Monday, March 24, 2014

One small win for momkind

Going Green Mama celebrates the baby steps.

My son's science project made me cringe.

"This easy balloon experiment is sure to be a 'bang.'" it said. The kindergarteners were learning about the scientific process, and were supposed to track how long helium could stay in a mylar and rubber balloon.

Yes, fun for kids. Not so fun for the world.

You see, we're on a limited supply of helium in this world. Not quite gasping for this gas yet, but in 25 years or so the world could run out of this resource. And that's a big deal if you've ever needed an MRI, for one thing. (Yes, there are other uses, but this hits closest to home!) In fact, we've even had conversations in the hospital I work at: Is it right to use helium balloons for events - or even sell them in the gift shop for patients - if this is the case? Are we unnecessarily depleting the supply?

And can't we teach the kids some other way?

I finally broke down and posed the question to the teachers over email: Could they change the project for future years? And within two hours - on a weekend, no less - I got the response: They would.

Will 100 helium balloons a year make a difference in the world's supply? Yes, in a small way. But teaching our kids to use our resources more wisely is a better lesson to learn.


Green Bean said...

I cannot tell you how awesome this is! I so often bite my tongue because I don't want to be difficult, I figure people don't care or I'm just plain shy. Your post shows how it pays to speak up on something important to you - and the planet. Go you!

Christy said...

I am so impressed with how you handled this with your child's teacher, and also how she changed her mind about a project. Win-win!

Mindful Echo said...

The helium issue really stresses me out. There's a row of car dealerships I drive past and every one is constantly FILLED with promotional balloons. I wonder if it's that people aren't aware that there's a shortage?

Betsy Escandon said...

Well done. I love a story with a happy ending. Just goes to show that speaking your mind doesn't always cause headaches. Reminds me that my son's school used to release helium balloons with the kids wishes in them on Dia de Los Ninos. Last year they did bubbles instead. When I told my husband that (telling him how glad I was they had switched) he said, yeah, that's b/c it's illegal (to release helium balloons) :)


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