Repurpose: New pop for old balloons ... | the ReFab Diaries

What to do with deflated balloons? 

Balloons are a cheap way to bring a lot of color to a party space ... so we use too many of them and don't think much about it.  Then we dump them in the garbage or, even worse, happily release hundreds of helium-filled orbs into the air.  Eventually, they come down and cause havoc.  

So, since we don't generally think of balloons as reusable, we need to see them as the single-use plastic items that they are and stop using them.  If you love decorating with them, buy a bag and make yourself a reusable set, like the ones picture below.  

If you want some ideas for how to reuse balloons once they've performed their party duty, read on ....

If you have a few left sitting in draw, there are lots of crafty things you can do with them (besides make yarn balloons).  For example, make some beeswax luminaries.  Or,  make your own globe (and recycled map hats) for an Earth Day party.   

The bigger issue:  what to do with all the deflated pieces of rubber left dangling after the party. How about a little balloon bombing?  Cover a piece of furniture!  Or, wrap them around some old picture frames and use the resulting product as a key hanger or jewelry organizer ... from the inspired Natalie Kruch.  

Save them up and create balloon stemware for your next party ...

Festive centerpiece!

How about a happy wreath?  

If you love the colors, use the balloons to create vases from thrifted drinking glasses. 

Create a little art ...

Let your kids turn them into balloon bracelets.  This could be a create-your-own-favor idea for the next birthday party.

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  1. Latex balloons are 100% natural and 100% biodegradable! In fact, they save rainforests by preserving them for sustainable rubber sap harvest!!
    Latex balloons are produced from the sap of the rubber tree. It is collected without harming the tree by using an environmentally safe, age-old process similar to that used for collecting the sap from maple trees for syrup. Because of rubber’s versatility and demand, these tropical rain forest trees are very valuable, highly coveted — and well-protected natural resources. These precious trees play an equally valuable ecological role in the earth’s fragile ecological balance by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which helps prevent global warming.
    A latex balloon is made from 100 percent organic material and it’s 100 percent biodegradable. Stress caused by inflation starts this decomposition cycle. Exposure to sunlight accelerates the process — oxygen and ozone continue the molecular attack even in the dark. Deterioration is clearly evident within a few hours — it begins to oxidize or “frost” — and soon the balloon will break apart. Research has shown that under similar conditions latex decomposes as quickly as an oak leaf.
    The second type of balloon sold in the United States is commonly — but incorrectly — called mylar. It’s made from a metallized nylon (plastic) that is not biodegradable. Better known as silver balloons, they are much more expensive than their latex cousins and are never used in balloon releases.

    Balloon Releases - Unjustified Concern

    Mass balloon releases come under fire from misinformed critics who inaccurately claim releases generate a major source of litter and threaten the ecology. While anecdotal, subjective “evidence” is usually cited to support these assertions, corroborating factual data is rarely presented.
    Important facts you should know about latex balloon releases:
    1. Only latex balloons are used by professionals in mass releases. Industry guidelines require these balloons to be self-tied and have no attached strings or ribbons — each released balloon is 100 percent biodegradable.
    2. Rarely do released balloons return to the earth’s surface intact. Studies show these balloons usually rise to an altitude of about five miles. At that point, freezing and air pressure causes “brittle fracture” creating spaghetti-like pieces that scatter to the four winds.
    3. While some balloons don’t reach this altitude, research indicates that in an average 500-balloon release, the unexploded balloon return density is no greater than one per 15 square miles.
    4. Research shows that regardless of the latex balloon’s ultimate form when it lands, it will decompose, forming a natural soil nutrient at the same rate as that of an oak leaf.
    Dropping to Bottom of Litter List

    Even so, public and regulatory agency perceptions are critical and the balloon industry is working to increase consumers awareness of good balloon use, safety and disposal management . The industry’s goal is to remove balloons from the CMC Coastal Cleanup litter list. Here’s what the industry is doing to reach this goal.
    Consumer Education Ongoing
    Balloon manufacturers and distributors are working alongside retailers to educate consumers and create awareness of the value of good balloon management practices. This is being accomplished through an ever-expanding campaign of informative messages attached to balloon bouquets and printed on balloon packages and in-store information.

  2. I'm honored to see my balloon bracelets in your line up! Thanks!

    1. I was excited to find them ... thanks for the great idea :)

  3. Just make sure if using as stress ball, not to squeeze while holding over a keyboard. A broken stress ball will ruin a keyboard. The fine sand sticks the keys and is impossible to get it all out. Speaking from experience.


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