Published on February 15th, 2018 | by Mara


Help the Homeless with Crocheted Sleeping Mats

Do you have old plastic bags lying around and no need for them? Here’s how you can use them for your next charity crochet project!

Old plastic bags are a serious problem for the environment, especially oceans. The project “Cucumel’s Compassionate Carpets” found a crafty way to not only keep them out of the water, but to help homeless veterans in the process: They make yarn out of the old bags and crochet sleeping mats!

Maria Mendez-Young, who had the idea for the mats when her city repealed its ban on plastic bags, told the American Legion Auxiliary Post 291 about it and the responses were incredibly positive! There are now workshops on how to make the “plarn” (plastic yarn) and crochet the 6ft/1.8m by 2.5ft/0.8m large mat.

The mats are given to homeless veterans who need something to sleep on, either on the street or in shelters! The plastic is light, waterproof, and isolates against the cold. One mat consists of approximately 600-700 recycled grocery bags and is therefore not only helpful for the person receiving it, but also helps keep those bags out of the ocean!

If you want to help, you can make your own plastic bag mat or e-mail to find a workshop near you and start one yourself!

In the snippet from the Auxiliary Magazine below, you can find a detailed how-to guide!

Excerpt from the May 2016 issue of the American Legion Auxiliary Magazine.

What do you think about “Cucumel’s Compassionate Carpets” project?

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About the Author

loves autumn, drinking unreasonable amounts of coffee and everything creative! So naturally - knitting and crocheting was the perfect fit!

2 Responses to Help the Homeless with Crocheted Sleeping Mats

  1. Linda says:

    I can crochet some blankets.

  2. Hudson says:

    I was told this was not a good idea because of the water that the mats will hold and the weight of the completed item that the recipient would have to haul around.

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