An amazing group of high school students is helping the homeless and the environment by recycling plastic bags and making blankets from them. How amazing is this?
Shelby Tillema is a senior at Lakewood High School and she formed a club where the students don’t just help the homeless, but the environment too.
Tillema was inspired to open up this volunteering section after she watched a news report about a group of women called Bev’s Bag Brigade. These women have produced hundreds of plarn mats for the Volunteers of American since 2009.
What Are Plarn Blankets?
Plarn is plastic yarn that is crocheted into warm mats the women donate to the Volunteers of America to be given to people who need them the most.
Every year, the women make hundreds of these mats/blankets and also help reuse the plastic bags that are a major contributor to today’s plastic pollution problem.
Inspired by these wonderful women, this young student succeeded in creating a similar project.
High School Students Helping those in Need
The Lakewood’s Plarn Club is an initiative created by a group of high school students who volunteer and want to help the homeless by keeping them warm and to save the environment. They’re using plastic bags and transforming them into rugs and blankets for homeless people.
Indeed, plastic bags are a major polluter and according to estimates, around 100 billion plastic bags are used yearly. Unfortunately, a plastic bag needs more than 500 years to degrade in a landfill.
Sadly, the oceans are being affected by plastic pollution and many marine animals consume plastic bags thinking that it’s food.
Believe it or not, the average US family uses more than 1,500 plastic bags per year. But, projects like this could help make use of the plastic bags.
The Lakewood Plarn Club
The student volunteers get together in the afternoons and work on creating the plarn mats.
They cut the plastic bag into strips and then the strips are tied together and this is called a plarn.
When you make a plarn, then you crochet them into blankets and sleeping mats, which are very durable, water resistant, and soft.
When they make a plarn blanket, they give it over to Jeffco Action Center and then it’s donated to homeless.
One group of the students punch holes into 8 bags at a time and then ties them up together. The other group weaves the bags through a wooden loom which their agricultural teacher, Peter Gordon made.