Losing a loved one is a sad and difficult time. Activites and events should both memorialize the individual and help the survivors as they navigate the healing process. There are many positive ways to honor the departed - including planting a tree, raising money for a charity, or doing a community service event. If the deceased loved the outdoors, beaches, oceans, or turtles, a memorial beach, shoreline or park cleanup can be a very special way to celebrate life and include extended friends and community in the mourning process. Whatever you chose, please avoid destructive things like balloon / sky lantern releases (which cause death and destruction) or butterfly / dove releases (which promote the breeding and exploitation of animals).
A note about Balloon Releases - Don't do them. What goes up, must come down, and balloons create litter and deadly ingestion or entanglement for wildlife (popped balloons actually look like Jellyfish and are easily ingested by turtles). While the intent is beautiful, the outcome is deadly. Don't honor a life by causing death. In addition to being deadly for wildlife, balloons filled with helium are contributing to the depletion of this finite resource that is essential for life-saving medical procedures, scientific research, and many other important applications. If you'd like to learn more about why we shouldn't do balloon releases, visit our friends at www.balloonsblow.org. (photos below came from balloonsblow.org)
If you would like to organizing your own Memorial Cleanup, you can access our 'Host your Own Cleanup' guide here: https://www.volunteercleanup.org/organize. If you would like to lead your cleanup, we offer very affordable options to organize the entire activity and supplies. If you aren't sure which way you would like to go, reach out to us at [email protected] and we'll be happy to help.
To see a local news story about a wonderful memorial cleanup (and reaction from the attendees), click below: