Posts Tagged ‘URLs’

What to do with my milkbags?

This question has come up a few times recently. I’m in Barrhaven, so I can only speak about our area. Milkbag supplies seem to ebb and flow … and right now, we’ve got overflow! More than enough for our groups and local schools.

However, that’s little help to people who have been collecting and don’t want milkbags to go into the landfill. So I’ve done a little searching (aka googling 🙂 ), and found the following links for the Ottawa area:

That’s right — that last entry is from the City of Ottawa itself … even though the city does not allow plastic bags in their recycling blue box. Check out the list — and you’ll see that foremost of all are Metro grocery stores.

Here in Barrhaven, our Metro at Strandherd/Woodroffe has a large blue bin in the front area where the grocery carts are. Plastic bags are not just grocery bags and milkbags; as long as it’s stretchy (but not the cling-film/saran wrap stuff), it’s a plastic bag. So — bags for breads and buns, bags for veggies and fruit, the plastic wrapper around juice box packs and other mass-quantity items, cleaned ziploc deli bags, …

Put an empty plastic bag on your kitchen counter and you’ll be amazed at what’s in it by the end of a week!

As I said at the start, the supply of milkbags (at least for us) ebbs and flows. At some point, we’ll have gone through our supplies and will once again put out a call for bags. But for now, we have more than enough here.

ON THE OTHER HAND: If you or your group need bags, why not post a comment below, with your contact info. That way, those with bags can get in touch with you. Our goal, no matter what our supply status, is to ensure that these marvellous milkbag resources don’t go into the landfill. Sharing our information is the best way to match supply and demand.

Wendy Kool (1946-2017)

Wendy Kool (1946-2017)

Hello, everyone. Some very sad news to pass along.

Wendy Kool, the woman who started me on this milkbag path — who started so many of us on our milkbag paths — has passed away. Such a wonderful mentor and teacher, with humour and patience — I’m in my 60s but I consider her a role model to aspire to.

Her obituary can be found here:

http://capitalmemorial.sharingmemories.ca/site/WendyFaithKool.html?s=40

and comments can be found here:

http://capitalmemorial.sharingmemories.ca/site/WendyFaithKool.html?s=40

Many of us found Wendy by way of a newspaper article — she became a tireless promoter of the Milkbag Project. The one I’d read was from August 2010 in the EMC Barrhaven (just found my first email to her). It’s no longer available … but here’s one from 2011, which is a pretty nice little introduction to Wendy:

https://www.ottawacommunitynews.com/news-story/3799898-students-collect-25-000-milk-bags-for-haiti/

Of those 4 schools mentioned, Mary Honeywell E.S. still provides us with bags, sorted into sets of 25 — just as Wendy had shown them. That legacy expanded, when some of those teachers went to the new Half Moon Bay school, also here in Barrhaven.

I invite you to leave your comments here as well, especially stories about how you first met Wendy. If you have links to website pages, please feel free to share them here as well. To display comments, click on `Comments’ in the titleblock area.

Wendy had so many interests, was involved with so many different groups and activities. We have been so fortunate that we could share one of them with her.

Additional links:

No pillows with milkbag stuffing, please

This is a follow-up to a comment about pillows, posted on 1 August, 2016, where I wrote that “… the milkbag snippet stuffing will eventually get out of the cloth pillows (a seam breaks, the cloth rots, … ) and cause a great mess”.

Since that time, I’ve gotten in touch with local (Ottawa) charities, as well as the Humane Society — I’m afraid no-one wants to take these pillows, with their snippet stuffing. The Humane Society, I can understand — if a pillow were to burst, the plastic would be ingested, perhaps proving fatal.

I have about half a dozen on hand, so I’ll open them, remove the milkbag snippets, and then add them to unfilled pillow cases that were made by one of our local volunteers from her stash of material. She made a couple hundred at least, when we were all very enthusiastic about the idea. And while it’s disheartening to know all that time and energy (and supplies) have gone to naught, I’m still hopeful that the cases themselves can be passed on to Value Village or some other place, for someone to stuff with more traditional materials.

There are loads of sites that come up in response to googling the words

pillow stuffing types

Here’s just one:

http://www.sew4home.com/tips-resources/buying-guide/understanding-filler-materials-polyfil-pellets-microbeads-beanbag-filler

Note, however, that microbeads have come under scrutiny recently. I like the flaxseed and millet options, further down on the page. I wonder if rice might also work …

In any event, I guess this is sort of like an `official’ announcement (not that I have any standing at all as an official person!) that pillows made with milkbag snippet stuffings are not being accepted, so please don’t make any more.

 

 

 

A good day at the 2016 Eco-Fair

What a good day! And a very busy one, too! From 9am till 1pm, a steady stream of visitors came by the more-than-generous space provided for the milkbag project. I’d like to thank the many people who stopped by to lend a hand, to chat, to see how the weaving’s done or how to start collecting and storing milkbags, and so on. It’s always a pleasure to hear about where else milkbags are being collected and then used. For some, it’s an opportunity to see mats and bags up close for the first time and to marvel at what can be done with this simple outer wrapper for 3 bags of milk.

