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Irritated resident shares photo of littered scene left by party at public park: 'Should be illegal'

"'Leave no trace' isn't just for hikes and camping."

"'Leave no trace' isn't just for hikes and camping."

Photo Credit: iStock

Gender reveal parties have become a worldwide phenomenon in which expecting parents sometimes go to extravagant and even dangerous lengths to announce their baby's gender. 

What began as an innocuous trend of baking a blue or pink cake soon became massive celebrations with balloons, confetti, and fireworks. Unfortunately, these well-intentioned events can have disastrous environmental consequences.

One Redditor provided a perfect example of this when they stumbled across a telltale sign of a recent gender reveal party at a park. The photo posted in the r/Seattle subreddit shows pink confetti strewn all over the ground.

"'Leave no trace' isn't just for hikes and camping."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"Please don't do gender reveal parties at public parks and leave a bunch of litter," the OP captioned the photo.

"Seriously. I watched an explosion of confetti onto the playground, and a bunch of balloons wander off into the forest. I love our green space and our beautiful environment. Don't sully it with your trash," they added. 

While it's understandable for expecting parents to want to celebrate their baby, there are ways to do it safely without harming ecosystems and leaving litter behind. Animals in the park could mistake the confetti in the Reddit post for food, causing stomach problems and even death in some cases. 

If the confetti is plastic, it could take thousands of years to biodegrade, and it will send microplastics into the surrounding environment. Even paper confetti can harm ecosystems since it often contains dyes that have toxic chemicals, per Conserve Energy Future.

If you're hosting a gender reveal party — or any party, for that matter — you can ensure your guests have a great time while also protecting the environment by opting for nonplastic party decorations. In addition, cleaning up after the party will keep the area free of trash and debris for wildlife and humans alike. 

Fellow Seattleites in the thread seemed equally appalled as the OP about the trash.

"These things almost always generate litter. Yes, letting balloons go is littering. Not to mention the accompanying garbage: string, plastic, colored powder made of who knows what...all for popularity and internet points because look at meeee!" one person wrote

"Bonus points for environmental disasters like forest fires and polluting water sources," they added, potentially referring to a deadly wildfire in California sparked by a smoke bomb at a gender reveal party.

"'Leave no trace' isn't just for hikes and camping," another added.

"Plastic confetti should be illegal," one user said.

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