Helium-filled balloons are a popular request here at Nifty Balloons - and we get it! A floating balloon is simple and iconic, colorfully defying gravity!
But people are often surprised at the cost of helium balloons nowadays. We are currently in the midst of a global helium shortage that has driven the price of this once-common element through the roof!
The price of refined helium has quadrupled, and it’s only rising (no pun intended). This shocking price increase reflects the growing scarcity of a resource that is needed for a variety of medical and industrial purposes beyond party decoration.
Helium is used in MRI machines, breathing mixtures for divers, detecting microscopic leaks, welding certain types of metals and creating pressurized controlled atmospheres. These other uses simply have higher priority than our small business… and so balloon supply companies are not only charging much more, they often simply don’t have it in stock!
For all intents and purposes, helium is a non-renewable resource. It can be captured as a byproduct of drilling for natural gas, however the process is slow and returns are ever diminishing. There are currently attempts being made to synthesize helium, but that’s still a long way off.
The good news is there are a variety of alternatives to floating balloons with helium! Balloons can be suspended from above, affixed to supports, or twisted together in sculptures that are every bit as awe-inspiring as their helium counterparts - if not more so! Talk to Shana about the effect you’re looking to create and she will work with you to design something totally unique and Instagram-worthy, without the added cost of using a rare element in the design!