I am sending this to my colleagues at the school I work at, today, in the emotional heat of organising and participating in what are often very worthwhile events and activities, it is too easy to forget that whatever we do has consequences. By the way, WWW means ‘what went well’ and EBI means ‘even better if’, used in our school evaluations with students.
“If you are planning a balloon release, for whatever reason, please watch the linked video [https://www.facebook.com/BalloonsBlow/videos/1074667645876949/] . This sort of activity is contributing to significant harm, both on land, to domesticated and wild animals, and particularly at sea, where many more balloons than people realise end up, adding to the growing and severe problem of plastics and other similar man-made detritus in the oceans. Even genuinely “biodegradable” balloons do a lot of harm to livestock and birds etc before they eventually break down, as shown in the video.
I request that we choose instead activities that at least minimise harm, such as releasing hydrogen-filled soap-bubbles [helium is a finite resource] or that bring actual longer term benefits to our environment and community. This would be more in keeping with our purpose as a school.
Perhaps in this context our evaluation could then read something like this:
WWW: we showed the children how to commemorate/celebrate without causing pollution and harm, we released bubbles….
EBI: we will show the children how to commemorate / celebrate by adding something lasting and beautiful to the area, we plan next time to plant trees.