It’s always a great thing when you set out to do one good deed, and it turns into two good deeds. Take Shelby Tellema. She’s a senior at Lakewood High School in Colorado. She came up with the nifty idea of using plastic bags to make blankets out of, thus helping with the environment. But, as it happens, the homeless were in desperate need of covers to keep them warm. So the plastic bag blankets were given to the homeless. And Shelby’s idea was set on a new path. They are called Plarns, and Shelby serves as the president in a club after school to produce them.
Shelby actually spotted a news report on a women’s group making the blankets and given them to anyone who wanted one. With that inspiration, Shelby took the initiative to produce the blankets as well. And several others at her school help her make them. And those blankets can also be used as mats, giving those who lie on them some comfort. They are surprisingly soft and durable.
Shelby realized the blankets can help the environment, because discarded plastic bags can take up to 500 years to disintegrate in a landfill. More than 100 billion plastic bags are used every year. Shelby explains that to make a plarn, “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.”
When the plarn blankets are finished, they are given to the Jeffco Action Center, which, in turn, hands them out to the homeless.