Photo by permission of peretzpup
With Mother’s Day fastly approaching, what would be nicer than a flower arrangement with a shiny Mylar Balloon inscribed with the saying, “Number 1 MOM?” How about your Memorial Day or 4th of July party? Mylar balloons just add to the festival attitude. Just name the celebration, and there are Mylar balloons created for that very occasion.
Mylar balloons have their pros and cons. Mylar balloons last longer than natural latex balloons, and rain cannot deter that special message from being seen by all. However, longevity comes with a price since these little wonders do not biodegrade for a very, very long time. So, what do you do with them when they sink to the ground? Most people just throw them away and never give it another thought. They don’t realize that those balloons will sit in a landfill way beyond little Susie’s birthday.
Recently, I was asked to come up with some ideas on how to reuse these balloons. They needed to use them so they would last for several days outside. Telling them not to use the Mylar balloons was not an option. I thought and thought and did a little research and found the following ideas on how to reuse these shiny wonders.
1. Use the balloon as either gift paper or a gift bag. Snip of the bottom. Either put the gift inside the Mylar like a gift bag, and then tie it with a ribbon. Alternatively, cut it in two, and use it as wrapping paper.
2. Use the balloon for scrapbooking. Cut out the letters to use for sayings and/or use the shiny colored part for the backgrounds for your pictures or mementos. (Via Recycle this)
3. Use the Mylar balloons for animal deterrence.
For deer: Cut up the balloon into long strips and tie them to your fence or on a stake near your plants to wave in the wind. See a picture on the Maryland Department of Resources. This will (hopefully) scare deer away. See the Georgia Department of National Resources for more information on how to use Mylar balloons to deter deer.
Birds and fruit trees: On RecycleThis, a commenter suggested hanging them in your fruit trees to scare the birds away.
Woodpeckers: According to the Carolina Wildlife Care, Frequently asked Questions, Mylar balloons or pieces of the same can be used to stop Woodpeckers from pecking at your house. “Hang shiny Mylar strips, Mylar balloons, or aluminum foil around area of home. Woodpeckers do not like shiny, mirror-like materials.”
Birds banging into your windows: Additionally the organization suggests, you can hang these same strips outside your windows to discourage birds from banging into them.
4. Deflate the balloons and use them again. Here are instructions on Inscrutables.
5. Use the Mylar balloon to wrap a bottle of wine instead of purchasing a wine gift bag.
Here are suggestions numbers 6 through 8 from Creative Ways to Reuse a Mylar Balloon.” Read this article for details on how to make the following:
6. Try using the Mylar as packing materials instead of peanuts.
7. Make pompoms out of them.
8. Use them to make photo frame backs. Instead of using a matte stock paper, consider using the Mylar instead attached to card stock as the background.
9. Use for creative art projects. In the alternatively, see if a school could use them for art projects.
10. Use to put around a plant instead of tin foil when giving a plant gift. Just tie a ribbon around the pot to secure the balloon in place.
Help me out with some suggestions! Do you have any ideas on how to reuse Mylar balloons?
Mother Earth says
I think it was when my daughter was 3 that she ate a balloon and almost choked that I decided I’m done with balloons, perhaps if we didn’t buy them we wouldn’t have to think of ways to recycle them. Gosh – If enough people stopped buying them …well wouldn’t that be a coop
Mother Earth’s last blog post..I got an MRI Yesterday
Smart Mom says
I think you need to be a more responsible parent by watching your daughter. Accident can be prevented by thoroughly thinking about what types of dangerous things can cause a child to get injured. You can have just simple straw and a child could choke on it. Think about it….be more cautious with your kids!
Peggy Bennett says
Judgemental you have no idea what the circumstances were.
Were you seriously blaming the balloon? says
MANY things can be a choking hazard. It’s your responsibility as a parent to watch your child. Don’t blame the balloon for your child almost choking.
