Here is a guest blog from one of our KAP Club members, Raven, on how she managed to get her school not to use harmful plastic decorations!
Party decorations are, for the most part, horrifically bad for our planet. Balloons, streamers
and confetti can make the place look magical for a few short hours, but after that they just make
our planet look like trash! (literally)
Some balloons are marketed to be ‘biodegradable’ and ‘Eco-friendly’ because they’re made
out of latex. However studies have shown that after four months in an industrial compost heap,
the balloons are still perfectly intact! (Industrial compost heaps have very controlled conditions
such as the temperature and oxygen levels. The temperature ranges from 50oC to 60oC. All of
these factors ensure that the items biodegrade much faster).
Furthermore, latex balloons don’t just contain latex (which, on it’s own, is biodegradable).
They also have artificial dyes, chemicals and plasticizers, yuck! Lots of latex balloons have been
found inside dead animals. Balloons have killed kids too! Even if they can biodegrade, these
colourful disasters can still choke any living creature!
At my small school, in sunny Queensland, Australia, the year 8 students are hosting a talent
expo. There will be lots of talents showcased by pupils from all year levels for members of the
school community to enjoy as well as food for people to guzzle and scoff throughout the
afternoon. The hall was to look fantastic, with wreaths of colourful, confetti stuffed balloons
hanging like crowns above the doors and rainbows of shiny plastic streamers fluttering and
twisting in the breeze.
But when I made a small suggestion concerning the well-being of our planet it brought about
change. Perhaps even saved wildlife! Now the year 8s will be adorning the school hall with
paper lanterns, paper streamers and reusable tinsel and fairy lights. The night will still look
magical, without lasting negative effects on the environment.
This is a great example of how an idea, no matter how insignificant, can make a change as
well as save lives, money and time! Many people don’t realise what happens to all of their
beautiful, convenient, single use, decorations after the party is over and everything gets thrown
away. By suggesting these simple changes and explaining to others that there is no ‘away’ you
can definitely make a quality difference! And once people realise how simple and cost effective
re-usable and biodegradable decorations are, they won’t go back to their old ways.
“It’s just one balloon,” said 1 billion people.
Article By Bayli (Raven)