Hope, Adelaide & Maeve with their milk bag mats

Buying milk in bags is not that common throughout the world, and Canadians are sometimes teased about it. But it turns out that when woven, the colourful outside bag is uniquely suited to making sleeping mats that are soft, water-resistant, washable, and quick-drying.  Since 2010, and with the support of volunteers across the country, Canadian charity MILKBAGSunlimited has been sending milk bag mats to those in Haiti devastated by the earthquake.

After learning about the initiative last year, Maeve (Grade 4) was moved to help and decided to kickstart a program at Earl Haig. With the help of her grandfather who built the weaving frame, and guidance of Ms. Laurie Sanderson (Grade 3 teacher and eco-lead), the mat weaving initiative is now well underway at Earl Haig.

The work continued over the summer when Adelaide and Hope of Grade 5 took the frame home and wove a combined total of five mats. This fall they taught their peers in Grades 5 and 5/6 who are enthusiastically continuing the project as a class.

It takes 8 squares and hundreds of bags to make one adult sized mat. That’s a lot of cutting and weaving!

You can help by sending your clean, flattened outer milk bags to school; Ms. Sanderson is collecting them in her mailbox in the office.  Help is also needed preparing the bags for the loom; you can either cut your own bags at home, or contact Ms. Sanderson to help cut bags she has collected. Instructions can be found here.

Congratulations Maeve, Adelaide & Hope on this wonderful project! Let’s do our part to help them reach as many people in need as possible!

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