High School Students Use Old Plastic Bags To Make Sleeping Mats For The Homeless


The Earth Policy Institute states that 100 billion plastic bags pass through consumers every year, but some high school students are putting them to pretty good use! Some students across the country in states like Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado, and Indiana, are finding a way to reuse plastic bags to do good deeds for others in need.

Students from Hatboro-Horsham High School in Pennsylvania participate in the school’s Interact Club. The club is organized by Nancy Gablein, a senior at the school. Members of the club use their free class periods to make plastic yarn. The end result of this genius crotcheting method turns out to be a 6-foot-long sleeping mat to provide comfort and warmth for homeless people on the streets. However, these students are just one of many.


These plastic bags make for a great sleeping mat… Find Out How They’re Made!

High school students reuse plastic bags for homeless / Denver Post

So, how are these sleeping mats made, you ask? The students cut the plastic bags into strips, roll them up around wooden pegs, and begin crocheting. This is how they make those beautifully warm and comforting sleeping mats. The mats are also water-resistant and help keep bugs away.


A single mat requires 500 to 700 bags, so we can rest assured that every plastic bag is going towards a great cause. “It’s nice to relax, and also it’s helping the environment and it’s helping other people,” a senior from Lakewood High School in Colorado says. “It’s just very fulfilling that way.” That same senior says she’s hopeful the school’s organization will continue after she graduates this school year.

This activity has actually been around for a while now

Sleeping mat made from plastic bag / Will Lester/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

The original idea for this activity, called Plarn (plastic + yarn together), comes from a group of elderly women who had been producing it since 2009. They had been doing so through Volunteers of America, also to help the homeless.

We’re so happy to see so many amazing efforts from several different schools around the nation! Check out the video below to see the crocheting in action.

Robin Williams Used His Films To Give Homeless People Jobs.

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