Milk bag sleeping mats drier than cloth cots
The women who crochet plastic bags into sleeping mats for the Third World are so grassroots their co ordinator devises a name for them on the spot the milk bag ladies.
The women, and the men who help them, stretch from Dunnville to Fisherville to Hamilton, says Dianne Scott, the co ordinator. She figures there are about 1,000 people involved altogether, some saving the ba omega watches gs, others picking them up, those who do the crocheting and others who distribute the mats.
The raw material is the opaque outer bag that holds three smaller clear milk bags. The nucleus group cuts the bags into two inch strips, spools them like thread and then crochets them into mats that look like rugs woven from cloth rags.
They’ve made 65 mats since November, sending 33 out through various charities and missions to Mexico, Uganda, Guatemala and Haiti.
The mats provide the impoverished with something to sleep on other than the bare ground. Something durable and dry. They are a bit scratchy, but Isabelle Booker of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary group in Fisherville says “If you’ve got nothing to lie on, especially in times of flooding, you’re happy to have anything.”
Booker says the mats, which her group sends to Haiti, are appreciated because they are washable and don’t disintegrate. A cot, on the other hand, won’t dry and won’t last.
Scott, a Dunnville resident and environmentalist, believes the mats reduce the carb omega watches on imprint more omega watches than traditional recycled plastic that is transported, sorted and reprocessed.
“There is big time recycling going on here.”
The mats are sent out with other shipments of goods, often replacing plastic packaging wrap so they fill a dual role.
Word about the mats is spreading in Hamilton with the Sackville Seniors Centre and several churches and other groups getting involved.
The mats originated in 2001 with World Vision, which abandoned the idea when shipping costs and red tape became too cumbersome, says Scott. The omega watches idea was picked up by a Windsor group in 2002 and has been slowly spreading across southern Ontario.
“The people who do this are so dedicated,” Scott says.
One of them is Rachel Poulin. The retired Dunnville woman says, “It serves a good purpose. I don’t care if I take more time for this than anything else because it gives someone something to sleep in.”
Poulin has so embraced the project, she’s crocheted 35 teddy bears out of the plastic not for toys, but for therapy and comfort tools with former child soldiers or children getting AIDS shots.
Poulin has been offered as much as $75 by collectors for one, but she won’t sell them. The bears are for other, better purposes than making sales, she says.
It takes three days to make a mat, and five hours for the teddy bears.
It’s not easy to crochet with the two inch wide plastic strips, but Poulin has devised ways to make it easier she uses a large hook and puts furniture polish on it to make it slide better. “It has become customized through trial and error.”