Today’s Small Step: Pop Off

By Faran Krentcil, Fact checked by Jessica Ochoa

1 min read

Bubbles

From Virgo Season to Almost Famous on Broadway, there’s so much to celebrate as we move into September. But whether you’re planning a back-to-school bash or an IG-worthy dinner party, we’ve got one thing to ask on behalf of the planet:

Don’t use balloons.

Yes, they’re so fun to film in slow motion. But the truth is, there’s currently no such thing as an eco-friendly balloon, and because they’re easily ingested by wildlife, they’re actually the number one risk of death in seabirds.

Balloons aren’t great for humans, either. When tangled in power lines, they can cause serious power outages—up to 20% of all neighborhood blackouts, in fact—and because they drift into waterways, they can add even more pollution into lakes, rivers, and oceans. 

The good news: There are swaps you can make that are better for the planet and your social media accounts. (Really.) Besides bubbles, pinwheels, candles, and flowers, you can create origami from recycled paper, or use seed paper confetti. You can even find crochet “water balloons” for reusable backyard fun.

And balloons aren’t the only swaps that can make a difference at your next social event. Check out Earth Cups so you can party in plastic-free peace.