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Incredible, Uplifting Use for Old Plastic Bags: Sleeping Mats for the Homeless

Environment  (tags: environment, ecosystems, humans )

- 1322 days ago -
Before you throw away that plastic grocery bag, consider this: It could be helping the homeless get a better nightâEUR(TM)s sleep.


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Phyllis P (232)
Saturday December 5, 2015, 1:21 pm
The volunteers at Faith Westwood United Methodist Church in Omaha, Neb., understand that little fact about the humble plastic bag. Every week, the group turns thousands of them into sleeping mats for the homeless. Why? In winter, homeless shelters in the area are often filled to capacity, leaving people no option but to sleep on the floor. And that’s where the mats come in, providing some comfort to those who need it most.

It takes more than 1,000 plastic bags to make one mat. Hundreds have been made, but one woman, volunteer Marilynn Jones, has made more than anyone, drawing from skills she learned 70 years ago. She usually knocks out two mats each week.

“They tell me I’ve done 248. I don’t keep track,” she told KMVT News. “I think the fact that I’m making something worthwhile, where I know where it goes and people that use it need it — I don’t like to just crochet for an afghan or something. That doesn’t help me. I just need to do something for someone else.”

Phyllis P (232)
Saturday December 5, 2015, 1:22 pm
It’s a perfect use of upcycling, using something so common that, after all, won’t decompose for up to 1,000 years in a landfill — as well as a wonderful act of giving.

Interested in making a plastic bag mat yourself? Check out this instructional video, or amend those instructions and make a plastic bag rug. If you decide to crochet a mat to gift to a shelter, ask your local shelters to see if they’d be interested in accepting it.


David C (75)
Saturday December 5, 2015, 2:29 pm
awesome, I am going to have to go back and relearn crocheting?

Kathleen M (208)
Saturday December 5, 2015, 2:31 pm
Absolutely brilliant notion! Thanks so much for sharing, Phillis!

Birgit W (160)
Saturday December 5, 2015, 2:38 pm
Wonderful, I love it! Thanks for sharing Phyllis.

Sheryl G (359)
Saturday December 5, 2015, 3:31 pm
I wish everyone would stop using plastic bags......start to carry your own sack to use over and over again.

I wish that there would be no homeless......a Country that keeps tooting it's horn it's the richest in the world is a sick Nation when there are still so many homeless. The 1% should hang their heads, tired of their greed, their some wages and taxes and then we will do away with homeless.

But in the we can't see to get elected officials in office that want to work for the least of us but only work for the Greediest of us and the most well to do of us......the Corporate people of us, this is helpful and uses the bags for something that makes sense.

Now really start helping our world and your fellow man by using your own sack and don't vote in people who are climate deniers and only help the 1%. Then we won't have plastic or homeless.

Christeen A (312)
Saturday December 5, 2015, 4:03 pm
Fantastic. Thanks for this share.

Solitary Eagle (324)
Saturday December 5, 2015, 4:58 pm
I've crocheted for years & these look super easy. I've bookmarked the instructional video. Excellent idea! Thank you.

Past Member (0)
Saturday December 5, 2015, 5:02 pm
I donate my bags for this very thing. Thanks for posting.

Shirley S (187)
Saturday December 5, 2015, 9:59 pm
A great recycling idea! Regarding supermarkets & plastic bags. Aldi stores do not supply plastic bags. So unless you use their wheeled carriers you must bring your own carry baskets.

Henriette Matthijssen (154)
Saturday December 5, 2015, 10:51 pm
Wonderful idea to use your plastic bags rather then discarding them into your trash! Thanks Phyllis for posting!

Animae C (508)
Sunday December 6, 2015, 3:19 am
Love it!!
i recycle everything!

Thanx Phyllis

Lona G (66)
Sunday December 6, 2015, 5:36 am
Excellent idea, but I pledged not to use plastic bags anymore, so I don't have any. They were never as popular here anyway, but if a plastic bag does turn up it is put in the recycling bin with all the other plastics. Recyclers have to come up with other ideas to help the homeless.

Rhonda B (99)
Sunday December 6, 2015, 6:17 am
Excellent idea! I love it. Thank you for sharing my friend Phyllis.

aj E (164)
Sunday December 6, 2015, 12:53 pm

Mike M (8)
Sunday December 6, 2015, 1:18 pm
That is a great idea

Vivian F (487)
Sunday December 6, 2015, 4:56 pm
What a great idea!!! I don't think I could make one but I could certainly send bags to them to help.

Stella G (403)
Monday December 7, 2015, 3:08 am
In Italia, sono proibiti i sacchetti di plastica, vengono utilizzati, quelli biodegradabili, persino per alcune bottiglie contenenti l'acqua. Grazie Phyllis.

MarietteAWAY G (175)
Monday December 7, 2015, 12:37 pm
Great idea! Thanks for sharing Phyllis!

Linda W (174)
Sunday December 13, 2015, 4:27 pm
Re-purpose for a Great purpose ~ Amazingly clever idea.
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