25 March 2009

Reactions to mass balloon release

Party pooper, more important things to ban, and details of the response of the organisers to a suggestion NOT to release balloons. These were some of the comments posted to the Straits Times site on the letter yesterday about the impact of mass balloon release.

Are mass balloon releases not a big deal?

I found out a little more from A Rising Tide of Ocean Debris and What We Can Do About It by the Ocean Conservancy who conduct International Coastal Cleanup.

Balloons are not on the top ten marine debris items. (click on image for enlarged view of the tables).
But this doesn't mean they are not an issue. Balloons continue to be monitored as one of the kinds of marine debris that entangle marine wildlife. Balloons are not as huge a problem as abandoned fishing lines and traps. But perhaps because Death-by-Balloon is not as visible externally. Animals may choke/starve and die and we won't know the cause without the carcass and an autopsy.
The data from Singapore suggests we do have more balloon litter on our shores, compared to some other countries. More about International Coastal Cleanup Singapore and how you can join in the effort.
Want to do something about balloon releases?
Email me (Ria, hello@wildsingapore.com) as some of us are thinking about what we can do about this.

Comments on the Straits Times Forum discussion thread on Celebrate marriage without balloons a letter by Sheri Kristen Goh, as of 25 Mar 09 10am

Misnomer, Yesterday, 08:11 AM
Please don't make life so black and white. It is miserable enough, a bit of colour and beauty for the eyes will lift the spirits. Relax lah, we won't die because of some burst balloon latex.

angwahang, Yesterday, 09:15 AM
Hey lady, dont think too deeply and conduct research...just enjoy good things in a life... it is only once in a while.

kilofoxtrot, Yesterday, 11:25 AM
i totally agree with the writer. How can anyone say "just enjoy good things in a life... it is only once in a while" - that is socially and environmentally irresponsible. How about dumping all that used balloons in your back yard would you still be so " relax la"

skinners, Yesterday, 11:37 AM
Wah, like that also cannot. LTA should ban cars then, they are more pollutive.

Misnomer, Yesterday, 12:22 PM
Where I am now, they fire firecrackers and fireworks... don't know if that is also pollutive.

skinners, Yesterday, 01:13 PM
The most pollution comes from words of MIWs. They stink. Smells kills.

sharlynrj, Yesterday, 06:45 PM
See your MP. He may be able to stop this nonsense.

victorliu, Yesterday, 09:49 PM
I agree with the writer.

I emailed the organizers of this event once to request they plan an alternative event. This is what I got:
Thank you very much for your email. We appreciate your kind feedback and have taken note of your concern with regards to our event that will be held at the Marina Barrage next weekend. Please rest assured that we have obtained the necessary clearances and permission from the relevant authorities for the mass releasing of balloons. We will most certainly keep your suggestion in mind for upcoming events in future.

So I replied to say that they were missing the point, that this event could already cause damage. It's been more than a week and no one has replied.

I am very very disappointed with our Clean and Green Garden City that would actually risk killing sea turtles to celebrate marriages. Surely there must be some other way!

Also, for those who think people against releasing balloons are just being anal, you won't die without seeing pretty balloons flying away, but many innocent creatures will if you are so bent on doing so.

So please spare a thought for all the innocent animals, and the ecology. Find some more environmentally friendly way of holding celebrations, please!

XIIIblackcat, Yesterday, 09:51 PM
Judging by the wind direction, I believe all the balloons will be blown over to Malaysia. =)

Cutting down on unnecessary greenhouse gas emission should be of utmost priority than stopping some fun of releasing balloons into the air.

More links on balloons and wildlife


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