This time of year, balloons are used for special occasions and celebrations. It can be an exciting, fleeting experience to see bunches of balloons floating in the sky and out of sight, which is why releasing balloons for events such as campaigns, sporting events, parades, ceremonies or celebrations is popular.


Unfortunately, what goes up, has to come back down. In San Diego, that is often in our bay and our coastline, leading to dirty beach debris and a not-so-pretty sight.  Even here at San Diego Sailing Tours, we see them frequently sailing on our boat tours floating in the bay or in the ocean. Balloons can be carried by winds, currents for thousands of miles, and become yet another hazard for sea creatures.

Unsuspecting marine animals can ingest them, causing obstructions, injury or in many cases starvation, and death. The string or ribbon attached to these balloons can lead to animals being entangled and trapped, injuring them or suffocating them. Sea turtles are at special risk of Mylar balloons. Their vibrant colors resemble their favorite food , jellyfish, when floating in the water. Balloons can clog a turtle’s digestive system, leaving the animal to starve to death.


No balloons are eco-friendly or biodegradable. Latex balloons do biodegrade eventually, but in the 5 to 7 years it takes them to degrade, they have a whole lot of time to do damage. They cannot be recycled or composted. Even balloons that claim they are biodegradable still often take years to break down, and they may release chemicals into the environment as they do.



What are some eco-friendly alternatives?

Instead of balloons, there are many other festive and fun ways to decorate your celebration. From birthdays to bachelorette parties, we’ve compiled a list of easy and environmentally friendly alternatives:


A classic party staple. Low cost and available in almost all colors and sizes, it is easy to fill a room, concert hall or outdoor venue with colorful crepe paper.

Fabric or Paper Bunting

So simple to do-it-yourself and so easy to find, there is a reason fabric bunting has been a party decoration stape for decades. You can alternate or have multiple colors, paint or glue felt letters for weddings or work functions, With such a simple design and customizable patterns, it is easy to tailor your bunting to match your decorating vision.


Want to light up an ill lit entryway? Christmas lights! Need softer lighting for a room for a more intimate setting? Christmas lights! Your kiddos night light isn’t bright enough? Christmas lights! Spell out a name or line the aisle at a wedding.  So easy to put up and take down, they are a great addition or centerpiece to any celebration.

At San Diego Sailing Tours and partnering with Seas Lyfe, we are committed to offering a unique party experience while gliding across the the water, not disturbing the whales or wildlife, leaving nothing behind and taking only photos.

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