have more birthdays than you.
Shiny, foil balloons are termed "Mylar" balloons. This material is not considered biodegradable. The pretty shine is actually a plastic coating mixed with metal.
You can't recycle Mylar balloons with your regular plastic, metal, and glass recycling. They must be taken to a special recycling center. Most people don't take their balloons to special recycling centers and they instead end up sitting in landfills or polluting our oceans and land.
Next time you're decorating for a party, try biodegradable streamers, cloth banners, bamboo utensils, and reusable dishes. There are so many alternatives and it just takes a moment of effort to realize the better choice.
Becoming environmentally conscious takes, well, just that: conscious effort. We need to think about every purchase we make because everything has an impact. Throwing a zero-waste party instead of throwing away your party supplies is just one step to becoming urban enlightened.