Daily Archives: May 29, 2012

Totally Bagged

You are all too kind.

Last year, we – that’s me, you, and every neighbour we know – started saving milk bags from being trashed. We had learned the colourful plastic bags could be cut into strips and woven into thick, waterproof sleeping mats for refugees or natural-disaster victims in third-world countries. It was an infinitely better solution, we had decided, than sending the bags to the dump.

My mom, who was doing the mat-making, asked me to put the word out and collect what I could for her. You can read the original story here. I talked to my friends and neighbours, a couple of local schools got on board, and our household started receiving scads of bags, bags of bags, bundles of bags, boxes of bags.

Since my mom only comes to town a few times a year, my basement began to overflow with bags, like in that Strega Nona story about the magic pot that produces yards and yards of pasta. Soon we had were more bags than my mom could use. More than her friends could use. More than her friends’ friends could use. All because of your outpouring of thoughtfulness.

A year later, just when it became clear that I’d have to put a stopper in all this sweetness, a friend of mine spied an article in the community newspaper. A lovely local grade-twelve student had taken up a cause. He was collecting milk bags for mat-making.

Brilliant, I thought. I sent notice to all you benevolent people: There’s a new bag depot. Oh, and is someone willing to deliver all the pasta – I mean, milk bags – overtaking my basement? Of course, because you are gracious, someone volunteered.

Here’s the upshot: Yesterday my neighbour delivered a truckload of plastic. Then she left me a voice message: “Just to let you know that the bags have all been dumped and dropped, and we’re done!” she said. “They’re great kids,” she added of the grade-12 student and his friends. And then, with a giggle: “I don’t think they want any more, though. I think he’s done.”

See what I mean? You are too, too kind.

Close up of a milk bag mat.

My mom’s original milk-bag mat. Nighty-night.