Balloon Banter – Is it Time to Let ‘Em Go?


In case you couldn’t already tell by the increasing bills from your provider, our world is facing a shortage of a very common gas: Helium. Even though it’s the second most abundant element in the universe, it’s getting harder and hard to find here on Earth, and, according to Popular Mechanics*, by the year 2020, the federal reserve of helium that has crucial industrial applications for things like MRIs (it’s the only element we have that can keep the magnets cool enough at the right stability for the medical imaging technology to work) will be all but depleted.

So, unless you have plans of finding some way to get to the sun and back with a stock pile of helium, it might be time to really consider the ever rising cost of those balloons you maybe be blowing up every morning. Besides the increasing cost of helium, the latex and Mylar balloons have been shown to cause devastating effects on the local ecosystems. If you live anywhere near water, using balloons puts countless animals in danger, like sea turtles that dine mostly on jellyfish, and frequently mistake balloons for a meal. Whales and dolphins fall prey to the same confusion as the turtles. And even the latex versions of balloons that are biodegradable take more than six months to start to decompose.

But for property management folks, parting with our balloons can be a tough call. They do help to attract attention to the property and they do assist with traffic generation and curb appeal. However, in a recent conversation with Seattle-based Equity Residential Regional Manager Kris Buker, she mentioned that they had stopped using balloons all together with little to no impact on their properties. “They had become routine, and when something is routine, it’s no longer eye catching for potential residents.” Kris said that her properties hadn’t used balloons for a few years now. “The only time I ever entertain the idea of balloons is for a special event… and even then, they’ve got to make a pretty good case.”

If you’re ready to go a little greener but not ready to cut the strings on balloon use yet, why not try the Vinyl Balloon clusters at Great American Property Management Products? They require no helium, so you can get rid of that tank in your back room, and they won’t float away, so you can get rid of your sea turtle and dolphin guilt. Best of all, they’re $99 and they last 5-7 months before any fading is noticeable.

You can also try the “Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man!” that they frequently reference on the Fox show Family Guy. These tools were pretty popular about 7 years ago, but people have pulled back from using them in recent years. The folks over at Ameramark Advertising Products ( offer a variety of these guys, and they even do custom work.

It can be tough to break away from the balloon routine, but there are great options out there for green minded people who are willing to explore them!