Plarn project is a Green Steps project about conservation by reusing items instead of throwing them away. This Green Steps project has 3 components:
- Students learn something about reusing items
- Do something about conservation by reusing and repurposing items
- Teach others about what they have learned about reusing
We planned this project for STEAM Club where students meet every other week to do Science and Technology projects. This club is designed for all ages…and is flexible enough to jump in on one-lesson-at-a-time or commit to attend all the club meetings.
Composting and Recycling helps reduce how much we throw away.
LEARN: This particular lesson has two components: an environmental awareness project and a community service project. Several of our Green Steps project address reducing what we throw into the landfill. This project is finding new uses for items that would otherwise be thrown away.
- Environmental awareness: Plastic grocery bags pose a problem for the environment: the time they take to decompose and the danger to animals. Plastic bags also cannot go in the local recycle bin. They are the number #1 no-no item for the local recycling center because they get tangled in the sorting machines.
- Community Service: Operation Bedroll is a local effort to provide an insulated bedroll made from repurposed plastic grocery bags. The bedroll will be distributed among approximately 150 chronically homeless people in Columbia. Volunteers are needed to participate in various stages of the project.
Cutting the strips is harder than it looks!
DO: The students also learned how to turn a plastic bags into a useable yarn, called PLARN (plastic-yarn). Plarn could be used for other items, if they wanted to extend their learning on their own. But, for our purposes–we would donate our plarn to a local coordinator for Operation Bedroll.
Note: Leftover plastic bag scraps can be turned in (secured in another bag) at local grocery store recycle bin especially for plastic bags. There is a recycling process that can repurpose plastic bags, too.
Time to link the strips together into plarn.
Operation Bedroll volunteers are needed to donate plastic bags, cut the bags, string the bags together into yarn, or crochet the plarn into bedrolls. Any contribution is helpful since it takes 500-600 plastic bags to make just one bedroll. Our students were able to cut the bags and string the bags together into yarn.
TEACH: One of our teens is involved with Operation Bedroll at her church. She has developed another way to make the bedrolls. She came to show us another way to make the mats. She’s teaching the other teens about her method with a loom. Here’s one of her completed mats. We were able to help make 1/2 a mat with her. She’s going to donate it thru her church when it’s complete.
Back to our Green Steps Projects 2018-2019: