Last week, Teknologkåren LTH made the decision to forbid helium balloons at their events, as part of their extended environmental work. The risk concerning helium is that if we keep extracting it to today’s extent, it will be depleted in 35 years.
There are few things so closely related to festivities as balloons. From the endless nagging during one’s childhood to bring a balloon home from the fair, to graduations and weddings, to the number shaped balloons which make the birthday party so Instagram friendly.
Backside of the balloon
While balloons make life more festive there is unfortunately a backside which is becoming more and more apparent. Helium – which is usually used to fill balloons – is a resource that is, according to scientists, about to run out.
Teknologkåren LTH have heeded this alarm and therefore decided to forbid helium balloons during their events. This is a part of their extended effort on environmental work.
“Helium deficiency is a big environmental problem and Teknologkåren LTH’s decision feels like a good first step”, says Erik Molin, a member of TLTH and the author of the motion.
On the P3 radio show Institutet, the question about helium declining was discussed already in 2012. The problems with floating balloons, not counting the entertaining aspects, stirred up strong emotions in the studio. Despite this, there has not been any big headlines on the matter.
“I have mainly received information about the situation from different sources, but so far it has only been second page news”, commented Erik Molin.
Despite the fact that the consequences are less entertaining the usage of helium for balloons continues. When the helium resources dry up, research and technology in the field of medicine will suffer the consequences the hardest.
“There should be a global ban on using helium for entertainment. Sure it is fun with balloons, but perhaps not as fun when a necessary resource suffers for it”, finishes Erik Molin.
Facts (from ne.se):
Helium (He) is one of the elements and is a so called noble gas. In the universe, helium is the second most common element after hydrogen (H), but on Earth the resources are dwindling, something which has been made clear by a decrease in extraction of the substance from natural resources on the planet.
Helium is either in gas or liquid form and can be used differently in different areas, such as wielding, metal production, space technology, medicine, diving and in different types of balloons due to its floating ability.
Article: Miranda Gatti
Translation: Viktor Jönsson