Helium; Latex or Mylar, The Sad Reality.
If you’re concerned about your return on investment in terms of outdoor or indoor balloon displays, or the investment of time you or your staff waste in filling, re-filling, setting up and taking down the displays, this post will help clear up some myths.
Helium is lighter than air, so it must be great; right? Not exactly “right.”
Helium supplies are rapidly depleting worldwide. In fact, many North American companies that rely on Helium are increasingly getting their supplies from Qatar, even Russia. This has consequences well beyond balloon companies who insist on using Helium to fill their products. Helium is used in all sorts of medical and scientific devices, and this is causing real concern. And the price of this rare commodity increased over 135 percent in just one year. Why not feel better about choosing balloons that are filled with air. If you’re concerned, well, air isn’t as light as Helium, you may not know the following: due to its molecular structure, Helium easily, and quickly, ‘escapes’ most Latex balloons. Mylar (or foil, as they’re known) balloons filled with Helium may last a little longer, which is to say a few days. Balloons filled with air last much longer. One other factor to keep in mind about outdoor balloons in particular is that temperature and humidity affect how long Helium-filled balloons, whether Latex or Mylar, last. In general, such balloons lose their inflation more quickly in cold weather. The fact is, air is a good, plentiful, and of course free alternative to Helium.
But we also need to consider the effects of Latex and Mylar on the environment. In brief, not only do they pose a danger to our animal friends, but also in terms of how slowly they biodegrade. Various studies have been done on these effects and their findings are anything but pleasant. Helium balloons often ‘escape’ up into the air, whether you want them to or not, landing sometimes blocks, but more often miles away. They get tangled in hydro wires, touch down in our natural habitat, and are sometimes mistaken by animals as food. In such cases, the animal eats the balloon and dies. And many balloons, sometimes thousands at a time (for example, the annual Indy 500 race) are released on purpose. Latex and mylar can take at minimum several months to decompose, but more often several years, straining our already fragile ecosystem.
If you need great balloon displays that last, that don’t use Latex, Mylar, or Helium, and if you’d love a one-stop solution where you don’t need to do any work, consider giving us a call at 1-888-866-0608. Be sure to ask us about our annual subscription plans!