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100% Biodegradable, 100% Beautiful
Member Name: jacb1983
Advantages: Look beautiful, easy to use, eco-friendly version.
Disadvantages: More expensive than bog standard lanterns, but much better
I've have bought and used sky lanterns on a number of occasions, the main one being for my wedding, where we used the lanterns as a lovely way to kick off the evening's events once it got dark. Because I've heard a lot of stories about how sky lanterns can basically be classed as littering because of the metal frame that they usually have around the lower edge of the lantern, I specifically looked to buy completely biodegradable sky lanterns, so that once they had burnt out, there would be no waste or rubbish left behind.
I bought 20 biodegradable sky lanterns from http://www.eco-sky-lanterns.co.uk/, and paid £33 for this number at the time, including free shipping. The lowest number of lanterns you can buy from them is 5, and this is currently £11.50, so it's better value to buy more and even if you don't use them, you can save them for other occasions.
When our sky lanterns arrived, we waited til dark and rushed outside to test one! The lantern consists of an open ended flame retardant paper 'tube' lantern, with a pre-attached 'fuel cell' (which basically looks like a small thin block of a yellowy substance), which is held in the middle of the open end of the lantern by fire proof wool. The fuel blocks in other sky lanterns I've seen has been held by metal wires, but not in this case, which is better in my opinion.
We puffed out the lantern so it would be easier to fill with warm air, and as my husband held it up, I lit the fuel cell. This was easy to do and the cell lit quickly and stayed alight. After 15-20 seconds, the lantern began to fill with hot air and felt like it wanted to drift away, but we held onto it for a few more seconds to get it super inflated before letting it go.
Once free, the lantern travelled upwards surprisingly quickly and was a good 20 feet about the ground in 10 seconds. It continued going upwards for ages, until a breeze caught it and it started drifting diagonally upwards. We watched until we couldn't see the sky lantern anymore, just a fading pinprick of yellowy light vanishing in the distance. After this test we knew we'd picked a good type of lantern and had high hopes for the wedding, when the rest of them would be set off.
I was thrilled with the effect the lanterns later had when they were set off en masse. They looked beautiful as they were floating off, and the flame retardant aspects to the design meant they were very safe for use, although obviously they are not meant to be lit by children. Everyone loved the sky lanterns we used and we felt better knowing that our eco-lanterns, although more expensive than standard ones, wouldn't be littering the countryside with bits of non-degradable metal. Highly recommended.
Summary: Great, eco-friendly 100% biodegradable sky lanterns, which I'd use again.
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