Tuesday, January 31, 2017

One Man's Trash . .

I don't know about you, but after a trip to the grocery store, I often come home and feel like I am drowning in plastic bags.  I keep reusable bags in my car (and they are great ones), but it seems that more often than not, I forget to take them inside with me.  I try to keep my plastic bags neatly tucked away in my tiny pantry to re-use, but there is no way to re-use them all, so I found myself just throwing many of them away.

One morning, while working at our church's food pantry, I was reminded of what I SHOULD be doing with my bags. One of our regular pantry workers spends her free time crocheting these wonderful sleeping mats for our local homeless residents.
A little larger than a twin bed, they are attractive and thick and water-resistant---and they are made from leftover plastic bags! Yep, that's right.  The very same bags that I kept throwing away.
Intrigued, I was shown how I can help at home.
Perhaps it is something you want to help with as well.  Before the crocheting can begin, each bag needs to be converted into "plarn"  (plastic yarn). While the process is extremely simple, it is time-consuming for the person that is doing the crocheting--and a way for me to get involved, and get rid of my plastic bags.  Watch my short video to learn how to create "plarn" for a project such as this---it is so easy!
Any of the scraps left after cutting up the bags are turned in to one of our local grocery stores for recycling, so every single part of the bag is used.  If you want to begin creating plarn yourself, I would be happy to take your finished balls to our food pantry to be crocheted into more mats.  As you can see, she tries to make them as attractive as possibly, as well, so I try to keep the colors separated into separate balls.

If you want more information about how to make your own mats, there are several websites with directions here and here.  The only supplies needed are scissors, a large crochet hook and a bunch of bags.  The larger the crochet hook, the faster this project goes, so be sure to choose a size 10 or larger. It takes a TON of plastic bags to complete one of the mats, but what a blessing it is to provide a softer spot to land for someone in need.

P. S.  I just posted my very first Instagram "Moment", so check it out if you want.

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