In Remembrance : Alternatives to Balloon Releases

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Balloon Releases have been a popular event for years. Back when I was a kid in the 90’s, I remember watching businesses and communities do massive balloon releases at all kinds of celebrations. As we have become more conscious of the effects of pollution on our environment and the wildlife, balloon releases have become less of a community event. However, they are still around today, mostly used by grieving families celebrating the life of a lost loved one or a special anniversary, but are still sometimes used by companies in their outdoor celebrations.

Unfortunately, after being released, the balloons change from a symbol of love and life of our loved ones and they become pollution. At minimum becoming stuck in trees and coming down in the streets, and worse, making their way into our water systems and mistaken as food by wildlife.

This doesn’t mean we need to stop the practice of having gatherings or celebrations and honoring our loved ones who have passed or celebrating a special anniversary. There are alternatives to balloon releases that have the same beautiful visual of our prayers and thoughts going up to heaven that are safer for our environment.

Here are some alternatives to balloon releases for your next celebration:

  • Bubbles
  • Rice Confetti Canons
  • Colored Powder Canons
  • Make natural confetti from leaves and throw that.
  • Fly Kites with your prayers being released.
  • Have a BonFire
  • Plant a tree
  • Plant a garden
  • Noisemakers
  • Make a donation in a lost loved one’s name or as a family to commemorate an anniversary.
  • Plan a beach or park clean-up day to do something positive for your community as a family.
  • Have a pot-luck with your loved one’s favorite foods.
  • To celebrate an anniversary do random acts of kindness for each year you are celebrating.
  • Write a letter then burn it (safely).
  • Make shirts for friends and family then have a party with everyone wearing the shirts.
  • Float flowers in the water.
  • Candlelight vigil.
  • Release ladybugs (while they won’t fly it is a safer more wildlife-friendly release.)
  • Paint rocks and leave them around the community, or just create a colorful memorial garden in your yard.
  • Make your own family ofrenda during Dia de Los Muertos.

I understand the draw to having balloon releases at your celebrations. They can be visually beautiful. But I think we can all agree that the impacts of the balloons after the fact do not warrant the Instagram moment they offer. With a little creativity and research, we can find things in the list above that offer the same visual beauty to enhance our celebrations whether we are honoring a loved one, or celebrating a monumental milestone.

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Jennifer is a Coastal Bend Native, born and raised in Ingleside. She began contributing to the Corpus Christi Moms Blog in 2018 and stepped up as the Community Engagement Coordinator in 2019. She is happiest when she is crafting, writing, or doing anything artistic. She loves music, especially ANYTHING from the 90's, and is often seen dancing around the kitchen to Nsync while cooking dinner. She is married to Derik and has two kids, Connor and Keeley (pronounced Key-Lee). Jennifer still feels like a novice when it comes to parenting and enjoys letting other moms know they are not doing life alone. She also admits she watches copious amounts of Netflix, but balances that out by reading to and with her kiddos as much as possible each day.

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