Lakewood High School senior Shelby Tillema is just like any student who actively participates in an after-school club. She created a club that wouldn’t just help the environment but will also aid the homeless.
In an interview with JPS-TV, Shelly Tillema said, that she saw a news report about “Bev’s Bag Brigade,” a group of women who produce hundreds of “plarn” mats for the Volunteers of America since 2009.
A plarn is a plastic yarn, which these women crochet into warm mats and donate to Volunteers of America. Then the VOA gives them to anyone who needs them.
Each year, they can produce hundreds of plarn sleeping mats and at the same time, they can reuse plastic grocery bags.
With this inspiration, Lakewood’s Plarn Club was created and soon, high school students joined the club and started the mission of turning plastic bags into something useful.
As we all know, plastic bags are harmful to our environment, an estimated 100 billion plastic bags are being used each year and each one can take more than 500 years to photo-degrade in a landfill according to the Center of Biological Diversity.
It is also dangerous for the animals, so many marine animals consume plastic bags thinking that they are food, we’ve seen how these plastic bags contaminate our environment. Did you also know that an average family in the U.S can use and take home more than 1,500 plastic bags a year?
Some plastic bags are useful for putting goods. The students meet in the afternoon and start the process of creating plarn mats.
“You take recycled plastic grocery bags or just any plastic bags and you cut them into strips, and you tie those strips together and that makes this thing called plarn, plastic bag yarn,” president and club founder Shelby Tillema shared to JPS-TV.
Once the plarn has been created, some of the students will then crochet them into sleeping mats.
These sleeping mats are very comfortable, soft, durable and water-resistant. Save the environment and help the homeless
Once these sleeping mats are ready, they are handed over to Jeffco Action Center where they are donated to the homeless.
A nice and warm plarn sleeping mat can do so much for someone who needs it. It is the best way to spend your afternoon to recycle plastic bags to help the environment, create something beautiful with it and help the homeless!
“It’d be awesome if other Jeffco schools imitated this idea,” Shelby shared.
“Antique Dealer Spends Weeks Hunting Down Homeless Man Who Sold Him Rare Disney Art For $20”