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... to feel really angry every time I see balloons being released into the sky

(133 Posts)
MamaCaz Fri 14-Jun-19 18:49:06

Just that really. It makes me really angry.

If someone pulled up at the side of the toad and tipped a box-full of uninflated balloons out of their car onto the verge, they could, quite rightly, be prosecuted. Why is releasing them into the sky still allowed when it is just as bad for the environment?

Callistemon Fri 14-Jun-19 22:34:43

Well done those children!
They are far more aware than many adults.

Release a dove?
Paint a lovely pebble?

paddyann Fri 14-Jun-19 22:49:50

Suedonim our balloon release was in the city centre ,there has been the idea of releasing butterflies but some dont agree with that either

rafichagran Fri 14-Jun-19 22:51:34

I hope all you virtue signallers do not drive a car or do anything that can harm the environment.
The release of the balloons bought comfort to a bereaved Mother. She did nothing wrong.
Paint a pebble, release doves, how bloody patronising.

paddyann Fri 14-Jun-19 22:56:46

rafichagran you have my sincerest condolences,its amazing what comfort is had from watching a balloon drift away from you ,its truly a release of emotion that you dont expect .I wont take part if doves are used as I'm terrified of birds so my annual tribute to my lost babies is finished .Sad.

MamaCaz Fri 14-Jun-19 23:00:08

I agree completely.

SueDonim Fri 14-Jun-19 23:05:07

I imagine anything that entails another living creature like a butterfly or dove would be frowned upon. I suppose I'm thinking along the lines of how offerings are made on the Ganges, that kind of thing.

rafichagran Fri 14-Jun-19 23:17:19

So sorry PaddyannI had a still birth as well, and your story about the little girl asking about the baby catching the balloon is poignant.
If the balloon release brings comfort to people I have no objection, it is not done that often and a lot of it is done in town's and cities. I think we need to get things in proportion.

Happiyogi Fri 14-Jun-19 23:38:29

I am sorry for everyone who has suffered bereavement. The death of a baby or child is particularly hard to bear.

But I cannot see how causing certain pollution and potential death to innocent wildlife out of sight makes the loss of a precious human life more endurable. Two wrongs really don't make a right comes to mind.

rafichagran Sat 15-Jun-19 00:02:33

happiyogi the releasing of the balloons is symbolic and brings comfort to some people.

Bathsheba Sat 15-Jun-19 00:03:31

Happiyogi I completely agree with you. I can see no defence for adding to the plastic pollution, endangering our wildlife.

I’m bewildered that anyone who has suffered a bereavement can wantonly risk causing suffering to wildlife in this way.

rafichagran Sat 15-Jun-19 00:18:11

Oh for heavens sake. The releasing of the balloons was symbolic and something the bereaved Mother my son's partner wanted to do.
I dought she wantonly thought of harming wild life her daughter had just died. She was upset, devastated and feeling indescribable loss What a nasty insensitive remark.

M0nica Sat 15-Jun-19 00:35:18

Sadly I must disagree with rafichagran. letting balloons fly away into the sky is a very recent 'tradition' and one that should also be a shortlived one'.

It is easy and understandable for someone to say, just a few, on this particular occasion will not have much effect but when thousands are saying this countrywide every week and hundreds of thousands globally then what seems so minimal at a local micro level is a serious form of pollution, it is also damaging to animals and David Attenborough has shown what it does to the sea. Every bit of plastic in the sea is the result of someone thinking their little bit of plastic will not make a difference.

I am not complaining, moaning, nor am I angry. It is just as Hapiyogi points out that every little helps.

I am sorry I do not accept the argument that just because some of us wouldn't do it, doesn't mean it is wrong. This is an argument that doesn't wash with me. Most of us wouldn't do it because it is wrong

Why not cast flowers, leaves or feathers on water to get the same effect, or blow dandelion clocks.

paddyann Sat 15-Jun-19 01:04:11

I believe there are biodegradable balloons available now ."MOST" of us haven't lost babies or young children so won't have had an invitation to a SANDS balloon release.Believe me when I tell you that without any doubt it offers a great deal of comfort to see the balloons float sky wards
.I accept that its not something we should do now we know better ,but ,when I first was invited there were no concerns raised for either the environment or wildlife.This condemnation of people who were grieving looking for comfort is very distasteful .I'm very glad you haven't suffered such a loss but a wee bit of compassion for those who have wouldn't go amiss .

crystaltipps Sat 15-Jun-19 06:56:34

Bereavement is a sad fact of life, and whilst some may undoubtedly have gained comfort from releasing balloons in recent times, we now know this isn’t sustainable and ultimately can do harm. There are alternatives to showing our emotions that don’t involve balloons and people have been doing symbolic things to ease their grief for centuries, whether it is praying, lighting candles, laying flowers, releasing doves etc. This isn’t to condemn those who have launched balloons, but just to say we must think of new “traditions”. Making paper boats and writing messages to send along a river or cast into the sea is one that I like.

EllanVannin Sat 15-Jun-19 07:54:14

I've had two balloons land in my garden in the past, they'd just appeared. One was obviously a birthday balloon with blue patterns and had got tangled in the shrubs. It scared the cats so I had to pop it and bin it.
I'd been curious to know where they came from. The other was a plain purple one which I lifted up and sent on its way as it looked a bit funereal in my mind.

As a kid I hated balloons and I remember getting whacked for biting a piece out of brothers balloon so he couldn't blow it up, then made things worse by saying I didn't do it until the tiny bit of evidence was found down my front.

I'm not a fan of them because of the noise when they go off but I wouldn't spoil the enjoyment of others who do.

annsixty Sat 15-Jun-19 08:12:52

I truly cannot remember when I last saw a balloon in the sky. It must be many years,so I don't think it is done much in this part of the country.
I do remember though when the practice of the balloon race was part of every school fair or fund raising event.
That seems to also died out years ago.
I did think that Chinese lanterns had been banned, is this right?
We must think of more environmentally friendly ways of commemorating or fund raising.
It would seem to be very simple to me.

rafichagran Sat 15-Jun-19 08:47:13

The Mother gained comfort from it and it was symbolic to her. She did not want to paint pebbles, or release doves, or anything else, she wanted to release balloon to celebrate her daughter's hard but short life.
I find it in very bad taste that people think she should consider the enviroment after her young daughters unexpected death , and to the poster who said bereavement is a fact if life, yes it is but not so much with your child. I have a picture of
T with balloon tied to her wheelchair when she was alive, and she laughed and giggled when she saw the colours.
Lastly I hope that all of you who are listing the reasons of not having balloons do not drive, eat meat,Have filthy fuelled gas barbeques in the garden in summer, smoke, or do anything else that is harmful to the environment. The hypocracy is astounding.

TwiceAsNice Sat 15-Jun-19 08:58:55

I was set of an organised bereavement group for teenagers. We would release mini paper lanterns to float on a private pond and watch them move around all lit up in the dark. Someone would remove them when the young people left. We also wrote messages on circles of wood and tied them all to the same tree.

TwiceAsNice Sat 15-Jun-19 08:59:13

Part not set

EllanVannin Sat 15-Jun-19 09:38:57

Rafichagran, the whole " clean air and environmental issues " is indeed hypocritical when we have hundreds of planes a day leaving various airports then landing too, and all that that entails. On more than one occasion because there are various flight paths where I am, I've actually got a whiff of aviation fluid at times.

I wonder how many of these clean-air freaks fly abroad ?

Sadly, nobody wants to listen when it comes to the use of vehicles

Myself and others like me lived through the coal-fire era but we're still here ! Smoke billowing from chimneys, thick " peas-soup " fog full of pollutants. The air has never been clearer ! Yes,I smoke, but we're in the minority now.

One of the biggest concerns are clinically obese people. Surely that has to be more important than a few balloons floating about ? It's the two-legged walking balloons that complaints should be made about.

Shalene777 Sat 15-Jun-19 09:43:42

Balloon releases make my blood boil. There are more ethical ways to celebrate.

bikergran Sat 15-Jun-19 09:45:03

I think the reason that the balloon floating away gently into the sky is we/children were brought up thinking heaven is up there and that the balloon is on its way there.

It does give a sense of floating silently up to the sky.

It would be great if someone could produce a similar item that completely disintegrates, no wires/plastic etc.

EllanVannin Sat 15-Jun-19 09:47:32

Such as, Shalene777 ? What other way/s ?

annsixty Sat 15-Jun-19 09:49:03

Rafichagranplease don't take the criticism to heart.
People do get on their high horses over some issues and this happens to be one.
For myself I neither drive or do long haul flights, for reasons other than the climate.
I send you and the mother of the child kindest thoughts and hope you find some comfort in your memories.

Callistemon Sat 15-Jun-19 09:50:56

HappyYogi, Bathsheba and others, I agree. I really cannot see how releasing these balloons and risking other creatures can possibly make anyone feel better after a bereavement.
I did not think my suggestions were at all patronising (there was no need to swear btw) rafichagran, I feel sorry for your loss and yes, I can empathise but there are alternatives to endangering wildlife in this way.