Bagged Another One

Back in February I mentioned that I had started collecting plastic milk bags. My mother planned to pass them on to her friend, who is making them into sleeping mats. These waterproof, bug-resistant mats go to people in need all over the world, while reducing plastic in landfill because it upcycles the bags. On this blog I mentioned I’d received a supersized response from the community, including several neighbours and an entire school.

I can’t tell you how many bags I’ve now received, mainly because I doubt I can count that high. But as of today there are four cardboard boxes in my basement stuffed full of the things. And more are still pouring in (ah, I just can’t get away from these milk puns!).

Originally the bags were directed to my mom’s pal. But then Mom, who’s always been a crafty sort of person, picked up the challenge – and her crochet hook. She asked me to search online for a how-to manual. I knew once she put her mind to it she’d churn these out like a pro. When I was growing up my mom sewed me clothes, knitted me sweaters and crocheted me numerous intricate little Christmas decorations. So what’s one or two rectangular sleeping mats? And have I already said that my mom’s the ultimate good-deed guru?

I sent her these instructions. The result: Mom’s now almost finished her first mat. Check her out in the pic below, beaming proudly over her new project.

Now she’s hankering for her next milk-bag delivery. It’s kind of ironic, considering that she can’t stand drinking milk herself. But clearly lots of people around here are guzzling the good stuff, because the bags are still coming.

My mom is holding her partly finished milk bag mat

Good on ya, Mom!

6 responses to “Bagged Another One

  1. Great blog, Lisa. I think many people do good deeds every day. They just don’t make the time as you do to write about them to inspire others. But, here’s one I’d love you to spread the word about, if you can. We could save a life.

    There’s a young pot-bellied pig at the Lincoln County Humane Society on Fourth Ave. in St. Catharines (905-682-0767) who badly needs a home fast before he has a nervous breakdown. He’s been there for several weeks and he’s in the same room as the big dogs. The barking is deafening and this poor fellow is taking it as best he can.

    I went to see him today as I only live 2 blocks from the humane society. His name is Wilbur and he’s only two years old. He is housebroken and has been neutered. His beautifully sculpted, rotund piggy body weighs about 200 pounds. He should weigh less, I’m told. He needs to do some walking. It’s hard to connect with his little piggy eyes in the environment he’s in but you can tell he’s upset. Who wouldn’t be.

    Apparently he can live in the house and used to sleep on a blanket but he’d likely be quite happy in a barn or stable. He eats pig pellets available from any farm supply store and vegetable and fruit. He sounds like a good recycler for edible salad scraps. The poor guy needs a pedicure I’m afraid. I’m also told he can shake a hoof and is quite affectionate.

    The adoption fee is $150. He’s not much on looks but he’s so hairy and wrinkled he’s almost cute. I’m thinking he likely thinks he’s died and gone to hell. Wilbur needs a home. If you would spread this around, it might help this poor fellow get out of there.

  2. Thanks for posting this appeal, Linda. For those who aren’t familiar with the region, St. Catherines is in southwestern Ontario, near Niagara Falls. Incidentally I’ve seen the photo of Wilbur and he looks like quite a catch – for a pig. I’d take him home myself if I could!

  3. This is such a feel good story. Trash to treasure.

  4. Fabulous idea and great work, Lisa. I’m curious — how do people in need all over the world dispose of these waterproof, bug-resistant mats in their countries? I see that we’re reducing plastic in landfill in Canada or the developed world, but are we simply shifting our problems to the under-developed world?
    Best regards,
    Shauna

  5. Thank so much for the feedback, Shauna! It’s a very good question, and it’s addressed on the info sheet here (scroll down to FAQ #3): http://www.nbbc.ca/docs/MilkBagInfo.pdf
    According to this, it will be a long time before these durable mats wear out, and even then the materials are likely to be repurposed within the community instead of trashed. Let’s hope this holds true.

  6. Pingback: Them Sneaky Neighbours | 50 Good Deeds

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