Giving Back One Bag at a Time

In Louisiana a man by the name of Wayne Abadie has found a great way of turning everyone’s trash into someone’s treasure.

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After starting a church project to recycle plastic bags, Mr. Abadie uses his crocheting skills that he learned from his mother to make mats for the homeless. For him, it is more than a hobby. It has become an ecofriendly way to give back to his home town. His mats reuse plastic bags, which otherwise usually end up in landfills or worse, endangering wildlife on land or in the ocean. Instead Abadie provides safe light mats so that the homeless can sleep off the ground with a little protection and insulation from the cold ground.

Abadie message is simple and powerful, “Doing a little something to change the world — people think you have to build homes for the homeless or volunteer at a soup kitchen when you can actually just do a little something.”

These mats represent more than just a way to provide comfort for homeless individuals; they show that it does not require a huge company or a large amount of money in order to protect the environment. Considering that the average American family takes home 1,500 plastic bags a year and that approximately 32 million tons of plastic waste are generated annually, even a small enterprise like Abadie’s can make a difference. His solution of acting locally in response to a global problem is the kind of thinking that is desperately needed as climate change and global pollution threaten the stability of the planet.

Written by Sylvia Prehmus, ESLLC 2015-2016

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