While gender-reveal parties can be the highlight of a pregnancy, these increasingly embellished announcements can have consequences. From excessive pastel-colored confetti to pyrotechnic displays and even dyeing a waterfall blue, gender-reveal spectacles can harm the environment.
In a popular Reddit post, one user shared a photo of the aftermath of a gender reveal in a park. This Redditor found loads of blue plastic confetti littering the ground in the park and took on the tedious task of picking each piece up, stating: “Not a lot of volume, but did get all of them out of the park!”
Gender-reveal parties typically entail a blue or pink display revealing whether a baby will be a boy or a girl. Some people favor tame unveilings like cutting into a cake to reveal a pink or blue interior, but others choose lavish outdoor displays.
While those small plastic pieces may seem minuscule compared to other environmental problems, it represents a growing trend of elaborate stunts contributing to significant damage.
Gender reveals featuring fireworks and other pyrotechnics have been under fire, especially when some have caused literal wildfires. Perhaps the most notable gender reveal disaster ignited the El Dorado wildfire in California in September 2020.
The expecting parents from the Reddit post introduced plastic confetti to the environment, leaving it to waste away in the park. While paper confetti typically takes a few months to biodegrade, confetti containing plastic can take years and will introduce harmful microplastics to the environment.
Those still wishing to throw a gender-reveal party should take steps to ensure they are celebrating responsibly. Removing remnants like confetti, popped balloons, or other decorations can ensure artificial materials cannot linger in green spaces.
When using pyrotechnic displays, follow local laws and also light them far from people, houses, or flammable materials, especially if your area is prone to wildfires.
Fellow Redditors shared the user’s frustrations in the post’s comment section.
“You’re a legend for putting in the effort to pick up confetti, it’s always the hardest thing to pick up for me,” one user wrote.
“I still can’t believe the lengths people will go,” another Redditor wrote. “Thank you for doing this!”
Another user added: “Plastic confetti? Ugh, thank you!”
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.