I am aware of a lot of likes, comments and follows for my blog from many other bloggers and I do check out the sites of most of the names that appear on my notifications.
I admit to not following back a lot of the sites that I see on there, although I often feel guilty that, having liked my nonsense, I am not returning the compliment to those fellow bloggers who are often working much harder than me on issues such as accuracy, facts, logic, sense, grammar and spilling.
The reason I don’t ‘follow back’ most of the time though is that I don’t really feel I’m the site’s target demographic and I have no interest if it is mainly about make-up, women’s (or men’s actually) fashion, ghost hunting, religion, blatantly selling stuff or parenting small children.
Actually, there are some sites that advertise themselves as being about parenting that I do follow back because they are not as much just about parenting and are really entertainingly written about life in general, so they can squeeze in.
I would like to appeal to that last group particularly with this post though. You may have already seen what was a popular post, Not so Fantastic Plastic , regarding the plastics and beach cleaning that I get involved with. You’ll be pleased to hear that, due to the high energy seas and winds of Storm Eleanor hitting us recently, that I visited the beach three separate times over the last week and managed to clear many kilos of huge lumps of rubbish with some other volunteers as part of an emergency in-between official cleans effort.
My appeal to any parents reading though is this.
If you are having a little party for your cherub, inviting lots of other peoples little cherubs, please think twice about providing helium-filled party balloons.
Because, when you hand out those innocent looking, brightly coloured little floating bags of fun to the leaving guests, they make that little cherub happy for approximately two minutes. Then they let go of it as they’re being loaded into the parents car and they cry uncontrollably as if their whole world has been lost and they’ll never be happy again.
That’s not the bit that tugs at my heartstrings. One sweet offered to said young emotional wreck often changes that situation immediately.
It’s that sodding brightly coloured bag of not-as-much-fun-now, making its way upwards into the sky.
Eventually it will burst, possibly many tens or even hundreds of miles from where it was released. Chances are that it will end up in the sea, where we know there’s already a load of our junk. And then a turtle, dolphin or whale will mistake it for a jellyfish, eat it and die with its guts in a latexy mess.
That’s the facts. Two minutes of unbearably cute scenes of small cherub grinning with balloon for a picture (possibly for uploading to show on social media to other people who are actually still there too and are also sharing a picture of their unbelievably cute grinning little cherub on social media) that you all took versus balloon potentially floating off afterwards, flying for days, floating and breaking up in the sea for decades and possibly being eaten and killing something.
For those that don’t think balloons could look like jellyfish in the oceans, here are some spot the difference pictures which, perhaps, with your trained and keen intellect that has grown up knowing what a balloon is, you will find easy enough. However, imagine you are a creature that doesn’t.
Did you spot it? The one for the 80 year old child’s birthday?
Yep, you would have thought that at least some wisdom might have accrued by that age, although the propensity for tantrums might be similar.
The same goes for any events you see advertised as ‘celebrating with a balloon release’. Effectively, this is littering. This is the same as nonchalantly throwing your empty bottle of spring water (another rant on that stuff building up) out of the vehicle window as you are driving. You don’t care where it ends up, you don’t have it any more so it’s effectively gone to your tiny little mind.
It goes somewhere, it doesn’t disappear in a puff of smoke or into an alternative quantum dimension (as far as we know). It’s going to be around for hundreds of years.
So, please, as well as thinking about your plastics usage and the power you have as a consumer of these things to seek out alternative ways of buying and disposing of stuff better, have a second thought for the novelty balloon issue too.