International Earth Day last Wednesday inspired people all across the globe to partake in a whole lot of eco-friendly, earth saving activities. US President Barrack Obama was snapped helping former US President Bill Clinton planting a tree.
One activity I thought was brilliant came from students in Peru who blew up balloons containing the seeds of trees. The seeds were released when the balloons burst during the "Rain of seeds for our ground" ceremony - all done to celebrate Earth Day. My only question is what happens to the balloons once they burst.
I did a little research and discovered that most balloons are actually made from natural latex tapped from rubber trees. Unfortunately, though derived from a natural source, latex balloons can still pose a serious threat to marine animals because they retain their elasticity for at least a year when exposed to seawater.
Latex balloons are biodegradable; in fact they start degrading this minute you begin blowing them up. It's what's attached to them that often does the most damage. Strings and plastic ties are a no no. You need to hand tie them and, if essential, use a natural string like rafia.
If seed spreading via balloons is not quite your enviro bag, perhaps you could follow in the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) footsteps. In aid of their Earth Month campaign the EPA are encouraging us to "Pick 5 for the Environment." That is find five actions that align with your personal capacity to protect the environment.
The 10 actions are:
1. Use less water.
2. Commute without polluting.
3. Save electricity.
4. Reduce, reuse and recycle.
5. Test your home for radon.
6. Check your local air quality.
7. Use chemicals safely.
8. Reuse and recycle electronics.
9. Enjoy the outdoors safely.
10. Spread the word to family and friends.
Visit the EPA website
to pledge the five you picked.