(This Eco Peeve Friday is written by guest author Nick Coe):
I work counseling adults with developmental disabilities in North Carolina. A couple of weeks ago one of my clients died. Yesterday a tree was planted in her honor and there was a commemoration ceremony. A dark enough event without me having to write an
eco-peeve Friday about it!!
I was informed earlier in the week that 60 balloons were going to be released in her honor. 1 for each of the clients and staff. 60 balloons to potentially suffocate animals with and poison the soil. I was appalled. Would anyone really want to be commemorated in such a way?
It's such a common tradition in our country. I remember as a child I used to love letting go of my balloons to watch them drift off into the sky until they were a speck, finally disappearing altogether. If I knew then what I know now about the impact of balloons on animals there is no way I would have taken
such pleasure in that act.
I had to file a complaint about the balloons. Nothing else to it. My complaint was considered and the number was reduced to 6 balloons. I'm helping to save the planet 54 balloons at a time!!!
As a society we need to take a look at our actions and measure what is helpful and what is potentially harmful. Sure doing things like releasing balloons is great when you are ignorant like a child but when you actually stop and think about how your pleasure may bring pain and even death to other living beings it is time to find new traditions. I think planting a tree is a great start.