Eco-friendly Balloons; 13 Outstanding Alternatives

Climate Real Talk Team

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When you see a balloon, your first thought is usually “celebration.” At children’s parties, balloons are everywhere, even hanging from garden gates to mark the location of the celebration. Many memorials consider balloon releases an excellent way to honor the recently deceased. 

There is no doubting the beauty of the balloons’ elegant ascent. But balloons do more harm than good to the environment and wildlife. Fortunately, there are environmentally suitable balloon substitutes for all of the existing uses for balloons that won’t harm wildlife or the environment.

What are eco-friendly balloons?

Eco-friendly balloons are balloons made from compostable materials that degrade quickly. The most compostable material used in making balloons is latex; however, it takes six months to 4 years before they are degraded. 

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Are eco-friendly balloons really eco-friendly?

Eco-friendly balloons do exist, and they are made from latex, a compound found in the cells of some trees. They are considered eco-friendly because they are biodegradable, but it takes a considerably long time before they degrade.

Latex balloons, especially those made of natural latex, are the most frequently discovered balloon type in the stomachs of deceased animals. So-called biodegradable balloons may take years to decay, during which time they may have killed or seriously injured a variety of creatures. For these reasons, a lot of people seem to adopt the school of thought that there is nothing really eco-friendly about balloons. 

13 best eco-friendly balloon alternatives

1. Bubbles

Few things are as universally beloved and simple to create as soap bubbles if you want to watch something lovely and sparkling float away into the sky instead of balloons. The smallest kids are captivated as they discover how to make a bubble from a cheap bottle. Bubbles are good for the environment. These balloon substitutes do not require helium to fly, and no glittering latex balloons are left lying around the after-party.

On their labels, several bubble manufacturers make a point of highlighting how environmentally friendly their goods are. You can make bubbles fill the air in any weather, whether it’s a breezy day or completely still. To further reduce costs, you can duplicate the bubble formula using ordinary soaps. Additionally, you may add other ingredients, such as glycerin, to these DIY solutions to produce bubble displays that stay longer and fly higher.

Bubbles are eco-friendly ballon alternatives.

2. Bottle lights

You discover that your home has a lot of used wine bottles. Wait a moment before discarding them, please! Create some light bottle decorations for your events with all these used bottles. 

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You can put led lights in the bottles and turn them on. Hanging them can give you that balloon feel. You can also experiment by using different colored lights and different colored bottles to create a relaxing effect. This is a perfect eco-friendly balloon alternative as these creations are reusable and help to combat waste. 

Bottle lights

3. Garlands

A garland is a wreath or festoon made of flowers, leaves, or other materials worn to signify respect or to decorate something. Using garlands at your events is one of the best alternatives to balloons.

You can use leaves in making garlands for your events and add some touch of color by using colorful flowers to design your garlands. You can also use paper to make garlands or ribbons that can be reused and eventually recycled. 

Garlands are eco-friendly balloon alternatives.

4. Paper balloons

Another option is to purchase conventional Japanese paper balloons made without plastic (Kamifusen). They are simple to blow up, and if you treat them well, you may reuse them repeatedly. You can buy them in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, making them a perfectly vibrant and enjoyable alternative for children’s celebrations.

Tie a piece of thread to an uncoiled paper clip and place it in the hole to hang the paper balloons. Then use some tape to secure the cord to the wall or ceiling. It’s almost like a normal latex balloon and can be used to make a balloon garland.

Eco-friendly balloons could be substituted using paper baloons.

5. Origami

Although they can be a little more time-consuming, DIY paper decorations can add a festive and lovely touch to any occasion. They can be hung from the ceiling or walls or used as table decorations.

The majority of them are quite easy to construct, and if you have the time to make a lot of them, they may make wonderful decorations for various occasions. There are many additional shapes you can create! If you don’t have the time to make something yourself, you might buy some previously prepared ones.

Remember that they may get destroyed under wet conditions, so opt for fabric alternatives if you are celebrating outside. 

Origamis are more sustainable than eco-friendly baloons.

6. Fabric decorations

Fabric ornaments are a wonderful alternative that will last you much longer than the majority of paper decorations. They are also an eco-friendly alternative to balloons because they are reusable and do not harm the environment.

You can use fabrics of different colors to make flags, banners, or garlands. Fabrics can also be draped or used in making roses that can serve the same purpose as balloons. 

Fabric decorations

7. Paper bunting

You can also create a really adorable, personalized bunting with just paper, twine, and tape (or glue)! You may use them repeatedly, and they make a fantastic decorating alternative to balloons.

