A study published recently in the Journal of Arid Environments found that garbage patches aren’t restricted to oceans — they pollute deserts, too. Winds can waft trash to distant habitats, where they can harm or even kill animals. Read on to find out how to discard your trash to minimize its harm to wildlife.
Deflate, cut, and bag used balloons.
If not properly disposed, these buoyant decorations can suffocate or starve wildlife long after the party’s over. The Marine Conservation Society estimates that the number of balloons along shorelines has tripled in the past decade. As with plastic bags, animals often mistake balloons for food. Eating balloon slivers can cause them to get sick or choke. Partially inflated balloons can clog the digestive tract, starving the animal to death. Besides the balloons themselves, the ribbon used to tie them can choke and/or strangle wildlife.