Published by Bridget Dillon.

With graduation right around the corner, your school may be planning to celebrate by releasing balloons into the sky, but have you considered where they may end up? 🤔

© iStock.com/Whiteway

Schools across the country, including Clemson University in South Carolina, are ending balloon releases, thanks to compassionate students who are speaking up to let administrators know that deflated helium balloons and their tangled strings are often found stuck in trees or washed up on beaches and can wreak havoc on unsuspecting animals.

© iStock.com/rmarnold

A few moments of entertainment for humans can be deadly for animals who ingest deflated balloons or become entangled in their strings. Some states are even considering banning outdoor balloon releases because they’re so cruel. Yep. #BalloonReleasesSuck

Shorebirds and other animals can become entangled in balloon remnants—many dead birds have been found with bits of Mylar, latex, and string wrapped around their necks, beaks, and legs. 😔

© iStock.com/DavidHCoder

Land animals are the only ones affected. Many dolphins, whales, and sea turtles beach themselves and die every year after ingesting deflated balloons, which can resemble jellyfish—one of their regular food sources.

If your school is planning a balloon release, politely urge officials to choose an environmentally friendly alternative instead, such as blowing bubbles or planting flowers. Take these steps to help end balloon releases at your school:

Ask

Sometimes, change occurs simply because someone asks for it. Write a letter to members of your school’s administration—or have a conversation with them—about the dangers of releasing balloons into the sky. Not sure what to say? We’ve got you covered. You can customize this printable letter to support your argument.

Gather Support

If your concerns aren’t taken seriously, you’ll need to start a petition to gain support for your cause. Create a petition or start one online, and ask your friends and other classmates to sign it to urge your school to help animals by ending balloon releases. Ask your parents or guardians to call the school, too. Your school still isn’t canceling the balloon release? We can help! E-mail us at [email protected].

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If you spot a balloon or other piece of trash while you’re out enjoying nature, take a second to pick it up. You’ll help keep the environment beautiful, and you might save a life, too.

How to Organize Your Own Protest

Are you a student who wants to make a direct change for animals? Take it to the streets by holding a protest! We will help you every step of the way.

Organize A Protest