(Video link here). Our recent balloon post about how wonderful it felt to let balloons go (and make a wish) created quite an uproar. It seems we hadn’t considered the environmental impact of balloons – especially the foil kind – on the environment, so we redacted it and tried to impart some semblence of fair-and-unbiased reporting into the mix. Even though we haven’t done deep enough research to know if latex balloons properly filled with helium and without ribbons pose a dire environmental risk, we’re stearing clear of sending balloons into the atmosphere, in case.
One reader had a suggestion: “tissue wishing papers that when lit on fire float into the air until they disappear into tiny bits of ash. My friends and I let the birthday person wish on one and send it soaring.” We googled “wishing papers” and came up with “sky lanterns“. They are purportedly biodegradable lanterns are made out of rice paper, non-toxic wax and bamboo. Their wax “fuel cell” is essentially a candle which when lit, creates air currents that cause the paper lantern to fly into the air, as much as a mile high.
The picture of it looked exactly like the lovely “dream balloons” we posted long ago, used in festivals throughout Asia where thousands of people lite lanterns and send them flying into the air as they make a wish. ”Sky lanterns“ can be bought at Amazon and would make a lovely house gift for a summer celebration. BUT PROBABLY BEST TO STEAR CLEAR UNLESS YOU ARE REALLY SURE YOU CAN DISPOSE OF THEM PROPERLY (see italicized note at the end of the post).
We also came across Flying Wish Paper, a tissuey paper that you twist and light as you make a wish and watch it fly into the air. We used to make our own with the colorful papers that individual Lazzaroni amaretti cookies came wrapped in…
(Video link here.) We imagine that with a bit of experimenting (and close scrutiny of the video), you could figure out the right paper and twist to make your own with. Or just buy them here. They would be bright, alt bit of magic to replace our wishing balloons and sky lanterns.
Postscript: As soon as we posted this, we got a Comment citing the dangers of sky balloons and found this measured discussion in The Guardian that made us scratch sky lanterns off the list. SO, we’ve REDACTED yet another post and written our thoughts in italicas, after the fact. It feels like we have fallen into some sort of Mercurey Retrograde redaction zone.
We hit on another swell-idea-with-ramifications that makes us wonder about the culture of safety we live in. We have to admit to missing the local fireworks displays the neighborhood Italian guys used to put on in Greenwich Village during the Fourth of July, and the sound of firecrackers during Chinese New Year’s celebrations in New York City – both BANNED. It reminds us of Gever Tulley’s thoughtful talk about Dangerous Things You Should Do with Your Kid…Good dangerous because they were full of magic and taught your kid (and you) how to explore and learn and deal with dangerous things safely. We wonder what will happen with those magical festivals, full of tradition and culture, in Thailand and elsewhere if sky balloons are widely banned.
The big takeaway for us is: everything is connected, and everything we do has an impact like the butterfly flapping it’s wings halfway round the world…
Please let us know your thoughts on the many rules, ideals of safety and “correctness” we live with today, from what to eat to how to celebrate…
Related posts: gift: balloons for grownups, rethought and redacte
edible balloons (are you a secret molecular gastronomist?)
unusual guest ‘books’ on walls and furniture (and books)
yoko ono’s wish tree