February - March 2020
Friends of Reusable Bags held bag making sessions at both the February and March Winter Farmers’ Markets, and Wow! What a great and busy time. We had over 50 people at each one, including all ages. Everyone was happy and helpful, and while most people brought their pretty bags home, we also had over 50 donated that we’ll be passing on through one of our many partners in the community. Although continuing workshops with schools are on hold right now, and we’re sad that the event with the Deerfield Valley Art Association has been postponed indefinitely, we expect that enthusiasm to return when we’re able to get out more. Besides making reusable bags, including for those in need, we’re excited to see the opportunities increase for discussing issues of single-use items, and plastics in the environment, especially with kids and sometimes BY kids. Please note for warmer months that grommeted bag making outside is troublesome because of the little disks of plastic stamped out by the grommets, but we’ll continue to explore protected areas for future workshops.
Connecticut River Conservancy offered us space to make bags at the Sound to Sea gathering at the Green River Swimming & Recreation Area. Despite having spent the morning picking up trash, at least 29 willing volunteers were excited to make themselves a sturdy, grommeted bag from malt bags donated by The People's Pint with handles made from some of the miles of drip tape otherwise discarded yearly by many area farms. We even weight-tested the finished bag by holding one of our youngest volunteers and proved that they are really sturdy! Several people made another bag to donate, which is how we like to do it. Despite the truly huge tarp to protect the grass from the little disks of plastic cut out by the grommet machines, we still had to be careful in the wind not to create any plastic pollution of our own, but we swept them all up at the end. The Bag Project graciously let us borrow their grommet machines, and other equipment for this event as our first big test run.