The Student News Site of Dr. Michael M. Krop

The Lightning Strike

The Student News Site of Dr. Michael M. Krop

The Lightning Strike

The Student News Site of Dr. Michael M. Krop

The Lightning Strike

Eco-threads: junior turns plastic bags into sleep-mats

Noga Shami
IN ACTION: Junior Maia Gueron tying bags together, in the process of turning the recycled plastic into yard to create sleeping mats for the homeless.

      If you enter junior Maia Gueron’s room, you will see a table covered with plastic bags spilling onto the floor. The office and her brother’s rooms next door are no different, with bags littered on the floor, table and bed. Gueron has been collecting over a thousand bags for the past eight months, transforming them into sleeping mats for the homeless. 

     Gueron started this project with the motivation to take her passion for crocheting and use it to make a difference.

     “I feel like it’s the first time that I’ve taken the initiative to do something for my community by myself,” Gueron said. “It feels really good because it’s not only for the homeless but it’s also for environmental conservation.”

    Although it may sound complicated, the process of taking plastic bags and turning them into yarn is easier than it sounds. It starts by collecting plastic bags from anyone that has used ones lying around the house, typically they will come from neighbors or people that have heard of the project from Facebook.

     “It makes me feel accomplished that people actually want to involve themselves with this project,” Geuron said.

     Then starts the process of taking these bags and making them into yarn. After collecting the bags it’s sorted into colors and then flattened so that they look like they came straight out of the grocery store. Next Gueron takes a ruler and a circular cutter and cut the flattened bags into strips, which is then looped into strips to make a long piece of string consisting roughly of 40 strips.

     Any of the plastic that was cut off during the process is given to different recycling programs around Miami-Dade county and the long strips of yarn are then handed out to volunteers, who crochet them into 6-foot-long mats. 

     Gueron has gone to multiple schools to get students and different clubs to participate in the process of making the mats, and gives out volunteer hours for those who help. She’s even gone to schools and directed activities on making the yarn, and hopes to soon be able to teach younger students how to crochet the mats. 

     Gueron said she hopes that she will be able to continue and expand this project over the next few years and involve more clubs within this school and collect plastic bags from students at Krop.      

     “I want to do plastic bag drives and I plan on talking to NHS on integrating some sort of activity on making the yarn,” Gueron said. “Since most people don’t know how to crochet, the best way to involve them is to actually make the yarn.” 

     Maia plans on staying committed to the project as she recruits more clubs and volunteers in order to continue using her passion for crocheting to help the community and environment. 

     “ I did this to make an impact on environmental conversation, which is really important,” Gueron said. “I want people to see that you can make something out of nothing and help other people while you’re at it.”

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