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Bags, the lot!

What a star, EcoCentre volunteer and Kaitāia TimeBank member Paula Walker has made 42 wet bags out of repurposed chook food sacks and old ties for KTB community group member Anne West Kindergarten to use as wet bags in keeping with their Enviroschools and Ecostar kaupapa! So they now should have enough for one for each child. The idea being that the bags come back to the Kindergarten and don’t stockpile at home!

Head teacher Clare Harper-Lee had approached the EcoCentre asking for suggestions for a sustainable alternative to using plastic carrier bags for taking home swimming togs and clothes that had got wet from water play etc. T-shirt bags are great for many things, but keeping wet things separate from dry isn’t one of them!

Timebanker Gaye Simms had called into the EcoCentre not long before to show us a bag she’d made from an old chook food sack which was offered as a possible option, and it went from there!

Gaye and bag

Gaye with the bag she made that started it all off.

A sewing bee/workshop is being planned to teach others how to make these (including the AWK Whānau Group!) to give all the early childhood centres the opportunity move away from using plastic carrier bags to send wet clothes home in, and so Paula can have a well earned rest from making them!

Maybe one of the Centres could set up a social enterprise making bags for other places in the way parents led by Ngaire Harding at AWK used to make wooden jigsaws for early childhood centres that sold nationwide many years ago!

The sewing team at Corrections have also started experimenting with making these bags from larger sacks; possible uses we’ve thought of so far are as beach bags, for school swimming togs, taking plants home from the market/garden centres. Let us know any other suggestions you might have!

Both sizes are a great way to keep the feed sacks out of landfill and give them another purpose. The local op shops end up with way more ties than they can sell, so it gives them another use too. This collection of them was donated to us by the Salvation Army shop.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for details of the upcoming sewing bee/workshop.

by Anna Dunford

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