Schools have released balloons during elementary science classes and many people release them in remembrance of a loved one. But what happens to those balloons once the helium runs out?
Students Against Balloon Releases, a partnership between Black Swamp Bird Observatory and Benton-Carroll-Salem Schools, is hoping to educate students about the dangers and wastefulness of mass balloon releases and other forms of litter.
Tiffanie Hayes, BSBO Conservation Outreach Specialist, said she too remembers releasing balloons in science class. As she got older, she realized just how dangerous the practice was. “When I was in school, we released balloons as a science project,” Hayes said. “We would write our names and addresses on a postcard and hoped that whoever found our balloons would write back. We would then be able to see how far the balloon went. As I got older, I began to see how dangerous it is to have balloons released into the environment.”