Take a moment to read this article about New Life for Old Bags (NLOB), a group of volunteers who knits plastic bags into mats for homeless people living outside. Creating mats for homeless individuals has a positive impact on the environment by keeping plastic out of landfills and waterways. The mats are lightweight and dry easily and are a comfort to people living outside. Thank you, New Life For Old Bags!
Green Festival Chicago was a huge success this year! We are grateful to New Life For Old Bags (NLOB) for including CCO staff in a panel discussion about the environment and community action.
NLOB founder Ruth Werstler discussed the process of making plastic mats for homeless people, particularly people sleeping outside. Plastic grocery bags are made into strips of “plarn” and crocheted into usable, lightweight mats. Ruth also shared how widespread the program has become. Children as young as second graders cut the bags into strips while senior citizens (some over 100) croquet the strips into mats.
Sandra Ramsey, Executive Director of CCO and Jeremy Nicholls, CCO case manager, also discussed the on-going needs for the mats and the plight of the homeless in Chicago. Muriwai Nicholls, Jeremy Nicholls daughter, also joined him on stage. She has gone out with her dad on numerous occasions to the Chicago lakefront to distribute the mats.
Also, speaking was Mary Moy who impressed on the audience the need to do more for the environment and people with less resources. And Scott Glumm shared some amazing statistics about homelessness and the effects of plastic on the environment. Mr. Glumm finished his speech with an inspiring story about doing small things to create a greater good. We will post it here, on our website, soon.
We are grateful to work along side an organization like New Life For Old Bags!