Monthly Archives: December 2011

Are Balloons Recyclable? Yes…

Is Recycling Full of Hot Air?

are balloons recyclable
Creative Commons License photo credit: alibree

New Year’s Eve, birthday parties, graduation, gestures of goodwill after you unwittingly forget your nephew at the supermarket–there are a lot of uses for balloons. But what about after the celebrations are over and the balloons are no longer flying high? Like most issues when it comes to recycling, whether balloons can be recycled depends on the type of materials they’re made of.

Balloons come in such a large variety of shapes and designs, but the most common types of balloons are made from latex or Mylar. Latex is natural rubber tapped from the Hevea tree, so latex makes the stretchy, rubbery balloons. These are considered biodegradable because latex balloons will break down eventually, after a number of months.

Mylar balloons are made with another type of plastic sheet. Balloons made from Mylar are often coated with a metallic finish. Interesting tidbit: Mylar is actually a registered trademark owned by Dupont Tejjin Films for a specific family of products made from the resin Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). We normally don’t, however, call this material “polyester film,” but we could.

Dispose of Balloons Properly

If balloons wind up as litter in the ocean, latex balloons take up to a year to degrade because of the saltwater. In the meantime, they pose a hazard to various types of wildlife because animals mistake floating balloon bits for food.Continue Reading

Smart Uses for Wood Ash

Don’t Trash Your Ash Sipping cocoa by the fire on chilly days is the best. After you’ve enjoyed the warmth and comforting glow of the fire, ashes, like other small things, start to add up. Wood ashes contain phosphorous, potassium and small amounts of other good stuff for plants. The best time to apply wood…Continue Reading

5 Ways to Reuse Broken Ornaments

It’s inevitable that a few glass ornaments will be broken by the end of the holidays. If you’re lucky and nothing was broken after you brought it down from storage, things tend to get damaged by the time they’re removed from the tree. The worst case scenario is that you were powerless to watch as…Continue Reading

From Soot to Stockings: Recycling Tips From Santa

How Santa Recycles Regifting this Christmas? That’s one way to recycle, but learn the best 3 R tricks from the one and only St. Nick. Ever wonder why Santa refills your same stocking year after year? When he’s not shimmying down chimneys and delivering presents to all the good girls and boys, Santa practices reduce,…Continue Reading