Eco-Friendly Alternatives To Balloons

Planning a party and wondering how to replace balloons with an eco-friendly option?

Here is a huge list of balloon alternatives to make any occasion greener with less trash.

Balloons cause many environmental problems including polluting waterways and harming wildlife.

They certainly add colour and a fun atmosphere to a party but there are much better ways to do this with a lower impact.

So whether you are going eco, zero waste or just want to party a little greener, this post will give you plenty of ideas for balloon alternatives.

(and yes I'm including a brilliant zero waste alternative to water balloons too!)

Eco-Friendly Alternatives To Balloons

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Before we go any further, I want to mention 'eco-friendly' balloons.

If you have heard that latex balloons are a green choice, then please reconsider. There is yet to be proof that these breakdown properly and they still cause environmental problems.

Releasing any balloon is a form of littering and we should always avoid it.

You can read a little more on this issue in this article written by Eco Party Box and why we need to break up with balloons.

Marine animals do eat balloon litter and it is particularly troublesome when they still have the string attached. I am not going to go into all those sad stories here (you can look them up if you want to) because THIS is about what YOU can DO now and in the future.

And if you feel any guilt for balloons in your past - Don't! Because when we know better, we do better!

Let's Rethink The Purpose of Balloons

Rethinking the purpose of balloons, or why we want to use them will help you find the best option. Is it to:

>Add Colour


>Play party Games

>Identify the 'Party is Here'

>Promote a brand or business

>Remember a loved one

Whatever your reason, I bet there is another way to do it that doesn't revolve around balloons.

Remember, the world still promotes balloons as fun, essential to children's parties and celebrations. It is taking us humans a while to catch on and take better care of our planet.

In my opinion, any SINGLE-USE throwaway item needs a rethink and should be avoided as much as possible.

When we start to think of balloons as trash, we can start making a difference.

Reusable Bunting

Psst...for remembering a loved one, consider planting a tree, floating flowers down a stream, making a donation in their honour or even name a star after them.

Eco-Friendly Alternatives To Balloons

There are so many options to decorating and having fun that just don't involve balloons at all.

And.....Before you think reusable helium balloons are a good choice, think again - helium is a limited resource, so I won't be encouraging their use either despite the fact many are reusable. (Tip: you can keep reusing them with ordinary air, they just wont float).

> Flags and Bunting

I LOVE bunting flags. They add instant colour, are reusable, quick to hang up and put away and can be used for all types of parties.

Flags don't have to be made of plastic either. Check out Etsy for handmade bunting made with fabric, hessian or gorgeous vintage lace.

Bunting on Etsy

Image: Handmade Reusable Fabric Bunting from Rosie Crafts Australia

My obsession with bunting makes me think everyone must love it. Let me know in the comments - Do you love or hate bunting? (if you hate it, I really need to know why!)


Banners work great for decorations at birthday's, graduations, going away parties and more. Use them for decorating walls and creating backdrops instead of balloons.

They're versatile, reusable and come in so many colours, shapes and designs.

This burlap banner below is a great example of one that can be customised and personalised for any event.

Burlap Birthday Banners

Image: Custom banner from Mu Creatives

> DIY Paper Chains

Paper chains bring back so many childhood memories and are simple to make at home.

You can easily match it to a colour scheme and even make them from newspaper / scrap paper too.

The video below will show you how to make them if you have never tried it before.

Tip: Store them in a cardboard box to protect them and reuse at your next party.

If they can't be reused, recycle or compost them.