Whether you are attending a birthday party, graduation, engagement party, baby shower, or holiday event, a thoughtful novelty gift is a surefire way to bring a smile to someone’s face.
When given as a surprise or for no reason at all, a novelty gift can make your friends, loved ones, or family members feel adored and appreciated. For many gift-givers and party enthusiasts, helium balloons for sale are a go-to gift.
However, latex balloons filled with helium have a negative impact on our vulnerable environment.
How helium balloons harm the planet
Despite being joyous to look at, balloons (with and without helium) have a significant environmental impact compared to other novelty gifts. In addition to being made with nonbiodegradable materials, balloons are a single-use item with a short shelf life. Because of this, they aren’t any better than plastic plates and cutlery, confetti, or party hats.
Balloons are often set free into the sky and never returned to the owner for proper disposal. Instead, deflated balloons wind up in the ocean, stuck in trees, or on sidewalks and roads. In a sense, letting your helium balloons fly away is just as bad as littering a granola bar wrapper after you’re done snacking.
Receiving a bouquet of helium balloons on a special occasion is exciting, but unfortunately, the single-use item can take up to four years to decompose. Plus, if they land in the ocean, the latex can take even longer to break down.
The other massive downfall of the popular novelty gift is that the bright colors of deflated balloons hanging in trees can attract wildlife. Sadly, some animals, like squirrels and birds, will mistake them for food, leading to blockages in their gastrointestinal tracts. The long strings suspected from deflated balloons can also pose a threat to wildlife.
So, it’s time to say “goodbye” to helium balloons and “hello” to gift ideas that are much more sustainable.
The five best alternative gifts to helium balloons
Trust us; these five gift ideas will be a hit with parents, partners, siblings, friends, or anyone, really!
A fresh flower arrangement
A beautiful, fresh flower arrangement can say a lot of things. It can let someone know that you’re thinking of them, share your condolences, express your love, or make them feel special on their birthday. Giving a bouquet of real flowers can communicate the most profound feelings in a meaningful way.
Depending on your budget and vision, your local florist can create an eye-catching arrangement that will be the focal point of the lucky recipient’s home for a week or two.
When the flower arrangement becomes tired, it can be composted or dried and used for craft or decor purposes.
Every living space should have a plant or two—or ten. A houseplant can improve one’s mood, absorb toxins in the air, reduce stress, and be therapeutic to care for. Plants also bring tranquility to the home and are a reminder to appreciate the small things and slow down.
Suppose you’re looking for a gift that will bring happiness for months, consider a potted succulent, cactus, indoor plant, or air plant in a glass terrarium. All these unique plants can be kept on a table or windowsill at home or on a desk at the office.
When gifting a plant to someone special, make sure you provide them with the proper instructions on its water and sunlight requirements.
For many reasons, wine makes a great gift—it is sophisticated, delicious when paired with food, and can be used whenever the recipient wants. The wine can be left unopened and enjoyed at a time of the recipient’s choosing without the pressure of an expiration date, as most wines improve with age.
On the other hand, selecting a wine for someone you don’t know well can be challenging.
If you are unsure if somebody drinks wine, opting for a fresh floral arrangement or boutique gift might be the safer option. But if the gift is for your wine-loving aunt, a nice bottle of white or red is sure to be well-received.
Candles and soaps
Candles and soaps are items we don’t usually splurge on for ourselves, making them ever so exciting to receive during the holidays or on a special occasion.
A candle or soap with a lively scent can boost your mood and give you a burst of energy. A sweet-smelling soap and a strong cup of coffee can help the recipient start their day on the right foot.
As for handcrafted natural soy candles, one simply can never have enough, especially if the recipient likes to host parties. The warmth of a candle’s flame can also symbolize support, optimism, and love.
Unlike helium balloons and other single-use gifts that are not eco-friendly, soaps and candles serve a purpose and can be enjoyed for an extended period of time.
Plush stuffed animals
No matter the recipient’s age, a high-quality stuffed animal, can bring an insurmountable amount of joy. We believe that stuffed animals shouldn’t be limited to children—a stuffed bear is an adorable addition to a throw pillow arrangement on the bed.
For adults and kids, a plush stuffed animal can provide a sense of companionship and comfort after a bad day at work or school. And for children specifically, a stuffed animal can bring them hours of entertainment and spark their imagination.
Giving somebody a plush bear, dog, owl, or bunny is a cute way to share your condolences, show your support, or celebrate a birthday. They are also the perfect accompaniment to fresh flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s Day.
For more thoughtful gift ideas, click here.