Peggy Bennett says
Your comment is Harsh and judgmental as well we don’t know the situation. The thing that everyone missed is that she learned from the situation and kept her house safe door after that but not having balloons in the house. She was being a good parent by not having balloons in the house again. Cannot watch children every second and they can get away very quickly. I put cabinet locks on put my cleaning things up high.
Air Conditioner King says
Great ideas! Thanks for sharing useful ideas in recycling mylar balloons. Instead of throwing away those balloons after using, they can still be used to other purpose. 🙂
Jane @ Kidzarama says
We reuse our easter egg wrappers for card decorations, in collages, and to decorate paper mache bowls or picture frames, plus anything else craft~related that we can think of.
Mylar balloons would probably work pretty well, too.
When I’m feeling *really* patient, I even use a hole punch with the wrappers, and I think that mylar would work much better with that.
Great post idea!
Jane @ Kidzarama’s last blog post..Craft for Kidz Blog Carnival
Green Talk says
Jane, this is a great add! Green Talk readers can always use some crafty ideas to be greener. Everyone, check out Jane’s blog, http://www.kidzarama.com. Anna
Environmentalists are sometimes the most creative people! Great ideas! Y’know, latex balloons are completely biodegradable (they’re used in mass balloon launches) and are a much more environmentally-friendly way to help celebrate festive occasions.
Steven’s last blog post..Our 100th Post!!!
Green Talk says
Steven, I agree with you but they wanted mylar because of possible weather related issues. Congrads on the 100th post! Anna
Dee Davis says
1: Halloween masks were made w/deflated round yellow Smiley Face & red Heart Smiley Face mylars by cutting off stem, slitting bottom seam on each side of stem hole to snuggly fit over heads. Cut out Smileys eyes & make holes for nostrils, slits for mouths, air holes at ears. Not recommended for kids. Once on heads, stuff bubble wrap on the sides & backs of heads to force the face openings against faces. Masks had front & back faces so we wore shirts & ties backwards too. Walking forward, we appeared to walk backward too. 2: Cut stems off deflated mylars, lightly stuff with packing peanuts/bubble wrap, tape closed, tape ribbon,/string /yarn on top & hang at parties. 3: Pinata’s can be made from deflated mylars by cutting off stems, lightly filling with candy & small toys. Don’t over stuff or tape won’t hole prizes inside. Lightly tape stem hole shut so it breaks open easy when batted. Securely tape ribbon/yar/string at top to hang
Green Talk says
Dee, brilliant! Thanks for sharing. Anna
Phillip Williams says
Mylar is highly reflective and can be used for a number of projects where the object is to reflect energy; in my case, heat and light. I raise a lot of plants, indoors, from cuttings and seeds and have used Mylar to assist in that effort. I take the Mylar and glue it to cardboard pieces which surround the plant stands. This reflects the light from the grow tubes and in some cases LED’s back into the area where the plants are located rather than allowing it to be “lost” to the room. This increases my ability to grow plants over the winter and have them ready for spring planting outside.
Anna@Green Talk says
Phillip, I love this idea. Thanks for suggesting it. Anna
Could also use them by framing them on the wall for decoration. I’ve seen a lot of people doing that now on the internet with tshirts and whatnot. 🙂
Anna@Green Talk says
Elizabeth, interesting idea. Anna
If you sew, you could use the Mylar as a layer in a re-useable lunch sack to help keep the lunch cool or in a blanket or throw to help keep someone warm. My mom used it in a winter dog coat for an outside dog. Would be nice in a stadium blanket. It is the same stuff that you get when you buy a survival blanket. We use Mylar blankets under our sleeping bags on our cots when we go camping.
Anna@Green Talk says
Heather, this is brilliant! Thanks for sharing.
LOVE this, Anna! How fun to have your post come up as I was wondering what I could do with a huge Mylar “bouquet” I have. I knew about the woodpecker option b/c we have an issue w/ them but I think they have given up for now….. :). Take care!
what about recycling? Can mylar balloons be placed in single stream recycling bins?
Jennifer, I don’t think so. I wish. Always check what your city will take. Some towns take so much more than others. Anna