Help the Homeless & the Environment with Plastic Bags

We are very passionate about helping homeless men, women and children. It’s hard to imagine what being homeless would be like unless we are put in that situation. Only because I spend so much time assisting people in that predicament, I have learned not to take the simple things in life for granted. For example, my cozy bed, the space heater under my desk and my refrigerator stocked with food are all things that most homeless people only dream about.

I know that once I am in my house at night, and I program my security system, I feel safe. Many homeless people, on the other hand, live in constant fear of being assaulted or hurt. It’s a life I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and I’m one those people that believes everyone, regardless of their circumstances, deserves a place to call home. We have written about homelessness many times before on Bit Rebels, and here is a sampling of those articles if you would like to read more about it:

The Tunnel People: Could You Live Like This?
Help The Homeless: 10 Ways That Don’t Cost Money!
Help The Homeless: Our Twitter Friend Takes Action!
Carissa’s Story: From the Streets to the Studio

Today I would like to share with you another creative idea that anyone who knows how to crochet or knit can implement to make a big difference for not only their local homeless community, but also for our environment. The best part is that it only costs about $2.50 (the cost for a crochet hook). Have you heard of plarn? Plarn is plastic yarn made from recycling plastic grocery bags, which as you know, are horrible for our environment. By easily learning how to create this yarn, you can actually crochet a surprisingly cozy blanket for a homeless person who might be cold outside right now.

I read about this here on the Mother Nature Network. A California woman named Kim Masoner, who teaches people how to create these blankets, says that it takes about 120 plastic bags to make one really nice blanket or bedroll. In the video below you can learn how to make the plarn from your own plastic bags that would otherwise end up in a landfill somewhere. The only downside I see to this is the time required; however, for people who love to crochet, this could be the most rewarding and meaningful project they’ve ever completed.

Crochet Bedroll From Plastic Bags

Recycle Plastic Bags for Environment


  • comment-avatar
    ginger 9 years

    I made one but it didnt seem like it would be warm. How do we know that it will help keep people warm?

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    Julianrpe 8 years

    While serving as a Vista in Sacramento, I volunteered at an event called “Homeless Connect.” I saw the artist handing out the blankets there & thought what a great idea. I googled the artist’s name and was very sad to read Kim Masoner’s obituary Thanks for sharing and I hope this clever idea continues to flourish.

  • comment-avatar
    Joyce 7 years

    Where do we get the instructions for making the bags? I have a senior group which is interested in this? Tks.

  • comment-avatar
    Sandy 6 years

    You can find instructions for crocheting, cutting the bags, and looping them on

  • comment-avatar
    Linda 6 years

    It’s a sleeping mat, not a blanket. It keeps people off the hard ground and is a great idea.

  • comment-avatar
    Patty Jackson 6 years

    Yes, they do warm…when I am sitting and knitting the blanket hangs on my knees…thing gets hot after a while….please check out my face book page for pics.