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Reducing our Footprint

The Helium Shortage

I just learned that we are facing a very real, very big issue. Helium supplies are running out. People usually only think of helium for birthday balloons or for making funny voices. But we will soon have to make a decision… birthday balloons now or MRI’s later. MRI’s need helium to run and we are running out of helium. Here are a few articles worth reading – this one says helium is so under priced that a balloon should really cost $100 dollars and this one says some Canadian party decorating businesses have been told there is no helium available.

Helium is a by-product of the oil industry (like petroleum jelly). We will run out of helium within the next few decades. Hopefully we can slow the decline by not buying helium balloons anymore.

So now I have another reason, other than a waste of money or future garbage, to never buy another helium balloon.

Can you resist the lure of helium balloons?


My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there – Charles F. Kettering, American inventor (1876-1958)

Kindly leave this planet as you would wish to find it – philharding.net/quotes-corner/

There are two certainties in life: “Death” and “Waste Production” – source unknown


About stephanieough

Wife, mom, concerned citizen of the earth. Striving towards intentional living rather than blindly following. Former Education Specialist for a corporation, I have now taken a step back to spend time with my family and work closer to home. Hoping to reduce our waste through refusing, reducing and reusing so that we will not have to recycle as much. Also, I love to explore zero-waste fast food and take pictures of my sucesses. I'm a fan of British comedies like Red Dwarf and Black Adder, Kevin Smith and his movies, Asian food, documentaries, biographies and going to Las Vegas on vacation. If someone told me I could only listen to the Beatles for the rest of my life I would die happy.


4 thoughts on “The Helium Shortage

  1. I do not use or buy helium balloons but have been concerned for some time about the waste from balloons – especially when they are released en masse and no-one knows where they end up or what damage they cause in the marine environment.

    I had never really thought about where helium came from or its other uses but now that you have alerted me to this I will definitely be spreading the word. I will write a blog post with a link to this as well if you don’t mind.

    Thanks for another thoughtful, insightful post.

    Posted by Fairy | September 10, 2012, 3:49 am
    • That’s great 🙂 Thank you. A few days ago a local hiker told me he found a deflated metallic red helium balloon while marking a new trail. He decided to use it as a short-term marker because of it’s brightness. It’s just sad that it had some how found it’s way up there in the first place.

      Posted by stephanieough | September 10, 2012, 10:08 pm
  2. I never thought about where helium came from, I just knew it was one of the elements on the periodic table. BTW, I just nominated you for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award.

    Posted by livingsimplyfree | September 11, 2012, 6:24 pm

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