Quick survey: How many of you knew that Canadians buy their milk in plastic bags? Until November of last year I was unaware of this somewhat interesting bit of trivia.
So why am I blogging about Canadian milk bags? And perhaps a more important question: Why in the world do I now have more than 1000 POUNDS of these milk bags in my garage?
Our women in Cercadillo are going to make mattresses for their families with them! We started today!
(Three transparent, rather flimsy bags contain the actual milk, while a sturdier outer bag contains the three inner bags. The outer bag is the one we’re using.)
First the bags need to be flatten and folded . . .
. . . and then cut into loops which are connected into a long chain.
The chained loops are then rolled into a ball, ready to be crocheted into a mat as Ricki is doing here.
It’s definitely a time-consuming project, but our women appear to be up for the challenge. Many of our children sleep directly on the floor or on a mattress with several other family members. Mothers are excited to have this opportunity to provide a little more comfort for their families.
We will most likely make many other products from the milk bags, but the ladies wanted to make the mattresses first.
One huge difference in our crafting time today was the presence of children. When we are making products for our initiative Cafe y Coser con Cristo, the children are never allowed to participate so that we are not engaging in child labor. However, today since these are family projects the children were invited to work along side of their mothers or aunts or neighbors. Connecting the loops and rolling the balls were easy and entertaining jobs for the children. It appeared that “a good time was had by all.”
For us, the journey from Milk Bag to Mattresses started with a “chance meeting” while I was visiting Toronto District Christian School last fall. Another guest speaker, Angela Kesthley, (Milk Bags, Unlimited) was presenting her project of recycling milk bags. She makes handbags and mats and has gone to Haiti to teach women to use the milk bags for income crafting. Angela was responsible for arranging the 1000+ pound shipment of the bags we received last Friday. Kudos to you, Angela!
As I said earlier, today was Day One for this project in Cercadillo. It’s going to be interesting to see where this leads!