Our National Forests: Where Balloons Go To Die

Final NaBloPoMo Thoughts on Litter

While Curtis and I were backpacking in Molybdenite Canyon this year we came across a heart balloon in the willows. Curtis made an off handed comment about the surprising number of balloons you find in the forest:

Our National Forest, it’s where ballons go to die.

Curtis works for the Forest Service, so he has some level of expertise in this assertion. And it makes sense, if you bundle in all the public lands in the West odds are that a good percentage of our mobile trash will happen to float into this percentage of the land. Balloons are just a small piece of the litter puzzle but are a perfect example of how an innocent, and often accidental act, can end up littering ecosystems ill prepared for these slow degrading materials.

But I am pretty optimistic that if we all do our part – take care to reduce our impact when we can and pick up the odd balloon out the forest and tote it back to civilized landfills – it can even out. I am certain whichever kid accidently let this one go didn’t want a turtle caught up in it anymore than I did. Events like the Great Sierra River Cleanup, Cache in Trash Out, and even Adopt a Highways allow us to meet other like minded people who want to reduce our trash amounts and find sustainable ways to prevent litter to start with.

Balloon Litter

Plus it was kind of appropriate to find a heart shaped balloon on our anniversary backpacking adventure.

Speaking of litter – This is my last NaBloPoMo post of the month, so I will stop “littering” the internet with an excessive number of posts. I’ll admit it, I missed three whole days of posting… oddly enough always on days I wasn’t working but simple too busy doing my own thing to post.  27 out of 30 isn’t bad though!