Cut out various shapes from paper, color them, and tape or glue them to a string to make a really straightforward bunting.

Paper bunting

8. Banners

One of the best possibilities for decorations at graduations, birthday celebrations, and many other events is the use of banners. Instead of utilizing balloons, you might use them to decorate your walls with color and design or even to make lovely backdrops.

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Additionally, because of their incredible versatility, you can alter and adapt them to fit any occasion.

You can utilize your banners for a variety of other events. Because of this, they are very time and money efficient. There are many different sizes, forms, patterns, and colors for banners. This makes it simple for you to locate one that suits your requirements.

Banners can offer a great alternative to eco-friendly balloons

9. Flower Seed bombs

Small balls, known as seed bombs, are created by combining clay, compost, and wildflower seeds. They decompose and release the seeds in a more haphazard fashion when they are dispersed across grass or flowerbeds. They’re also a great substitute for balloon releases because they benefit the environment and allow you to “release” something.

Wildflower seed bombs can be purchased or made at home. Invite folks to distribute them over a section of your garden or an existing wildflower meadow when they’re ripe. You’ll have a lovely memorial to your loved one when the flowers bloom, and you’ll also be helping bees, butterflies, and other insects.

Some of the seeds create an explosive effect when mixed with water which is interesting to experience. 

Flower seed bombs

10. Streamers

Another waste-free option for balloons is streamers. They are far more participatory than any other form of décor. They provide you with the best means of bringing vibrant colors and a sense of excitement and enthusiasm to your celebration.

For your ceremonies and gatherings, you can utilize them as decorations. Alternatively, you might give the kids a stick with a streamer attached to it and run around with them while having fun. In other words, it works best as home fitness equipment for your kids.

With easily available materials, these decorations are also quite simple to build. Streamers can be composted, which is more significant. This indicates that they degrade naturally and won’t pollute the environment.

Streamers are shiny and a great eco-friendly balloon alternative.

11. Kites

You may decorate your outside space with kites in a pleasant and entertaining way without contributing to pollution. Their attractiveness might enhance your party locations. Let your guests engage in a friendly competition to determine whose kite can soar the highest. You might anticipate some chaos while the partygoers tangle their kite cords in this area.

They also assist in directing partygoers to the appropriate location. Furthermore, creating them isn’t difficult. You can enlist some children to assist you with the project.

Kites are one of the most colourful alternatives to eco-friendly balloons

12. Pom Pom

You can try using pompoms as a lovely, zero-waste alternative to balloons. They transform your space and events with a vibrant splash of amazing hues. When using easily available materials like tissue paper or fabric pompoms, they are incredibly simple and quick to design.

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Additionally, you can install or affix them at the entrance to your gate in place of balloons to make it easier for guests to locate your event.

Pom poms

13. Plant a tree

Planting a tree or flowers can serve as a lasting tribute for someone (or for your pet). To make it more personalized, pick a plant or flower that represents them or is their favorite. They stay much longer than balloons and sky lanterns, are eco-friendly, and may be viewed repeatedly.

Planting and gardening are also recognized to be good for mental health, which is particularly beneficial if you’re mourning a loss or organizing an event. 

The duchess plants a tree

Reasons why eco-friendly balloons may not be the best option

1. They litter the environment

Releases of balloons constitute environmental litter. Even though the balloons are flying quite high in the sky, they will eventually descend to the earth’s surface. Released balloons damage the environment when they are plentiful.

2. They are responsible for hazards to wildlife

Wildlife, notably sea turtles, often swallow balloons that end up in the sea because of their alluring appearance. When they consume the balloons, their internal feeding channels are easily blocked, which results in starvation and eventual death.

Birds, dolphins, and other marine species can also be wrapped in the thread, which limits their ability to move. Additionally, the thread could cut into their flesh and cause serious illnesses.

3. They can cause accidents that could be fatal

The 1986 Baloonfest disaster is evidence of the accidents that balloons can cause. A whopping 1.5 million balloons were released to break a world record; however, it turned into a disaster as airports had to close because of littered balloons on the runway. 

There were reported cases of car accidents, animal injuries, pollution of waterways, and the death of two fishermen who could not get help in time during an emergency because of the balloon release. 

Bottom line

Even though they might not be as shiny and appealing as balloons, there are plenty of waste-free alternatives to balloons to take into account.

However, some of them will be a lot of fun for you as well and help your party have an exciting atmosphere.

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