SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – For more than two years, volunteer have used creativity, time, and determination to find environmental solutions and to help people who are struggling with homelessness.
About 10 percent of all plastic waste ends up in our oceans and landfills every year. Michael Traynor, the CEO of Union Mission, said it is about finding ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
“As we all know, plastic does not biodegrade the way paper and other things do, so it’s making another use and it’s being helpful to the people that need it.”
With the number of individuals who are home insuring rising, more than half a million people in the U.S. are homeless right now.
“The ‘Plarn Matters’ project was designed to solve two problems: the problems we’re having with plastic in our environment and also people who are homeless not having a safe, secure, comfortable place to sleep on the ground,” Carol Greenberg the creator behind the environmental project stated.
Greenberg started ‘Plarn Matters” more than two years ago, connecting community members to resources as they cut, tied, and weaved plastic into mats and pillows for people who are homeless. All of their work is donated Union Mission and other charities who distribute the intricate creations to community members in need.
“It helps the homeless and I think that’s the most important thing,” Traynor added.
From churches to classrooms, dozens of volunteers are still finding new ways to perfect the process, even building wooden looms and forming assembly lines.
“Using recycled products the way that they do it’s amazing the way those mats and pillows look, and I think it makes a difference for the people that are out on the street in the homeless camps,” Traynor described.
Volunteers said while solving environmental waste and home insecurity will both take time, they hope their community service will be a stepping stone toward permanent solutions.
“To learn, to do, and to selflessly turn these things into people that you’ll never meet; that’s a really good opportunity to engage with people in our own community that sometimes are invisible,” Greenberg said, calling on others to join their efforts.
Anyone can learn how to be a part of the ‘Plarn Matters’ project. Email Greenberg at MStarArts@gmail.com for more information on how you can connect with a volunteer group near you.