So, today, I was walking out at the stick marsh. I was about 1.5 miles out on the berm when I saw an entire bouquet of balloons. I was pissed off. It is illegal to release balloons in Florida (see http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2014/379.233) because it is so incredibly harmful to our wildlife. And despite what those in the balloon industry will tell you, latex balloons are NOT biodegradable. I will spare you the gory details, but you can google "balloons wildlife" if you want to see some of the damage from latex balloons - but I caution you, some of the pictures are really horrific but here's a link to one of the less disturbing images). Or if you really want some fun, visit any of the turtle rescue places - there is a good chance that they have turtles with intestinal damage from the freaking balloons, not to mention limbs that are dead from being tangled in strings.
Anyway, I climbed down the embankment to the waters edge and retrieved the balloons. I didn't want to carry the whole stupid bunch back as it was windy and I was afraid I would lose them, so I popped them all when I got back up to the top of the berm. But then, as I was cleaning up all the pieces (and yes, I carried everything back to my car to properly dispose of the trash), I noticed there were notes in all of the balloons. Apparently an old lady died, and her family put notes in the balloons and released them. Now the here's the kicker - there were pictures of birds on all the notes, so I am assuming that the woman liked birds. The irony of people releasing balloons in memory of a bird lover was just too much.
So, my plea to you - if a loved one dies, there are about a million ways to honor them - plant a tree, buy a bench for a park, write a poem and read it out loud - pretty much ANYTHING is better than releasing balloons. If I hadn't spent a life time eating crap, I would suggest that I when I die, someone just feed me to a flock of vultures. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that would kill the vultures. But no matter what you do with my carcass, DONT RELEASE FREAKING BALLOONS FOR ME.
Feel free to share this post. If you don't want to share the whole thing, please at least pass on the part about it being illegal to release balloons in Florida, as well as some other states. I googled this, and there are funeral homes on line who ENCOURAGE ballon releases, and they completely brush off the environmental concerns by claiming that "latex balloons are totally biodegradable, and they harmlessly pop into tiny pieces". That is complete and utter bullshit.