Balloon decor is a versatile design option for any event. Latex balloons, in particular, add a whimsical quality to decor that is hard to deny. But what happens to a latex balloon after it pops? In today’s environmentally-conscious world, this is a question balloon decorators must be prepared to answer.

Correcting Misconceptions

Picture this: you’re at a decor expo with a booth to show off your balloon decor prowess and attract new business. You’ve set up a balloon arch behind you to really drive home the beauty of your work. The attendees at this expo are looking for the most economical alternative. They want to fill their venue space without emptying their bank account. Many of them didn’t even know balloon decor was an option. Someone looks at your booth in surprise, awestruck by what can be done with balloons. You give them pricing and they’re getting visibly excited by the possibilities that balloon decor can offer for their event. Then you see their smile fade. They say your work is amazing but they can’t use balloons because they want to be environmentally friendly and balloons contribute to pollution. 

What do you do? 


Larry Moss, CBA
Airigami
Rochester, NY, USA

Start by finding out why they think balloons are a pollutant. After they state their concerns, you can explain that latex balloons are made from the sap of a rubber tree so they’re completely natural. “We’ve found that most people who claim balloons are bad for the environment believe balloons are made of plastic,” said Larry Moss, CBA, of Airigami in Rochester, NY, USA. “Simply informing them of the real source of balloons satisfies most concerns.”

Education is the Key

“I created a cute poster showing a rubber tree being harvested for its latex with an explanation of how Qualatex latex balloons biodegrade,” said LaDonna Belcher, CBA, of Time To Party Promotions in Akron, OH, USA. “Then, I put an oak leaf and a balloon side by side in a clear container of dirt labeled ‘What do we have in common?’ It’s a great conversation starter!” When curious people ask what the two have in common, LaDonna tells them studies have shown that latex balloons decompose at about the same rate as an oak leaf.

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Because of the widespread misconception that balloons pollute the environment, it is vital that balloon professionals do what they can to educate their customers.

LaDonna Belcher, CBA, of Time To Party Promotions in Akron, OH, USA

Larry also employs visual aids to educate his customers at events. However, he takes his a step further. “Every major event we attend has signage about the biodegradability of latex and we frequently play a video that shows how balloons are made,” said Larry. “We are now adding a note on all our press releases pointing out that latex balloons are biodegradable. 

Since most potential customers are going to find you online, Larry added an FAQ page  to his website with information that addresses the environmental impact of balloons. “Our FAQ page talks about the biodegradability of latex so it’s right in front of all our customers and potential customers,” said Larry. 

Ultimately, it’s crucial that balloon decorators understand which of the materials they use are biodegradable and how to properly dispose of the ones that are not. By remaining environmentally conscious, you preserve the planet and ensure that you’re prepared to answer your customers’ concerns. “Our industry takes a proactive approach to educate those who work with balloons to be good stewards of the environment,” said LaDonna “We care about the environment and we love being able to use balloons to make people’s decor dreams a reality!” 

Did you know?

Because Pioneer Balloon Company is committed to responsible sourcing, all Qualatex latex balloons are made from rubber trees located in plantations that are Rainforest Alliance Certified™.

The Rainforest Alliance  is a growing network of farmers, foresters, communities, scientists, governments, environmentalists, and businesses dedicated to conserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods. We are an international non-profit organization working to build strong forests, healthy agricultural landscapes, and thriving communities through creative, pragmatic collaboration.

In order to become certified, farms must meet criteria of the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard. The Standard encompasses all three pillars of sustainability-social, economic, and environmental. Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms are audited regularly to verify that farmers are complying with the Standard's comprehensive requirements, which require continual improvement on the journey to sustainable agriculture. The Standard is built on these important principles of sustainable farming:

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Improved livelihoods and human well-being
  • Natural resource conservation
  • Effective planning and farm management systems
     

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