Why ban on releasing helium balloons makes sense


To the Editor:

Rhode Island’s proposed ban on releasing helium balloons would help keep the state beautiful and protect wildlife.

Balloon releases, which sometimes take place at weddings, graduations, memorials, and other events, send hundreds or thousands of balloons up into the atmosphere. But when deflated balloons return to Earth they wreak havoc.

Animals often mistake balloon fragments for food and choke or suffocate when they try to eat them. Balloons can also block animals’ digestive tracts, causing them to starve to death slowly and painfully. Birds can become entangled in balloon remnants, and many have been found dead with bits of Mylar, latex and string wrapped around their necks, beaks and legs. Dolphins, whales and sea turtles also die every year after ingesting deflated balloons, which can resemble jellyfish – one of their food sources.

Instead of aerial littering, choose an environmentally friendly way to mark occasions, such as planting trees or flowers. And if you spot a balloon or other trash while you’re out enjoying nature, take a second to pick it up; you could save a life.

Lindsay Pollard-Post

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.


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Tuesday, May 21

When I got to the signature and the writer identified as a PETA member, it all made sense. The only thing PETA folks don't care about is human beings. I'm having steak for dinner tonight.

Thursday, May 23

The amount of plastic and debris in our water and on our beaches is outrageous. If you have volunteered for Save the Bay and cleaned up massive amounts of garbage (including a ridiculous amount of balloons) you would understand why this is something that we need to seriously consider. What goes up must come down. It shouldn't cause the death of wildlife because it is wrapped around its throat. It is such an easy fix. Why be so derogatory? So it came from someone in PETA it isn't valid?

davebarry - Have you ever worked with Save the Bay and cleaned up our beaches? If not, I would highly recommend it. It was an eye-opening experience for me and one that brings me back each year to ensure that at least some of the trash is being removed.

Wednesday, May 29

I was reading the letter and then got to the end where it is written by a PETA member and I had to roll my eyes. Puh-lease....PETA doesn't care about animals. They are a joke. I am with davebarry, I'm having steak for dinner...right after I release these balloons.

Friday, May 31

Then I look forward to seeing you both next time we have a Save the Bay event. Make sure you have your gloves and something to grab up the debris. It takes a couple of hours to walk back and forth to pick up all the trash that is on our beaches. Hat and sunscreen are a must. Can't wait to work along side KimLorene and daveberry.

P.S. Not every vegetarian/vegan aligns themselves with PETA. You are grown adults and are free to chose to eat whatever you want. It doesn't really bother most people since choice is always a good option to have in life. I hope you both enjoyed your steak. Hopefully it will provide enough protein to keep you going while you clean up the beaches in Warwick.

Friday, May 31

Cat, Thank you so much for the invitation; however, I can't make it. I am too busy volunteering at food pantries (true story - I volunteer every week, spending a few hours of my time there). I find this type of work to be more needed in our community. Save The Bay is wonderful. They do great work - I just don't think that anyone associated with PETA can be taken seriously.

Wednesday, June 5

Save the Bay is not associated with PETA. TThe fact is that it is an issue and you decided that because of the messenger, you don't want to hear the m message. Save the Bay has its own local chapter. It is a RI institution. Our beaches and wildlife are a part of what draws people to the state. If not releasing balloons can help both at the same time, why would it not be considered?

The invitation still stands. 2 hours of your time on a local beach can do a lot to keep it clean and environmentally friendly. I too volunteer for food pantries and Blessings in a Backpack. We can do both and make RI a great place to live and visit.

Monday, June 10