About Us

‘Don’t Inflate to Celebrate’ is a campaign raising awareness of the negative impacts of aerial litter –i.e helium balloons and sky lantern releases.
We have decided to become totally anti-balloon – owing to their risks:
It’s not just balloons that are released (into the sky) that cause havoc when they land – it is also balloons dropped on the street – which can end up being washed down the drains and end up in the waterways tempting some marine/aquatic creature to a #deadlyjelly meal
Latex balloons – often use in releases, are coated in HI-Float (equivalent to PVA glue) to stop the helium from leaking out. It also extends the floating time in the air.
Balloon companies pride themselves on using latex balloons – as they are marketed as 100% ‘biodegradable’ – because they are made from natural latex; but the latex is white in colour, balloons are all sorts of different colours – so what do they add to colour balloons?? Pro-balloonists often claim that latex balloons biodegrade on compost heaps too – if that’s the case, why aren’t balloons labelled as ‘compostable ??
Foil balloons are foiled covered plastic (usually called Mylar balloons which is the incorrect name as these balloons are not made of mylar) . They also pose a fire risk – if they come into contact with power lines, they cause an explosion resulting in a power cut and causing a fire
Balloons are a single-use item that we just don’t need – we’re pretty sure that wildlife and domestic animals would appreciate us not using them too. How much do people really enjoy balloons – before watching them float off into the sky (often with the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude?)

Helium

Often used in balloons, is a finite resource and is needed for far more important things such as MRI scanners, deep sea diving, the space industry etc.
Helium is also lethal to inhale – particularly deadly when inhaling directly from a helium canister – replacing the oxygen in the lungs leading resulting in asphyxiation and often death – there have been a number of deaths, particularly young people.

Latex Allergies

One other important thing to remember when it comes to latex balloons (even air-filled balloons) is to consider that some people have a latex allergy – so they cannot be anywhere near balloons or in the near vicinity. The latex particles can stay in the air from days to weeks. People with severe latex allergies cannot even step inside a room where balloons are.
Source: @banballoons on twitter

(Don’t Inflate to Celebrate is one of the Wave of Change Partners)

Where it all started from –

Our ‘Don’t Inflate to Celebrate’ campaign:

I was a Voluntary Marine Warden down at Kimmeridge (for Dorset Wildlife Trust – 2004-2008), when I got when I was given the role of ‘balloon warden’. I was asked if I wanted to design a flyer/leaflet highlighting the negative impacts of balloon releases (not about sky lanterns at the time, though, as we hadn’t heard of them then and they didn’t seem that popular at the time, of course I could have just had my head buried in the sand..??)

Anyhow, leapt at the chance – did loads of research and came up with a logo.

A few years later, when I started my FdSc Marine Ecology and Conservation (at Kingston Mauward College – through Bournemouth University), I made the decision to withdraw from my volunteering with the Wildlife Trust and concentrate on my work load – academic work has always been a bit of a struggle for me – I have always preferred the practical side of things.

During my FdSc Marine Ecology and Conservation , I did a Independent Research Project – ‘Measuring the percentage of degradation of latex balloons in varying conditions’ (in fresh water, brackish water and salt water – over a course of eleven weeks – a longer period of time would have been preferred).

When I had time, I was doing frequent beach cleans, writing to organisations/charities asking them to (please) reconsider their balloon releases…and I did a couple of talks for schools and interested parties.

In 2012, We launched Don’t Inflate To Celebrate on Facebook (I had met my partner by now), setting up a page (making it ‘official’) – to share articles about the negative impacts of balloon releases, contacts of people planning on holding balloon releases (so that people could also get in touch with them; to ask them to kindly reconsider) and generally sharing educational material on the negative impacts of balloon releases..

By this time, Sky/Chinese Lanterns were becoming popular too – so we decided to add that to our campaign and approach this in the same way as the balloon part of our campaign.

The decision was made – that we needed some educational material – so we designed and printed flyers. All self-funded. It was important to us to have some hard copies (to give out at events), as well as the information we were sharing on Social Media.

The first few years (since launching on facebook) were quite tough because we were often met with opposition), but sometimes we were met with positive results – people reconsidering their balloon/sky lantern release/race.

 Some people actually thanked us for getting in touch and for using considerate language (because most of us know that balloon releases are an emotive subject as they are often held in memory of someone – so of course, emotions are raw and ‘one’, who is asking *them* to reconsider, has to tread carefully).

Anyway, because of these positive results, we continued and slowly, but surely, the message about the negative impacts of aerial litter got ‘out there’ …with the additional help of Martin Dorey’s 2minutebeachclean campaign.

Roll on to 2020 and we are still going strong with our campaign and are even more determined than ever to get balloon and sky lanterns banned (with the help of our followers) – especially during this COVID-19 Lockdown where some people are choosing to praise the NHS by releasing balloons and/or sky lanterns!

In the meantime, please continue to spread the word about the negative impacts of aerial litter to everyone you know then maybe, MAYBE, we can convince this Government to ban ALL helium balloon releases and sky lanterns once and for all.

Following the success of the UK Premiere of Rubber Jellyfish, Wave of Change Partners Don’t Inflate To Celebrate and Ecotainment! are proud to present the next leg of Dorset’s screenings …

On Saturday 13th April

AT Durlston Country Park

The activities from early to mid-afternoon are as follows:

12-1pm Craft activities – in the Gallery – colouring-in, make your own origami turtles and have a go at our brand new ‘deadly jelly’ game.

We will also have information regarding our campaigns – Don’t Inflate to Celebrate (including sky lanterns) and our BBQ with nature campaign promoting Casus Grill

1pm- 2.20pm Rubber Jellyfish film ( 12A.1hr 20 mins)
– in the Learning Centre

2.30-2.45pm Discussion/Q & As

3pm Finish

There will be no need to book, just turn up on the day.

There will be a suggested £5 donation on the door.

For more information on the venue including how to get there, please visit:

https://www.durlston.co.uk/visit-how-to-get-here.aspx