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Students weave plarn into lesson on the environment
Students weave plarn into lesson on the environment

Some McCutcheon biology students are learning about the human impact on the environment with a focus on the use of plastic bags and how many end up in the ocean. Teacher Paige Ballew wrapped up the unit by introducing her students to plarn. Plarn is a combination of plastic shopping bags and yarn and knitting or crocheting them into sleeping mats for the homeless. These mats can be used by unsheltered individuals to provide a waterproof barrier for sleeping on the ground.

Julie Conlon, a volunteer with LTHC Homeless Services Program, shared with students how to turn plastic bags into strips and roll them into balls, just like yarn.

Ballew says the students gained a better sense of community and what it takes to give back to those who are in need, all while learning the importance of reducing, recycling, and reusing plastic. "Several students came back throughout the day during their study halls to continue to work on making plarn and a few have expressed interest in creating a sleeping mat as a class," says Ballew.