There’s no denying that balloons give life and color to any party. Children love balloons, and adults love the simplicity of using them as decorations because they’re relatively cheap and easy to set-up. The problem is what to do with them after the event. Some balloons are tough on the environment and use up precious helium for such a short shelf life.
Do your part by repurposing old, deflated balloons and help our efforts in sustainability. If you go to a party that’s decorated with tons of balloons, ask the host if you can help with the disposal afterwards, but instead of heading to the dump, do these DIY projects instead.
1. Add some to your Camping Gear
If you love to go camping, bring a few deflated balloons (not punctured) for emergencies. Balloons are great at holding water, and if you run into an accident and lose your camp or your water container, a balloon will work well in a pinch. You need to wrap in a sock for extra puncture protection, so insert the balloon in your sock first before filling it with water.
2. Keep Balloons in your First Aid Kit
Balloons are excellent for tying off a limb to restrict blood flow, making a splint or as an alternative to wearing gloves when treating an open wound that can get infected.
3. Waterproof your Pockets
If you’re heading out to the beach or going fishing, you can use a balloon to encase important items that can’t get wet like your cellphone, wallet, lighter and medication. This also works in camping if you find some tinder. Make sure that the items you place inside don’t have sharp edges that can puncture the balloon, so keys are out of the question.
4. Make a Stress Ball
Fill a balloon with rice, sand or other hard grains to make a DIY stress ball. Don’t put anything pointy enough to puncture it or else you’ll make mess!
5. Make colorful, slip-resistant Drinking Glasses
Cut the the end of the balloon and insert it to a glass. Adjust how much of the end you’re taking off to the height of the glass. You can either leave the top on and use it as a base for the glass, or cut it out as well so the bottom of the glass would come out and you’re left with rubber on all the sides.
6. Add color to your Cooler
Add water to balloons of different colors and put them in the freezer until frozen. Add the frozen water balloons to your cooler to add an instant cool factor.
7. Make a Water Pinata
If you want to contribute something to a pool party, why not make a DIY water pinata? Just fill balloons of different sizes and colors with water. String them up side by side and try to form an animal or something that children can relate to. This can also work for an adult shindig if they’re ready (and willing) to get a little wet.
8. Save enough for the Next Party
If you’re planning to throw a party, save some of the balloons you salvaged and reuse them. To save on using helium, fill the balloons with air and tie the ends with string. You can either tape the ends of the string to the ceiling and make an upside down balloon centerpiece of varying lengths (different lengths of string), or you can use double-sided tape to stick the top end of the balloons to the ceiling, with the strings dangling down to create the illusion of them floating in the air. Tie ribbons or some other colorful fabric to the ends of the strings to complete the illusion.
In the end, we are all accountable for excess waste. Parties are one of the biggest contributors to this, if you consider all the half-eaten food, soda cans, beer bottles, paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, plastic cups and decorations that are wrapped in black trash bags the next day. If we can just find ways to repurpose some of these items, we’ll end up helping in the global effort to reduce waste and lead a more sustainable lifestyle.