There are few things than can annoy me when walking the dogs around the farm. I normally switch my phone off, try and forget the stresses of running a business and get on with enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. Part of the beauty of living in an area so free of foot traffic is the lack of litter – and it makes any litter you do find all the more abhorrent.

Something which really gets to me is the airborne rubbish – normally helium balloons or chinese lanterns. Finding an example of the first of these prompted this blog post. It wasn’t from an organised release as far as I can tell, probably just an escapee, drifting into the sky leaving an upset child behind.
I have never been a fan of these large-scale balloon releases. They are generally made from oil-based materials and even so-called eco friendly examples are made from latex, which can take up to 5 years to decompose. Until then they litter the landscape and our oceans, a pointless waste of time and resources.

There are several petitions to try and ban large-scale charity balloon and lantern releases or even banning chinese lanterns completely. It will probably come to nothing but I will support them. The lanterns look quite spectacular as they soar into the evening sky, but once they have gone out of sight those who launched them soon forget about them and retreat inside. Meanwhile a DIY incendiary device is drifting towards a heather moorland, or coniferous forest or hay barn or one of the many other flammable landing sites across the British landscape. The frames are made from wire or bamboo, and there are several documented examples of wildlife or livestock dying after eating or becoming entangled in them.

So, folks, please don’t release these things into the sky – they will land somewhere they shouldn’t and it is as bad as dumping rubbish out of your car window.

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1 Comment
  1. Whatever goes up must eventually and inevitably come down, frequently many miles from where it was released; creating litter, damaging the environment and killing or maiming wildlife.

    There a plenty of better ways to celebrate or commemorate than releasing balloons or lanterns.

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