People dropped off lots of mats and lots of milkbags — and some even came looking for bags (always a nice change 🙂 ). A lot of interest in the weaving — how to do it — and in the frames (kudos to the LDH fine woodworking students for those). The Eco-Fair’s a great place to meet people who are actively involved in charitable work, and who actually go to places where people are in need. One group I’d like to single out is Fondation Solution Haiti Foundation, which works more in the rural areas of Haiti. In January, they shipped a good number of sleeping mats from the Ottawa area to that country. And I’d like to pass on that, at the end of the Fair, Musset and Gail Pierre-Jerome offered to take all the mats from the display (close to a dozen in all) back with them, to become part of their next shipment to Haiti! So, everyone who dropped off a mat today — they’ve already begun their journey on to someone who needs it! That it meant I had a lot less to pack up for the car was a lovely bonus for me as well 🙂

A frequent question was: where can I bring my milkbags? Unfortunately, there’s no single depot. It’s by word of mouth (there’s a group who meets in such-and-such a place, or, I know someone who … ) or by checking local schools (especially elementary) to see if they collect bags. Many do, but don’t always have the capacity to add bags from the public — their students are already bringing in sometimes 500, 800, or more (!) a month. Always call ahead to check if they’re collecting, and if they’ll take bags from someone outside their immediate school community. If not, the fact is that milkbags can also be taken to most Metro grocery stores for their plastic bag recycling bins — it’s not ideal, but it does at least keep them out of the general garbage stream. Here’s a handy link to a City of Ottawa webpage, listing Metros and other stores which take back plastic bags: http://app06.ottawa.ca/online_services/recycling/items/450_en.html. There’s no date on this list, so again, it’s probably best to call first to check.

After a demo/display such as today’s, I like to post links to all the documents which go into the various handouts and posterboard displays.  My collection has grown over time, and many are simply trotted out again and again 🙂 But it’s easier for you to have them all in one place, one post, so here you go — this should cover most of the material out on display this morning.

  • bag-prep-for-weaving-updated-2016: 3-pg document that describes cutting bags, creating stringers from fat loops, loading stringers onto the weaving frame, and then where to google for YouTube instructional videos
  • milkbag-prep-flatten-and-store: 2-pg document that shows a space-saving way to store milkbags. A longer version, at 7 pgs,. then goes on to show how to cut the bags into strips, for crocheting.
  • Milkbag Crochet Instructions Flyer: 4-pg flyer with instructions on everything 🙂 … Focussed on crochet, this one has general tips, instructions for making sleeping mats, sitting mats, and shoulder bags.
  • a small card with three useful addresses:

    Main website: recyclemilkbags.pbworks.com

 Blog: https://chinterests.wordpress.com

Frames: ravenswoodworking@gmail.com

I always enjoy being at this event because of the people you meet. Sure, I’m showing how to do this or that, giving tips here and there, but it’s meeting people whose own activities and interest sometimes intersect in unexpected ways with mine. And once an idea is sparked … there’s no telling what might come of it!

UPDATE NOTE (27 April ’16): Also check out the `Weaving with Milkbags‘ page for more info on past workshops and displays, and links to documents available at those events.

Eco-Fair/Rock the World with Kindness

This coming Saturday, 23 April 2016, will see the annual Eco-Fair/Rock the World with Kindness event at the Bell’s Corners United Church. Many, many displays and demos will be on site, including (of course 🙂 ) one for crocheting and weaving mats from milkbags. A few weaving frames (half-height; that is, you make two mats and then lash them together) will be available for sale (20.00); frames are made by the Gr.12 Fine Woodworking students at Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School in Barrhaven.

Bring your milkbags — but please, NOT all scrunched up in a garbage bag! Please take the time to prepare them for the volunteers who then turn the milkbags into useful mats and bags. First, though, please take all the torn and smelly bags to the Metro grocery store — many of them have a plastic bag recycle bin in the front foyer (the one in Barrhaven does). We do NOT want to crochet or weave with those. What we DO want is nice clean bags to work with — so we can make nice clean mats and bags that people less fortunate that us will want to sleep on and use. A handy and economic way to store bags can be found in this handout: milkbag-prep-flatten-and-store.

One change to note: this year we CANNOT accept finished mats. There is simply no place to store them until they can be delivered to Canadian Food for Children in Mississauga. Nevertheless, we are working on a one-day drop-off for mats and bags in the Ottawa area. News will be posted as soon as details of a time and location are confirmed. So again, please do NOT bring your finished mats and bags to the 23 April event at the church.

Moving mats to Mississauga — halfway there

One step at a time, that’s how this is working out for mats coming from the Ottawa area. For mats intended for the charity Canadian Food for Children (CFFC), their warehouse in Mississauga is only open till noon — which makes it difficult if you leave Ottawa that morning. So there’s a growing network of drop-off locations that are part of the way to Mississauga. A map with 4 locations can be found here:

https://www.mapcustomizer.com/map/MILKBAG%20MAT%20DROP-OFF%20LOCATIONS

Sleeping mats should be rolled up and bound with 2 or 3 strips, to keep them that way. It’s the most efficient way to both move them around and to store them.

PLEASE NOTE: ALWAYS call or email ahead, to make arrangements. Everyone’s a volunteer — but even volunteers go on vacation, have other commitments, don’t have space for 200 mats at one time (!), and so on. Courtesy is our coin.

This map (courtesy of Brent Conway) is current as of April 2016.

17 April conference handouts now available

I’ve now added links and info from the recent (17 April 2015) OCDSB Leadership Conference held in Ottawa to the page `Weaving with milkbags’ (click on tab in the bar above).

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