Why you should avoid red balloons this Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! You’ll be seeing a lot of red balloons in the shops as we lead up to Valentine’s Day. Balloons are a fun way to show our love for each other.

But what happens when these symbols of our love end up in the ocean? When single-use balloons end up in the ocean they are often mistaken for food. And it turns out that sea birds and turtles selectively eat balloons and their favourite colours are red and pink. Why is this? Well, when balloons float in the water they look like Red arrow squid - a favourite food of sea birds.

Red squid in water show the similarities with red balloons

So show your love this Valentine’s Day without balloons - here’s our top tips for Eco-friendly Valentine’s Day presents:

  • Avoid balloons
  • Buy locally grown flowers without plastic wrappings, or pick your own. 
  • Buy fair trade chocolate such as Bennetto or Trade Aid 
  • Support a cause with wine from 27 seconds wrapped in a reusable wine gift bag from Wrapper’s Delight 
  • Buy vintage jewellery to avoid mining.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


References: Roman L, Schuyler QA, Hardesty BD, Townsend KA (2016) Anthropogenic Debris Ingestion by Avifauna in Eastern Australia. PLoS ONE 11(8):
e0158343. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158343

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